Christ ChurchPress release from Christ Episcopal Church

The historic Christ Episcopal Church in Shrewsbury has been awarded two Sandy Disaster Relief Grants. These grants are to fund the preservation, stabilization, rehabilitation, and repair of historic properties damaged by the storm. The full list of 37 such awards was announced recently by the Christie administration.

For Christ Church, one grant is for the church building and surrounding graveyard while the other is for the Rectory. Christ Church was founded in 1702 and the church building was erected in 1769. The oldest gravestone in the graveyard is 1719. The church building, situated at the corner of Broad and Sycamore in Shrewsbury, is on the Federal and State Registers of Historic Places. Built in 1824, the Rectory is on Sycamore Avenue about one quarter mile from the church, and is in the Four Corners Historic district. The Rectory was built in 1824.

The award figure for the church is $150,650; the Rectory amount is $122,930. These awards will enable the parish to repair these structures, and to ensure their greater resilience against future such storms. The applications for the grant were greatly aided by Margaret Westfield of Westfield Associates.

The work aspects include a thorough condition assessment for both sites and this will be followed by appropriate construction elements. For the Church, some of the items identified in the application are raising the outside condenser units, protection of the stained glass windows, repair of gravestones, repairing the bulkhead basement doors, rebuilding the front stoop, and general regarding around the foundation. For the Rectory some important work includes gutter and downspout replacement, removal of failing attic ceiling, mold abatement, wood shutter and storm window repairs, grading and tree removal and pruning.

Robert M. Kelly, Jr., Senior Warden and Parish Historian, notes, “These two historic sites are key elements of our County and State’s amazing history. While we are principally a religious institution with a spiritual mission, we take the stewardship of these sites very seriously. The achievement of our spiritual goals and our historic trust is a huge challenge. This awarding of these funds helps us with the historic preservation work and demonstrates the public sector’s commitment to our country’s proud heritage.”

Mayor and Shrewsbury Historical Society President Donald Burden says, “This generous grant certainly recognizes commitment and dedication of Christ Church members to provide the proper maintenance of these sites thus  insuring their time honored place within  the legacy of Shrewsbury’s ‘Historic Four Corners.’ This investment today will pay dividends of enjoyment and appreciation for all visitors to this special place that remains an integral part of New Jersey’s history.”

State Senator Jennifer Beck notes, ““I’m happy that this historic landmark in Shrewsbury is able to benefit from Sandy Disaster Relief Grants. Christ Church has a rich history in Shrewsbury, and these grant funds will go a long way towards restoring the facilities and protecting them from future disasters.”