Francestown congregation to sell church

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/21/2020 4:41:34 PM

The Community Church of Francestown voted to sell their building last Sunday, citing a dwindling congregation unable to support the cost of maintaining the church.

The congregation will continue to use the building until it sells, at which point they would continue to worship elsewhere, Moderator Mark Pitman said.

The congregation has dwindled in recent years to 23 members, Pitman said, and just eight or 12 people attend a regular Sunday service. “You need a critical mass to run an organization,” he said. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the decline, he said. The church hasn’t held an indoor service since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but would resume worship in the building on Oct. 4. In a way, the low attendance rates make it easier to follow safety precautions, he said. There are no solid plans as to where the congregation would meet after the church sells as of yet, Pitman said.

“It was a sad day,” Board of Trustees Chair Brad Howell said, “but I think we just reached that point… we realized for some time that this day might be coming.”

The congregation has been paying for the maintenance they can afford, Howell said, but the church needs a new roof, a new coat of paint, and has other structural issues that come with its age. The church was built in 1884 and was originally painted brown, according to the church website. The first floor sanctuary still has original horsehair plaster and is handicap accessible, and the basement sports a vestry, kitchen, nursery, and restrooms. It has not yet been listed, Howell said.


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