St. John the Baptist Church in Manayunk, also known as “Manayunk’s Cathedral,” is calling on its parishioners and local community members to help raise $1 million to repair the crumbling façade of the building.
Officials with the church raised concerns over the building’s decaying features, like the steeple and roof, in 2014 and have continued to campaign for more funds to restore the historic site.
“This is about restoring not just a building, but a community,” Monsignor Kevin Lawrence said. “This is a place we look to for a great future.”
The St. John the Baptist parish, which merged with St. Mary of the Assumption Church in July 2012, lost more than $142,000 last fiscal year.
Leaders of the campaign are optimistic about the restoration, but are quick to remind churchgoers that the task ahead is large.
“This is a major capital campaign,” said Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia’s Scott Bucko, who has been charged with leading the campaign. “This is not a ‘second collection’ where you might drop in five dollars.”
The church and social hall will remain open during renovations, Lawrence said. With winter quickly approaching, the church is hoping to complete construction by February.
The $1 million campaign is phase one in a two-part approach to restoring the building. The second phase will look at repairs like fixing stained glass and painting the interior.