Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

St. Charles Church refurbishment to proceed this summer

the Inland Register

(From the April 21, 2016 edition of the Inland Register)

All appears on track for St. Charles Parish, Spokane, to go ahead with a major refurbishing of its church this summer.

In early April, a capital campaign for the project was nearing its $220,800 goal of cash and pledges of future payments needed to place orders with contractors.

The project will involve repairing and painting the walls and ceilings of the church, installing new carpet throughout, and installing 68 new pews and six matching chairs. The chairs will be located in an area designed for wheelchairs or other devices for persons with disabilities. Chairs will provide seating for those accompanying persons with disabilities. New pews of red oak with wooden backs and cushioned seats will be a bit shorter in length, allowing for wider side aisles in the church.

The work will mean closing the main church for several weeks following the end of the St. Charles School year and the Altar Society’s large annual garage sale June 25. Summer church services will be in the parish hall, bringing “remembering the past” to older parishioners: The parish hall was the site of St. Charles Church for several years – up to late 1960, when the present church was opened.

The church renovation is part of a larger, three-year capital campaign begun in the winter of 2014. Its initial objective was extensive reroofing of all parish buildings, some of which were in extremely poor condition and required more work than estimated. Upon completion in 2014, the roof project’s end cost was nearly $600,000, leaving fewer dollars for the church restoration. In January this year, the parish launched a mini-campaign to raise at least $75,800 in additional funds to get the church work underway.

If extra funds are raised or left over from the painting, pews, and carpeting jobs, they will be used for further needs in the church, such as repairing the main doors, which are adorned with 12 torch-fired enamel panels which tell the story of Jesus’ life. The panels were created by noted local artist Harold Balazs, who also created several other pieces at the church.

Replacement of broken colored glass panels and improvements to the sound system are other needs.

Several pews in the back of the church have been removed and sold. The rest will remain through June under present plans. Interest in purchasing pews has run high since the sale was announced.

Father Tom Connolly, pastor, has described the project as restoring the noted church to its once glorious state. Unusual in design, the church has drawn the interest of architects from around the country. The saddle-like roof made of concrete and reinforced steel is a design technically called a hyperbolic-paraboloid, since it is held up only by its two points touching the ground.

The parish is still taking pledges for the restoration effort. Checks may be made out to St. Charles Capital Campaign and sent to the church at 4515 N. Alberta, Spokane 99205.

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