Peterborough Unitarian Universalist Church adds accessible seating

John Dery gives a thumbs-up to the new accessible pew at Peterborough Unitarian Universalist Church.

John Dery gives a thumbs-up to the new accessible pew at Peterborough Unitarian Universalist Church. COURTESY PHOTO

The new accessible seating at Peterborough Unitarian Universalist Church.

The new accessible seating at Peterborough Unitarian Universalist Church. —COURTESY PHOTO

Published: 02-28-2024 8:54 AM

The Peterborough Unitarian Universalist Church, built in 1825 and on the National Register of Historic Places, has created seating accessible for wheelchairs in its sanctuary.

Working with Dublin carpenter/craftsman Sterling Abram, the church removed two pew bench seats, four pew front facade boxes and 438 old square peg iron nails. Local painter Jeff Reilly completed restoration painting to preserve the historic feel. Entering the sanctuary now, there is an open front row of benches and two fully accessible pews off the west and center aisles.

The congregation began its work towards creating accessibility in 1995, when it added an elevator from the parking area up to the main floor where the sanctuary and parish hall are located. At this time, a fully accessible restroom was also included in this renovation work. Until recently, however, sanctuary seating for anyone using mobility assistance such as a wheelchair or walker was limited to the back of the sanctuary.

Push-pad openers for the outside rear door and dining room door have also been installed, providing ease in entering and exiting these spaces for those using wheelchairs or other assistive devices.

The congregation and the Rev. Lane Fisher invites everyone to their Sunday 10:15 a.m. worship services, Wednesday evening community suppers and congregation activities, including choir, meditation, summer lyceums and monthly Saturday afternoon MUUSIC for UU concerts. For information, go to the church website, uupeterborough.org.

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