The Steeple Restoration Project
The “Raise the Steeple” committee is so delighted with our community’s support and wonderful, generous donations to our fundraising efforts including several challenge grants and gifts, all of which have been met. We want to let the community know where we stand and what lies ahead. We have raised over $575,000 in our campaign to put the steeple back where it belongs, on top of the Church of Christ Congregational in Norfolk. In addition to renovating the steeple, we plan to repair the clock face and chimes. Our original estimate for the repairs and refurbishment of the clock has doubled but thanks to you, we are in a good position to have that work completed.
Some of the monies have been spent bringing the steeple down to the ground (approximately $100,000) so that repairs could be made and about $35,000 on the engineering work so far. Soon our architectural and engineering plans will be finalized and we will be ready to send the project out to bid. Once we receive the quotes for the renovation work our future expenditures will become clear. Building costs are uncertain at this time but with your help we are confident that all of this work will be done.
In addition, the committee is delighted to announce that we have been offered a $200,000 grant from the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). This is the largest of the grants that SHPO offers. Our plans include presenting this to the Congregation at an all-church meeting as soon as we have hired an attorney to review the contract thoroughly and be available to discuss all of the ins and outs of this grant. There will be a special all-church meeting on May 7, 2023 to consider accepting the grant. The meeting will be held after the 10am service at approximately 11:30 AM. It will be held at the Norfolk HUB to allow quality on-line access for a hybrid meeting (in-person/online), but we encourage voting members to attend in person. On April 26, 2023, the church Council voted to recommend acceptance by a vote of 7 yes, 1 no, and 1 abstaining. Here are the relevant documents.
We do want to thank all who have contributed so much to this effort. We are lucky to be part of our community that cares so much for our church and its place in Norfolk. We truly appreciate donations of all sizes. Every donation helps brings us closer to our goal of raising the steeple. Visit “steeple campaign” on our website norfolkucc.org to learn more.
Thank you from the Raise The Steeple Committee –
Hope Childs, Marie Civco, Rowland Denny, Betsy Gill, Jan Graham-Jones, Kate Johnson, Erick Olsen
Donations to help restore the steeple may be made below.
If you would like to pledge financial support to this project,
please visit the Steeple Pledge page. Thank you!
In 1835, John Warner Barber rode into Norfolk on the Greenwoods Turnpike to sketch a view of the village for his book Connecticut Historical Collections. Barber described Norfolk as “a village uncommonly neat and beautiful.” As in many towns, the steepled church was an iconic part of the New England landscape. The artist Thomas Cole described that landscape in his Essay on American Scenery: “from yonder dark mass of foliage the village spire beams like a star.”
Designed in 1813 by David Hoadley, a master builder of outstanding skill, the church soon garnered state-wide recognition. Hoadley’s elegant steeple rises from a square clock tower in two octagonal stages capped by balustrades and a tall spire. The graceful modulation of scale reflects a refined sense of proportion, an important and meaningful component of design when it was built. On its elevated site, the new church with its distinctive steeple was a commanding presence in Norfolk, a beacon of light, and placed the town on the architectural map.
Norfolk Historical Society: Watch the steeple being removed and placed on the ground.