St. Catherine’s raising funds for new church building

CHELSEA – St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church of Chelsea is beginning its capital stewardship campaign, called “Growing in Christ,” to raise funds for a new church building.

“We are finally ready to start thinking about our new church building,” Rev. Eric Mancil said. “We believe that this will enrich not only our lives, but the lives of those in the community as well.”

According to Mancil, the campaign will give parish members and other members of the community the opportunity to pledge a certain amount of money to the church over the course of three years. The goal of the campaign is to raise $1.2 million.

Mancil said the new building will be erected at the intersection of Shelby County 39 and King’s Home Drive, on the 20-acre plot of land that St. Catherine’s already owns. There is currently a church sign there where updates are posted.

“I know some people have been confused because there’s a sign there, but there’s no church,” Mancil said.

Currently St. Catherine’s is renting a building on Shelby County 39 from a church across the street, and has been meeting there for the past 10 years.

“Even though we all love our little white church building, we as a family need a facility we can grow and spread out in to do God’s work,” church member Sylvia Rath said.

According to Mancil, the projected dates have not currently been set for the building’s construction or completion.

“That’s going to depend on the success of the campaign, and working with our architects” Mancil said.

Church member Jane Keeton said raising funds for the church might be challenging, but will enable St. Catherine’s to serve the community at a higher capacity.

“The capital campaign we are embarking upon presents an exciting challenge for us,” Keeton said. “Its successful completion will enable us to build the facility from which we will grow our church and continue to share its mission.”

While St. Catherine’s originally started out small, member Jay Jerman said the new building will allow the church to follow in the footsteps of other churches and create a larger presence in the community.

“St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Birmingham and Asbury United Methodist Church in Birmingham both started small years ago and are now thriving,” Jerman said. “Now, it’s our turn. It’s up to us to dig deep and make this dream a reality.”

Mancil said potential donors will be able to find out more about the campaign at a parish-wide dinner at the Chelsea Community Center on Feb. 23. Some invitations have already been sent to those connected to the church, but Mancil said other community members are welcome to contact St. Catherine’s to attend as well.

Parishoners will also be able to make donations and pledges at the church’s Commitment Sunday service on Feb. 25.