Unitarian Church, established in 1785, has a long history of caring
for its church building and facilities. In June, 2000, a construction
roof & steeple fire caused fire and water damage to the roof, steeple,
sanctuary, pipe organ, and Sunday School classrooms - damages nearing
insurance monies will rebuild and restore the building and pipe organ
to its pre-fire condition, there are some expenses not covered by insurance.
In addition, we want to rebuild "stronger and better" in order
to serve the congregation and community for centuries to come.
Phoenix Fund was established to receive contributions from parishioners
and the community to assist us in this major undertaking. Below, we
detail our plans for the rebuilding over and above the insurance restoration.
is an honor we might not have chosen. But to rebuild this church
for future generations is an honor and a privilege that has come
to each member and friend of First Unitarian. Your gift to the
Phoenix Fund will form the vessel of "bricks and mortar"
that will hold the spirit of the free faith in years to come.
Our generosity will ensure that those who seek a path to God and
truth, without the constraints of creed and dogma, will always
have a spiritual home in Worcester.
Rev. Barbara Merritt, Senior Minister
renewal of our church facilities will help us extend a warm welcome
to all those who are looking for deep spirituality and a free
Rev. Thomas Schade, Associate Minister
to the Phoenix Fund will restore and preserve our Church building,
an important historical landmark, for future generations. Our
Church is a prominent fixture at a major entrance to the city's
business center. A major feature of the church building (viewable
from the Greater Worcester area) is the church steeple. The new
lighting, recently completed, has become a dominant and inspirational
feature of the Worcester downtown night's skyscape.
Worth Landers, Moderator
& Sanctuary Improvements
and replace damaged steeple pillars, cartouches, pediments and woodwork
emergency fire access to attic
new steeple clock mechanism
roof ventilation system to preserve roof structures in Unity Hall.
Organ and Sanctuary Improvements
organ console to its original centered position in the back balcony
area; restore the choir seating arrangement to the pre-1964 layout
(curved around the organ console)
the organ pipe chamber area for higher-quality acoustics; relocating
the organ air supply blower from the basement to the balcony hall
audio-video capabilities, including amplification of the choir and
possibility for closed-circuit TV broadcasting (for overflow crowds
and crying/baby-sitting rooms).
First U, we are proud of our musical heritage of a fine choral
music tradition, music library, facilities, and extraordinary
instruments. We now have the opportunity to significantly improve
our fine Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ, and to reconfigure the balcony
to allow us to provide more beautiful music for years to come.
Sherwood, AAGO, ChM
open community welcoming room with audio-visual projection center
lighting and air quality
bathrooms, including handicapped facilities
there is no doubt that the June 17th fire was a disaster, it has
provided us with a unique opportunity to create a Sunday School
facility that will serve this congregation well into the 21st
century. Our children deserve a Sunday School environment that
is conducive to learning, to searching for the truth, and to growing
in this faith we share.
Diane Mirick, Religious Education Director
25, 2001 - Phoenix Fund kick-off: Official fund drive begins to raise
money for repairs and improvements.
Spring, 2001 - Roof & steeple repairs completed
2002 - Sanctuary re-opens
Spring, 2002 - Sunday School area re-opens
2002 - 7 ranks of the Pipe Organ installed for Fall services
January-October 2004 - Dedication Service and Recitals; organ
- Founding of this parish, Second Parish of Worcester
- Location and dedication of Second Parish church building at 90 Main
- While repairs were in progress to the 1829 church, fire broke out
and the building was totally destroyed. It was immediately decided to
rebuild on the same site.
- The church was struck by a hurricane destroying the sanctuary. "In
one year (to the day), the church was rebuilt on the same design,
but much stronger." (Clifford O. Griffith)
- June 17 - Fire breaks out in the attic during the process of replacing
the soldered copper roof. Over 4 million dollars of water and fire damage
to the steeple, and water damage to the sanctuary, organ, and Sunday
90 Main Street
Worcester, Massachusetts USA