At the end of March 2011, the Town of Chapel Hill approved the Advocate’s request for minor modification of its Special Use Permit, kicking off phase II of our Strength to Strength campaign, which focuses on restoration and renovation of the historic St. Philip’s church to be a place for worship, contemplation, and the arts, and renovation of the existing house structure on the Advocate’s site as an office and gathering space and
Below you can read about:
The History of the Project
The Advocate began in 2003 without land or a building of its own and has lived a nomadic life since, with liturgy and fellowship taking place in a series of rented locations. In January 2011, the Advocate closed on 15 acres of land off Homestead Road in Chapel Hill—a major milestone in our quest for a home—with plans to demolish the existing house on the property and build a small new worship and welcome center.
Then in late October 2011, the Historic Properties Commission of the Diocese realized that St. Philip’s Church in Germanton, long without an active congregation, no longer had an organized committee to tend it. Plans were in the works to sell the building as well as the land on which it stands. Determined to save the church building and restore it to its original purpose as a consecrated place of worship, the Commission contacted the the Advocate in Chapel Hill, a church with plans to build a small worship space on the land acquired earlier in the year, but without the means to begin that building.
Thus began the process of discovering whether and how the historic church building could be moved from Stokes County to Orange County. What seemed at first like a long shot has become a serendipitous blessing.
Historic St. Philip’s will provide a warm space for worship, contemplation, small concerts, and plays and allow the Advocate to be free of paying rent for the first time in its existence. Most important, it will be a center for the Advocate’s hospitality to all.
What It Will Take—and How You Can Help
Infrastructure required to meet town code (providing accessibility, parking, sewer and sidewalk) and to upgrade of the existing house on the site so it can be used for office, fellowship, and meetings will cost an additional $500,000.
In other words, we will reuse and bring new life to two buildings, rather than tearing down one to build another. The total cost of the project is roughly $750,000.This is a lot of money for our small church. To complete this project we will need the support of friends.
We bid your prayers for wisdom, discernment, patience, and a spirit of generosity. You can learn more about how to support the project financially, including by donating online, by clicking the button below.
If you’re interested in details about the project, we encourage you to check out our frequently asked question (FAQ) page, as well as the anticipated timeline for the project. For a taste of the quiet beauty of the historic church, see more photos of St. Philip’s.
Information about the project is appearing in various media outlets. Below are links for accessing some of the pieces publicly available online:
A Church Building with history but no congregation moves to Chapel Hill: News and Observer, October 21, 2012. Richard Stradling
If you are led to support the project financially, you can find out how on our donate page.
Donating Online—and Off
You can make a secure online donation via credit card or PayPal. We also gladly take offline donations.
In the News