Increase our visibility in the greater community and the diversity of our congregation
We want St. James’s to be known as a place where interesting and meaningful things happen. To achieve this programmatically, we would like to be able to host cultural, social, musical and literary events such as organ & choral recitals, discussions around social justice and Christian education offerings. These improvements will also make our facilities more attractive for facilities rental, increasing funding available for future projects and programming.
The Dining Room and Parish Hall will be refreshed, including new audiovisual equipment, paint, energy efficient lighting, flooring, storage and new HVAC in the Parish Hall, where asbestos issues will also be resolved.
The Parish Room and attached Kitchenette will also be updated to make the space more functional to provide excellent meeting and small dining options.
Encourage continued youth engagement in the life of our parish
Refreshed youth space will be available for many programs including youth events, tutoring and job counseling for youth and teens as well as inter-generational programming.
Continue the tradition of glorifying God through extraordinary music and liturgy
Work to repair the organ is now imperative. In addition, improved lighting in the sanctuary will make it feasible to continue our long-standing tradition of inspiring liturgy as well as our ability to host major musical events, such as last year’s performance of Mozart’s Requiem. Current lighting makes reading music and service bulletins difficult.
The organ will be rebuilt, the Sanctuary painted and new energy efficient lighting will be installed, as well as flexible LED lighting to replace the existing cove and soffit lighting. A control system will allow for a variety of lighting options.
Ensure Parish House is welcoming and accessible to all
St. James’s must be welcoming to all, and accessible to people with disabilities, wheelchair users and the elderly.
Expand outreach, feeding programs and dining events
We want to partner with West Hartford and Hartford non-profits to create new outreach opportunities and expand our feeding programs. Our main kitchen is currently not up to health codes, and as such we are very limited as to the programs we can run out of that kitchen.
The Kitchen will be brought up to health code standards, including removal of some cabinets and equipment, modification of existing stainless steel counters, and the additional of a new five foot gas range, code compliant hood system, freezer, three bay sink, hand sink, microwave, countertops, base and wall cabinets, dishwasher booster and instant hot water tank, new lighting, paint, and energy-efficient glass block windows in west wall.
An accessible unisex restroom will be created on the main floor. This will require reworking the parish office, and corridor. The existing bathrooms on all three levels will be refreshed to make them more welcoming. In addition, the existing doors in the Parish House are all starting to break and cannot be repaired. They are laminated and original to the building. We will replace all interior doors with solid wood doors with easily maneuvered levers.