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


Scaffolding Goes Up for Phase 2
March 22, 2021, 11:00 am - The spring thaw is in full swing and the scaffolding is out! This morning Joseph Gnazzo Company Inc. of Union, CT arrived bright and early and began assembling the complex scaffolding over the East face of the church tower. This will be in place throughout the next several weeks as they repair bulging and cracked stones, and replace many areas that are missing mortar.


Contract Awarded for Phase 2
November 8, 2020, 3:00 pm - UUCW received bids from three masonry firms for our proposed Phase 2 repairs. After careful consultation with Structures North Consulting Engineers and the Massachusetts Historical Commission, we awarded the contract to Joseph Gnazzo Company Inc. of Union, CT. We are well acquainted with Gnazzo as they had ably performed our Phase 1 repairs in Fall 2019 and Spring 2020.
Phase 2 repairs will complete the remainder of the East elevation face and then begin earnest work on the church tower, which is in the greatest need of repair. We’ll be working on the East tower face, including the clock spire, and Northeast buttress (shown below). The buttress work will require dismantling and resetting some of the very large support stones.

We are patiently awaiting the arrival of warmer weather and are at the top of Gnazzo’s Spring schedule to begin work. Watch for the arrival of the tell-tale scaffolding!

Invitation to Bid Posted for Phase 2
September 10, 2020, 10:00 am - Legal ads for our Phase 2 masonry repairs were published today in the Gardner News, the Worcester Telegram and the Winchendon Courier. The official ad reads as follows:

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Winchendon, a.k.a. The Church of the Unity, 126 Central Street, Winchendon, MA, requests bids for masonry repair of their 1866 granite building which is listed in the State Register of Historic Places.
The project is being partially funded with a grant from the Massachusetts Preservation Projects Fund through the Massachusetts Historical Commission. All work must be performed in accordance with the documents prepared by Structures North Consulting Engineers Inc., 60 Washington Street, Salem, MA 01970 (Telephone 978-745-6817) and meet the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. State law prohibits discrimination. Awarding of this contract is subject to Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity guidelines. A copy of bidding documents may be obtained by writing or telephoning John Wathne, Principal Engineer, at the above address.
A pre-bid meeting will be held at the church on September 22, 2020 at at 10:00 AM.
Bids shall be evaluated on the basis of price, previous experience with similar types of construction projects, ability to perform the work in a timely manner, and references. All bids must be delivered to the engineer’s office at the above address prior to September 30, 2020 to be eligible for consideration and all of the grant-funded work must be completed by June 30, 2021.