Save the Date for Preserving Religious Properties!

March 15, 2013

St LawrenceOn Saturday, April 13th, WHALE and our partners are sponsoring a daylong program, Preserving Religious Properties: A Practical Workshop for Caretakers of Older and Historic Churches and Synagogues.  The workshop will feature training on fundraising for repair and restoration of religious buildings and on conducting building assessments, prioritizing repairs, and making buildings more energy efficient.

Keynoting the day will be A. Robert Jaeger, Co-founder and President of Partners for Sacred Places.  Partners is the national, non-sectarian nonprofit dedicated to the sound stewardship and active community use of America’s older religious properties.  Their work over 25 years has been extraordinarily inspiring and compelling in its advocacy of the broad value that churches and synagogues bring to their communities.  Jaeger’s keynote address, The Halo Effect of Sacred Places:  Preserving Architecture and Community Value, will offer inspirational and practical proven ideas for congregations and parishes.

Presenters on the nuts and bolts of preserving historic religious buildings are architect Martha Werenfels, AIA LEED AP and contractor Rob Cagnetta who chairs the national Preservation Trades Network.  Martha is principal in the Providence-based architecture firm, Durkee, Brown, Vivieros & Werenfels.  Rob heads Heritage Restoration, Inc. and SuperGreen Solutions.  Each has extensive experience in renovating older religious buildings.

The afternoon’s session, Finding Funds for Building Repair and Restoration, will feature three presenters.  They are Gianfranco Grande, Vice President for Philanthropy and Business Development at Partners for Sacred Places; the Reverend David Hammett, Pastor of New Bedford’s Pilgrim United Church of Christ; and Ross Dekle of the Massachusetts Historical Commission.

WHALE’s partners in the day are the City of New Bedford, the Interchurch Council of Greater New Bedford, and the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park.  Sponsors include the Historic Preservation Education Foundation, Partners for Sacred Places and the New Bedford Preservation Society.

WHALE Members will receive the workshop brochure and be able to register for the program.  The cost is $10, which includes lunch.  Online registration is also invited: .  Members are encouraged to invite friends and family members who are involved with their churches.