Faith & Spirituality

April 5, 2013

Window project a test of faith

PLATTSBURGH — The restoration of 19th century painted-glass windows was a leap of faith for congregants of Trinity Episcopal Church here.

But they successfully raised $18,000 through individual donations and the sale of items on eBay.

At 7 p.m. Saturday, April 13, the SUNY Plattsburgh Gospel Choir, under the direction of Dr. Dexter Criss, will celebrate “An Evening of Concert Spirituals and Ballads” at the church.

Admission is $15, and all proceeds benefit the window restoration.

Three of the south-facing 1866 windows were removed in early October 2012 by artisans from Rohlf’s Stained & Leaded Glass Studio of Mt. Vernon, N.Y.

The windows were originally scheduled for re-installation last month, depending on the weather.

“As it turned out, it would have been nice to have the windows in place for Easter,” said Keith Wills, chair of the fundraising/window-restoration ad-hoc committee at the church.

“With their own work schedule, they delayed it to April 15, again weather prevailing. They need the temperatures to be 40 degrees or above to re-install the windows.”

The total project cost $51,000. 

“We had $33,000,” Wills said. “That meant we needed $18,000 to make up the difference. Father Colin (Belton) said it would be a leap of faith. We’ve had generous donations from individual members of the congregation. We’re a retired congregation, mostly. There are some younger families.”

John Jewell, a congregant, launched an eBay site where people could donate items to raise funds.

“It’s devoted strictly for the church. I have donated a mantelpiece clock and some watches. Bids came from Germany, England and France. We had a donation of a guitar that brought in over $1,000,” Wills said.

Items went for $15, $20, $25 and $150.

“It all helped bring in the money to make up the $18,000 difference. By the end of March 2013, we had all the money to pay for the windows. It’s fantastic,” he said.

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