SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The stormy weather from last week inflicted damaged on several communities in western Massachusetts, and stormy weather was the last thing one church in Springfield needed. 22News is working for you with details on the many problems one church is facing.
A sunny Sunday fit for a summer church service is a little more empty than usual at Saint Rachel’s Church in Springfield. That’s because the 100-year-old historical building is in desperate need of repairs that have kept a few parishioners away.
Parts of the roof at Saint Rachel’s are collapsing, the walls slanting, and the pews more easy to move than they should.
Consistent water damages and repairs that haven’t been durable have been the biggest factors creating the church’s current condition. Stormy weather last week made the situation worse.
One parishioner told 22News she fears that the church is starting to lose its parishioners because of these damages.
“We need to bring people back here. And one time we had a large congregation but we no longer do,” said Mary Hodges.
Mary is currently trying to get those parishioners back by raising funds to give the church necessary repairs on its roof, walls, and bathroom. She told 22News that the damages from 3 years ago, which were much less, cost nearly 350-thousand dollars.
Getting these repairs done means getting more people into Saint Rachel’s, especially children, who can use this space as a safe haven from the streets.
“We have way too many guns on the street, way too many killings, and churches are empty. So we want this church to be here, so young people can come in, anyone can come in,” said Robin Hodges.
Their goal of these sisters is to have community programs at St. Rachel’s once again, like dinners and after school programs to keep young adults off the streets. Even during these tougher times, the Hodges sisters are keeping the faith.