Churchholds ground-breaking

Published on Thu, Jul 14, 2005 by ack Kintner

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Church holds ground-breaking

By Jack Kintner

Marking the first local church construction project in many years, Christ Episcopal broke ground Sunday for a planned $200,000 addition to their century old building at 4th and Boblett streets.

The Reverend Vincent W. Warner, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, led the congregation outdoors to the north side of the building for the ceremonies, held as a part of the regular Sunday worship.

“This is one of the last times I’ll have to use this old knee,” Warner said when the dense turf and hardpan soil resisted his initial efforts. He is scheduled for knee replacement surgery this week but managed to dig out enough turf to get the project officially underway before inviting other members of the congregation to take their turn.

Architect Gary Gideon of Bellingham said he hopes to match the exterior of the older building, covered with shingles produced in Blaine in the days when that was a leading local industry. “That’s the hope, anyway. We want it too look like it’s been there for a while, like the rest of the building does.”

The 1,200 square foot addition, which was outlined in orange paint and construction ribbon for the ceremony, will provide space for two bathrooms, a parish hall and an office, though John Gibbs, the priest responsible for building up the community in recent years, has retired due to health reasons.

The congregation’s deacon, Brent Brentnall, said that Bishop Warner is responsible for finding a replacement “and he was encouraging. We’ll come up with a list of qualities and hopefully we’ll have someone here by the fall.” In the meantime, worship continues weekly on Sundays at 10 a.m.

Construction will begin this summer with much of the work being done by volunteers under the direction of a contractor.
For more information, call 332-4113.