Fundraising Campaign Seeks to Restore Church Steeple Components

Grace Allen
Issue Date: 
April, 2019
Article Body: 

The Federated Church in Norfolk center is arguably the most distinctive structure in town, but the steeple’s clocks no longer work and the bell needs repairs. As the church approaches its 225th anniversary, it is embarking on a fundraising campaign to fix these components, and update the carillon system, too.
According to the Rev. Scott Cousineau, the church’s pastor, ongoing renovation work on the church revealed inadequate wiring in the steeple, and damage to the bell’s cradle from the carillon’s old-style speakers, which had been wedged against the bell. The clocks have been damaged by the New England weather.
Rev. Cousineau, who became pastor in 2007, says long-time church members cannot remember when the bell used to ring regularly. Last Easter, a church member climbed up into the steeple and hit the bell with a mallet as the sunrise service came to a close.
“It is our desire to bring the steeple back so that people can enjoy the bell, enjoy the carillon music, and tell the correct time by the clocks,” said Rev. Cousineau.
It will cost close to $20,000 to repair the bell and the clocks, and another $10,000 for an electronic carillon system.
The church was settled in 1795, and the current structure was built in 1832. In the last ten years, a new roof was put on the building, most of the wiring was brought up to code, and a new kitchen was installed. The sanctuary will be repainted this summer. All that remains is the steeple project.
“The church is such an iconic building, visible to everyone as they drive through the town center, and I really want to restore the steeple so it’s something the church family and the town can be proud of,” said Rev. Cousineau. “Even if they are not members of the church, a lot of people have shared that they think fondly of the structure, and have enjoyed the music from the carillon.”
He added, “There’s an inscription on the bell that says something like ‘May the tones of this bell call the people to worship.’ And so we want that bell to ring once again, and call the people to worship.”
Contact the church office at 508-528-0262 or email the Rev. Cousineau at [email protected] for more information about the fundraising campaign or to make a donation.