FAIR HAVEN: PLAN CALLS FOR RAZING CHURCH

img_3737100809The church, seen here and below in photos from 2009, would be replaced by three homes if a developer’s plan is approved. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

[See update below]

By JOHN T. WARD

fh church 100809 2Five and a half years after congregants celebrated their last mass there, Fair Haven’s Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion could be torn down.

A developer’s plan raze the steepled River Road structure and replace it with it three homes goes before the borough planning board Wednesday night.

fh church 100809 1The original church, seen here, was torn down in the 1960s because of termite damage. (Click to enlarge.)

Monmouth County records show the church, sitting on little more than half an acre at the corner of Church Street, has not yet changed hands. A year after its closing, it was listed for sale at $1.5 million.

The applicant is identified as Kolarsick Builders, of Rumson, and no variances are required, according to the board agenda: FHPB agenda 031115

There was no immediate word on the fate of the memorial garden that held the ashes of 45 deceased parishoners when the church closed.

[UPDATE: The contents of the memorial garden were relocated in April, 2014 to a portion of the cemetery at All Saints Episcopal Church in the Navesink section of Middletown, according to a letter to borough officials from the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey.]

A 2009 redbankgreen article reported that the church was founded in 1883, and a house of worship built on the site had to be torn down in the late 1960s because of termite infestation. Its replacement, designed by the then-pastor, featured a dramatic exposed wood interior roof. Church congregants and other members of the community, including the volunteer fire department, erected the church themselves in 1967.