By John Paul Lelonde, parishioner and project coordinator
St. Francis By the Sea Episcopal church is pleased to announce the receipt of a grant from The Maine Steeple Fund to help with the restoration of the church steeple. The Maine Steeples Fund supports local efforts to restore church steeples of historic, cultural, and community significance to cities and towns in Maine. St. Francis church certainly met these criteria as it originally was built in North Penobscot (1837) and then was moved to its current prominent location on the Hinkley Ridge Road in Blue Hill (1990).
During the painting of the steeple in 2020 it was detected that the steeple was leaning slightly. After working with The Maine Steeple Fund over the last year, including two assessments by Christopher W. Closs Company and Artifex Architects and Engineers, it was determined that restoration work would include the replacement of three rotting beams, replacing the belfry roof, flashing corner posts along with any other work uncovered during the project. Work will be done by Robert A. Baird and Associates out of Brooklin Maine and should begin in September with the roofing portion subcontracted to Hahnel Bros. Robert has undertaken many projects throughout the area including the restoration of Odd Fellows Hall in Brooklin, The Sedgewick Baptist church and the Rockbound church in Brooklin. He was also involved in the restoration of the US Capital Dome in Washington DC.
Work began on Monday September 13th and will continue for 3 to 4 weeks. During this time the front entrance will be blocked off during the week but open for Sunday services.