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CTMHV’s Bethel United roof project started

- funds still needed to complete the project -


Volunteers with the Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village spoke with representatives of London Eco-Metal Manufacturing about roof options for the Museum’s 1885 Bethel United Church last Friday morning. 

by Sylene Argent

Last Friday morning, contractors with London Eco-Metal Manufacturing visited the Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village (CTMHV) to take a peek at the cedar shingle roof on the 1885 Bethel United Church, which is housed onsite. The roof is in desperate need of replacement.

  Earlier this winter, staff and volunteers with the local Museum noticed the roof needed replacing as it was causing leak damage to the historical church, which was originally built on the corner of Arner Townline and the 6th Concession.

  The church has been onsite at the local Museum sine 1978. At that time, the women’s group donated the building as it was no longer in use. The Elford family began building the structure for worship in 1883.

  The CTMHV applied for, but was unsuccessful, in garnering a Trillium Grant, valued at around $95,000, that would have allowed for an interior and exterior restoration. Using GoFundMe, the CTMHV solicited funding from the community to replace the roof on the Bethel United Church, and to repair some internal damage the leaky roof caused.

  Mickey Moulder, Vice Chairperson of the CTMHV, said since the Museum began collecting funds for the restoration project earlier this winter, over $7,000 has been raised of the $40,000 goal. With the need to repair imminent, some of the museum’s volunteers have put funds forward to bridge the funding gap until the remainder of the needed dollars are collected to ensure the repair work is done as soon as possible.

  The cedar shingles currently on the Bethel United Church will be replaced with a metal roof, which museum volunteers noted was a material available when the church would have been originally constructed.

  Volunteers with the CTMHV chose London Eco-metal Manufacturing as they said the company, realizing the work was being done for a non-profit, offered the lowest tender. To help save on costs on the project, volunteers will also clean up after the repairs have been completed.

  The Bethel United Church serves many purposes for the Museum. It is used as part of the Education Program, where thousands of students get a hands-on history lesson every year, and it is also used for events. Around 20 weddings are also hosted inside the facility each year.

  Those who would like to donate can visit https://www.gofundme.com/ctmhv. Members of the community can also make a donation at the Museum during regular business hours. An in-person donation could allow for the issuance of a tax receipt.

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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