RUMSON: TEMPERATURES ON THE RISE

rumson church 061015 2Workers atop the First Presbyterian Church of Rumson Wednesday. Roofwork could be particularly challenging Thursday, when temperatures are expected to peak at around 92 degrees, according to the Weather Channel. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: STEEPLE STABLE, WEDDING’S ON

tower hill 110713Quick work by contractors and inspectors led to the reopening of the church Friday morning. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The landmark First Presbyterian Church at Tower Hill in Red Bank was back to doing the Lord’s work Friday morning following a 10-day shutdown triggered by a dicey steeple.

That means Sunday services will be held, dozens of students will return to their school and – most pressing – a wedding will go off as planned Friday evening.

The bride-and-groom-to-be, whose names were not disclosed, held a rehearsal Thursday night at their fallback sanctuary, the United Methodist Church on Broad Street, “but tonight they’ll be having their wedding here,” Tower Hill spokeswoman Karen Gyimesi tells redbankgreen.

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RED BANK: STEEPLE CRACK SHUTS CHURCH

tower hill 1 103013The 61-year-old steeple, which rises to 128 feet from the ground, has a failing timber inside, a church official says.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

tower hill 2 103013A cracked timber in the steeple has forced the temporary closure of the landmark First Presbyterian Church at Tower Hill in Red Bank.

Borough officials ordered the church and an adjoining school closed Tuesday morning after structural engineers could not rule out a catastrophic collapse of the 70-foot tall steeple, said construction official Stanley Sickels.

“In these situations, you either get to see it before it collapses or after,” he said. “There’s no way of knowing” what might trigger a failure.

The discovery prompted the shutdown of the Tower Hill School, as well as the relocation of Sunday services and community group meetings that serve hundreds of congregants and visitors each week, church property manager Rob Wallman tells redbankgreen. It could also derail a wedding planned for next week.

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RED BANK: STEEPLE RISING

The cross atop St. James Church in Red Bank Catholic Church is back after six months of rehabilitation. Among other repairs, the replacement of the old cross, which was damaged by a violent wind storm, should be finished by September, said a church business manager Veronica Alexander. (Photos by Dan Natale. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: SCAFFOLD TO THE HEAVENS

A workman adjusts the protective netting on a scaffold surrounding the steeple of Saint James Church on Broad Street in Red Bank Wednesday.

He and his colleagues from Arthur Vincent & Sons Contracting have been at work on the steeple since early January. Among their aims: replacing the cross, which was blown off in an August windstorm, a church official says.  (Photos right and below by Dan Natale. Click to enlarge)

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