Old churches buildings like ours are beautiful and carry history in their structure and art. They also carry significant and necessary maintenance costs. We constantly evaluate the repair and replacement options for the various systems we have. In a short time we will be repairing and replacing our sound system in the church. As many of you have noticed there are several issues to address: the portable microphones are failing, the system is vulnerable to radio interference, the microphones and amplification in the choir area are not adequate, some of the connections and wiring have deteriorated, there is an annoying electrical “buzz” emitted by the speakers, there is poor sound quality in the sanctuary area, and the current system is very difficult to maintain and adjust since the original sound engineer has retired.
We expect that with new technology and user friendly equipment that our sound components will work more effectively. There is one addition that we hope to make after this first phase of replacement. We want to put a “hearing loop” in the church. This will enable persons with hearing aids to use a switch on their hearing aid in order to hear much more clearly. We need to do some research on cost and components.
Another item for which we need repair and upgrade is the organ. We did have one minor repair done just last week. We are investigating other repair needs as well as looking into costs and benefits of updating the organ with current digital technology. We will do this only if we can maintain or enhance the sound of the organ and diminish maintenance costs.
There are other areas of concern. For example, in a couple of heavy rainstorms last summer, we had water rushing into the church basement through some sink drains. We are researching what needs to be done. Also, our HVAC roof units for the church are approaching the end of their average lifespan. We want to prepare for replacement and not just wait for an emergency.
One other upgrade – over the years the small space between the parish rectory and the south wall of the Gathering Space has been a hideout for people trying to evade the police or as a place for those who abuse alcohol to drink and sleep. Just last Sunday, at 3:00 a.m., I was awakened to the sound of police arresting a man in that narrow space. We are going to install a fence and gate behind the rectory in order to deter such invasions.
Peace, Fr. Andy