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    Friday, January 27, 2023

    Making the old new again at St. Ann in Old Lyme

    “On Oct. 8, 1883, was established a Mission at the village of Black Hall in Old Lyme,” as recorded in the Journal of the Diocese of Connecticut. That mission has grown to become Saint Ann’s Episcopal Church, now located at 82 Shore Road.

    On Nov. 17, 1955, ground for the church was broken, a new beginning for the Episcopal Church in Old Lyme. The building was dedicated on Aug. 12, 1956.

    In 1959, the Mission became fully self-supporting and was commissioned a parish. In 1963, additional space was added to house 11 classrooms, a library/meeting room, kitchen and small offices.

    In December 1967, the bell in the tower was dedicated. A choir loft was added in 1974, completing Saint Ann’s building as it is largely configured today.

    There have been many projects and improvements since 1974. In 2013, the Saint Ann’s vestry and its rector, Mark Robinson, began a process to envision the future, an image that ultimately became a capital campaign to “Reflect, Restore, Renew” the church and its functional spaces.

    Improved handicapped access with a terrace entry and Narthex expansion, along with interior painting of the sanctuary, was accomplished as the first phase in April 2019. The summer brought the replacement of all the windows in the church sanctuary with new, energy efficient units.

    The fall of 2019 has brought new technology to the exterior restoration of the church. Deferred maintenance during the project vision and planning stages left an exterior in dire need of professional paint removal and restoration. Saint Ann’s sought the professional services of NEPPCO Painters LLC of Lane, Clinton, the firm that painted the interior of the sanctuary in Phase I.

    Bill Leech of NEPPCO provided the latest technology in paint removal, utilizing a system that returned the exterior wood siding to its original base while removing all the paint. The process also collected all the removed materials for easy disposal, leaving the exterior grounds free of paint debris.

    The resulting wood surface will receive multiple coats of primer and paint.

    Under the direction of its new provisional priest in charge, Anita Schell, Saint Ann’s is looking forward to Phase II in 2020 with the goal of improving its interior spaces, continuing the charge to “Reflect, Restore, Renew.”

    Carol Carlson is a member of St. Ann’s Episcopal Church in Old Lyme.

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