Roger Zimmer • Property Manager

A collage of building projects at Derry Church in the past year. Left: rebuilding the stone wall around the cemetery. Center: lumber from cedar trees removed from the cemetery and the installation of new lights in Fellowship Hall. Right: headstone repair.

I have been blessed with an active committee and members who bring their knowledge and skills to constantly improve and maintain our beautiful church.

Since last years’ update article, we have been very busy. A short list includes managing the building needs and working with contractors to install the new organ, repainting the Chapel exterior doors and the exterior of the church’s garage near the railroad tracks, replacing the broken glass on the south side of the Session House’s glass enclosure, fixing and painting three rooms including the church secretary’s office, the office now used by Sue George,  and the Heritage Room inside room 6.

Our maintenance team has changed with the retirement of Jeff Miller as custodian after many years here at Derry Church. That position has been filled by Josh Pearson who is bringing his energy, knowledge and personality to the team. We are lucky to have him constantly moving throughout the whole property checking for issues, fixing and cleaning where needed, and then working on the ongoing list supplied by staff and others.  

Here’s a list of a few of the larger, ongoing items the committee and I have been planning for, working on and constantly monitoring:

  • Planning for the 300th anniversary revealed some long-term maintenance and repairs were needed for our cemetery. A specialty contractor has been here repairing and resetting damaged and fallen headstones. I am also working with the stone masonry contractor on removing and rebuilding approximately 150 feet of the  stone wall that was close to falling over. This work should have the cemetery in very good condition for a very very long time. Take a look over the stone wall next time you’re at the church – I think you’ll be very pleased with progress made to date.
  • The stone work in the cemetery required removal of several old spruce trees and two memorial Dawn Redwoods. The largest parts of the redwoods were taken to a sawmill and cut into lumber. Portions will be made into benches by church members: the benches will be placed in the cemetery. There is much extra wood to be used later, and the mill generously donated all their work to the church.
  • The second phase of the lighting project is under way as we improve the lighting and reduce the operating cost with long-lasting LED fixtures. 
  • Later this year we will replace the rest of the spouting on the north and west sides of the building. This will improve drainage away from the building and prevent spouting from filling with leaves from our beautiful trees, and reduce annual and long-term maintenance costs.

We are also working on the building most people know as the Scout House. A small part of a stone wall is being repaired before it falls in, and some exterior wood is being repaired before the exterior is painted. 

I would like to thank the many members that we see very often doing so many things around the church, even without being asked.