On Sunday, 6 January 2019, the unified service concluded with a ceremonial exit from the nave. This is the last service in the nave until Palm Sunday when the newly restored nave will again be ready to receive its congregation. As the congregation exited, they were asked to pick up a hymnal or hymnals, a prayer book or prayer books, and take them to awaiting bins in the Great Hall. The Great Hall will be our primary worship space while the nave is being cleaned, painted, and restored.

That work began immediately the next day. Faucher Organ sent a team to remove and securely store the organ pipes, and to cover the organ box containing electronics of our digital-hybrid organ. At the same time, Fraser Ruwet and his team began to painstakingly disassemble the pews. The pews will be stored by Moore Painting and later cleaned and lightly restored.

The pews are well over 100 years old, the wood is dry and fragile, the original nails from another era. Removing them is a slow process. When Johanna, our Junior Warden, stopped by to ask how the work was proceeding, the response was, “We are relearning patience.” That was so nice to hear. She and we were reassured that their task was not “just another job.”

Soon, the nave will be closed and sealed during cleaning. This is necessary because the old paint contains lead. During that time, we have asked the painters/cleaners to take photos so we can vicariously follow the teams’ progress. Meanwhile, the accompanying photos show some of the work described above.