Ewing Presbyterian Church sanctuary to get another engineering study
News from the Administrative Commission (AC), appointed last year by the New Brunswick Presbytery to examine the issues that divide the congregation of 1st Presbyterian Church of Ewing: the AC has decided to undertake an independent engineering assessment of the historic 1867 stone sanctuary, the future of which has bitterly divided congregation, clergy and the church’s governing body.
In an open letter to the congregation posted on the church website, the AC describes a “communication impasse … (that) has made it impossible for (the congregation) to sort through the difficult issues.” For many church members, the stone sanctuary is “a sacred space resonant with meaning,” while it is less important to others.
An independent engineering analysis, PNJ believes, will confirm what we and many design and structural experts have long held: the landmark church building is not in imminent danger of failure and is, in fact, repairable at relatively minimal cost. As Aaron Wunsch, Lecturer in Architectural History at the Program in Historic Preservation at the University of Pennsylvania and an expert on Ewing Church architect J.C. Sidney, wrote recently “I’d be surprised if one of his buildings had structural problems. Sidney billed himself first and foremost as a civil engineer.”
The careful and thoughtful work of the Administrative Commission and its latest decision gives renewed hope for a happy preservation solution for 1st Presbyterian Church of Ewing. Visit the church website to download a copy of the (4th) letter to the congregation.
Donate now to the Ewing Church fund to help preserve this landmark!
See press coverage here