A church in Sedalia that is older than the state of Colorado has a special place in the hearts of the few dozen people who worship there.

So much so that when grant money from the State Historical Fund didn’t arrive to help finish vital improvements to the 145-year-old St. Philip-in-the-Field Episcopal church, parishioners and community members stepped up and volunteered their time, money and expertise to get the job done.

“Our grant was actually approved, but there was no money to fund it, so we proceeded on our own,” said Janet Fullmer, who has been vicar of St. Philip-in-the-Field for three years. “But the thing that was really good about the way this worked out — even though we had to pick up the ball financially — is that it was done with an awful lot of physical, hands-on work from volunteers. It had a very old-fashioned feeling of people coming together in good spirits and lending a hand.”

The white church at 397 S. Perry Park Road sits on top of a hill in the center of the historic Bear Canon Cemetery. There, six or more generations of St. Philip-in-the-Field communicants are buried in front of a range of blue mountains.

But the little church, built in the spring of 1872 by pioneers and early settlers of Douglas County, had gone decades without significant attention or structural updates. An initial round of renovations began about 16 years ago.

“In 2001, the parish did this huge renovation to install a brand new foundation under the building, replace all the siding and put a new roof on,” Fullmer said. “But there were a lot of repairs that still had to be done after that.”

The parish received a grant of about $180,000 from the State Historical Fund to complete the structural work, but the church still needed new windows, paint, interior wood treatment and restoration, as well as electrical upgrades.

“We didn’t get the grant to help out this time, so we hired a contractor, and we paid them about $33,000,” said Sedalia resident and church member Cory Peters. “We all had to dig into some of our savings to pay for it, but we felt like we had to get the project finished.”

Peters helped organize more than 20 parishioners to go to St. Philip-in-the-Field five or six days a week to help finish the remaining work. He used his extensive construction background to …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – News

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Sedalia parishioners volunteer to renovate 145-year-old church after funding falls through

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