What is the scope of the project and what will it cost?
The project includes temporarily removing the roof and bell tower of the St Philip’s Church, securing all structures, moving the structures on non-interstate roads about 100 miles, placing the structures on their new foundation on the Advocate’s site in north Chapel Hill. We have been given an estimate from Blake Moving Company that this will cost $233,000.
The project also includes preparing the Advocate’s site to be a public place of worship and assembly. This requires a significant amount of infrastructure — sewer, sidewalks, grading, parking, HVAC, and more.
We also plan to upgrade the existing house so that we may use it as an office and gathering space. This will include making the gathering spaces, bathrooms, and kitchen fully accessible, as well as adding a deck.
The cost of this site preparation, infrastructure, and preparation of the house for use as office space is an additional estimated $250,000.
What is the timeline for this project?
A timeline for the project is available here.
How big is the church? Will it be big enough for the Advocate congregation?
The nave (worship space) of the church is 25 feet by 45 feet (1125 sq ft). This is about 200 square feet larger that the space we currently rent for worship. We expect the church to seat about 90 people in a flexible configuration. We already have services in the morning and the evening, and we are prepared to add an early morning service and a late evening as needed. This would allow up to 360 people to worship in the church on any given Sunday–more than 5 times the number who worship at the Advocate at present.
St. Philip’s will allow ample room for our congregation to grow and flourish.
What about the site plan? Do we still have the dream for developing north of the pond?
Once we have a larger congregation and a larger base of support, we plan to develop the site as a place of collaborative ministry, with separate structures for retreat, non-profit offices, a residential community, and other centers of compassion, justice and transformation.
Who made the decision to allow The Church of the Advocate have the St. Philip’s Episcopal Church building?
The building is owned by the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. Permission to explore the move was granted by the Bishop of the Diocese, the Rt. Rev. Michael B. Curry. Click here to read Bishop Curry’s statement about the move. There he confirms that the decision to explore this project and allow the move is final.
What will happen to St. Philip’s historic status?
As soon as the building is moved at all from its current location, it will lose its status on the Register of Historic Places. The Advocate may then apply for it to be placed back on the Register. However, it is unlikely that it will be placed on the Register in a different location.
Will the building be moved all in one piece?
No. In order to clear many overhead lines along the way, the roof will be removed and a temporary flat roof will be added. The bell tower will be separated from the main structure and will be moved in two additional pieces. These steps will be painstakingly achieved by Blake Moving Company of Moving Midway [insert hyperlink] fame. Extreme care will be taken to protect the building and preserve its details and architectural integrity. Once it is set on its new foundation, it will be carefully brought up to code, most notably with the addition of insulation, electricity, and most important, accessibility. Planning for this stage is already underway.
How can I support this project?
Help us tell the story and help us fund the project. Visit the website often for updates and activities connected with the project. To make a donation, click here.