Letter: Preserving W. Hartford Church
To the Editor:
A meeting to review the preservation costs and gather community ideas and support for a long-range preservation plan for the historic West Hartford Congregational Church will be held on Tuesday a t 6:30 p.m. The meeting will take place at the church, which is in the center of the village on Route 14. A Preservation Trust of Vermont representative will lead the meeting. Church trustees support this effort and will attend. All are welcomed; refreshments will be served.
A grant was written by the volunteer group After Irene Ministry — Upper Valley (AIM-UV) and has been awarded to develop a plan to preserve this historic structure, which was built in 1830. The grant funds were made possible by several church organizations and the Preservation Trust of Vermont.
Tropical Storm Irene brought into focus the need for a multipurpose building to offer interfaith services, an assembly area for over 100 people, and a place for various groups to meet. This church building would provide a way to develop a stronger community if it was preserved and eventually equipped to meet these needs.
The church has served the communities along the White River in many ways after the tropical storm. Fortunately it was on high ground and not flooded. After temporary power was installed, hot meals were provided for residents and volunteers. Food, supplies, water and clothing were also dispensed.
The church was a gathering place for many affected by the devastating storm to share stories and get renewed strength to carry on. Volunteers from many area groups aided in this effort. There were also interfaith services, which were well attended. AIM-UV volunteers are supported by several Upper Valley churches and serve the families and businesses affected by Irene.