Plans to rebuild Somers Congregational Church moving forward - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Plans to rebuild Somers Congregational Church moving forward


Work continues on an old church in Somers that was destroyed by a fire in January 2012.

The Congregational Church stood as a landmark in the center of town for more than 170 years before it was destroyed by a fire on New Year's Day 2012. 

"I was already thinking that we needed to get the people together the next day," said the Rev. Dr. Barry Cass.

Almost immediately, plans were formed to rebuild.

"There was never any doubt that we would need to put something back up," Cass said.

The rebuilding is well under way with enough of the steel in place to get a sense of scale of the church.

"Our next stage is just to get the completion of the steel structure by the end of next week with weather permitting," Cass said.

He added that the new complete structure will be steel and concrete with only the interior trim work being wood.

"It seemed for so long like nothing was happening," Cass said.  "And now, day by day, we see more rising up."

One concern of parishioners Eyewitness News learned was if the new building have the same feel as the old one .

Efforts are being made to accomplish that, although virtually nothing of the original structure was saved.

"Everything basically in the old meeting house was destroyed. We did manage to salvage a few of the beams," Cass said. "And we're going to use those to create the top of the communion table and the cross in the front of the sanctuary."

Cass said one of the most gratifying things about the whole tragedy has been the support he's received from the congregation, the town and beyond.

"We've heard from churches and individuals from all over the country," Cass said. "People have sent checks. People have sent cards."

The hope is that the new structure will fit seamlessly into the site of the original and serve as a centerpiece as well as a symbol.

"It's in the middle of the town and pretty much as you drive into town from any direction, you could see the steeple," Cass said.

The new bell for the church is due to arrive in a few weeks and will be placed in the belfry.

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