Church
Church

About


The Church of the Unity, founded and built by Winchendon’s most prominent families, has presided over downtown Winchendon for over 150 years. Now called the Unitarian Universalist Church of Winchendon (UUCW), the building hosts community and religious services.

The ravages of New England weather, time and water have taken their toll on this beautiful structure. Major repairs to the stonework are urgently needed. Set in Stone is the church's capital campaign to raise money for this purpose.

Wear & Tear


A casual walk around the big gray church quickly reveals the damage the granite stonework has suffered from years of wind, sun, rain and extreme temperature changes. Many mortar joints are in a state of disrepair, with the mortar filling either cracked or completely missing. All of this needs to be replaced and/or refilled.

In 2015, UUCW contracted with the engineering firm Structures North of Salem, Massachusetts to conduct a visual survey of the church. They produced a detailed report showing the type and extent of deterioration across the entire building exterior. A color-coded map of their findings is posted here. It shows damage ranging from cracked and missing mortar, to bulging or shifted stones, to cracks in the stones themselves. The damage is scattered throughout the building, with the most severe damage resting in the church tower and front entryway.

Contact Us


UUCW
126 Central St.
P.O. Box 218
Winchendon, MA 01475
Email: info@set-in-stone.org
Phone: (978) 297-0554

News


East Elevation Undergoes Final Repointing
May 4, 2021, 11:00 am - Phase 2 stonework repair continues as Joseph Gnazzo Company Inc. turns their attention back to the main East elevation. Here they are using a bucket lift to do spot repointing on all remaining areas of the East wall. Repointing is the process of renewing the pointing, which is the exterior part of mortar joints. Over time, weathering and decay cause voids in the joints between the granite blocks, allowable undesirable entrance of water. Repointing will ensure a water-tight exterior. As the new mortar ages over time, its color will blend in to match the older mortar.



Northeast Buttress Rebuilt
April 18, 2021, 10:00 am - Joseph Gnazzo Company Inc. of Union, CT has been making terrific progress on Phase 2 stonework repairs. The most significant part of this phase, already completed, involved a complete dismantling and rebuilding of the northeast buttress. Removal of the exterior ashlar granite revealed a dense layer of rock and mortar underneath. Each ashlar stone was numbered and arranged in tandem along the scaffolding deck while the underside was washed and prepared for the rebuild. As one of the masons rather modestly remarked, “It’s somewhat like reassembling a jigsaw puzzle.”



Preservation Works!
March 24, 2021, 3:00 pm - As part of the Massachusetts Preservation Projects Fund grant, we have a new sign gracing our front garden. Designed by Inanna Arthen and built by Joe Sackett, it declares “Preservation Works!” We acknowledge the generous funding by the Massachusetts Historic Commission and the Robinson-Broadhurst Foundation.