COSHOCTON − A downtown Coshocton church recently received a facelift just in time for a high profile visit.
The Rt. Rev. Mark Hollingsworth, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio, will visit Trinity Episcopal Church of Coshocton on Sunday. While not the direct reason for the visit, he does come soon after some exterior remodeling to the building.
"We were do for a visit anyway, but he's very anxious to see what we've done," said Senior Warden Kathy Thompson.
She said congregation members noticed some chunks of concrete on the front steps about three to four months ago. It was determined they fell from the exterior of the building just through general wear and tear of the elements and age. Thompson doesn't believe any exterior work had been to the building since the late 1950s when ivy was removed and damage repaired. The cross on top of the church was also falling apart, she said.
"We had to rope off the front steps and use the backdoor. We were afraid, with chunks of concrete coming down somebody would get it on the head," Thompson said.
Quality Masonry Company of Marion replaced the cross, completed exterior repairs and painted the building a bright white. The cost was $77,000 and came from an endowment fund at the Coshocton Foundation established for church needs. The project took about six weeks.
"Several people said after they saw the Facebook posts, 'We had to drive by,'" Thompson said of public response to the work.
Excluded from work was the parish hall at the back, which was erected in 1957. While the main church building dates to 1911, Trinity Episcopal was established in Coshocton in 1878.
Services are at 10 a.m. Sundays with rotating pastors from other Episcopal Churches in the region. A coffee hour follows. The congregation numbers about 40. In the past, they've helped to establish Community Hospice and First Step Family Violence Intervention Services and funded a room at Hope Clinic.
"We have a small congregation, but very welcoming," Thompson said. "Throughout history we've been very involved in the community."
They also consider themselves part of downtown and are happy to see the revitalization of Main Street over the last few years with new businesses opening and buildings remodeled. Their work just adds to that upswing.
"We feel this is a positive step," Thompson said.
Leonard Hayhurst is a community content coordinator and general news reporter for the Coshocton Tribune with close to 15 years of local journalism experience and multiple awards from the Ohio Associated Press. He can be reached at 740-295-3417 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @llhayhurst.
This article originally appeared on Coshocton Tribune: Coshocton Trinity Episcopal brightened by exterior work