The steeple of the Wellesley Village Church towers over downtown Wellesley as the sun rises.


Steeple Preservation Project Update – September 21, 2023

September 21, 2023

We are happy to say that the major work on the steeple is complete! After a detailed inspection to the top of the 14 levels of scaffolding of all the exterior surfaces by our “can do” Phil Carens (his co-leader Mark does not go much above 25 feet in the air), we are VERY pleased with the quality of the work. The workmanship exceeds our expectations.

This project involved 17 contractors/vendors/agencies. The level of detailed coordination that was required was extensive. Phil Carens moved his home office to the church for the duration of this project. That directly and positively impacted the quality of the results and the speed at which the project moved. We want to again thank Phil for his work.

We would like to take a moment to give examples of some of the details of this project. The highest level, the light tower, has a decorative, multi-pane window on each side. The windows were not structurally strong enough to prevent flexing in strong wind and this resulted in the window panes breaking. The glass has been repaired and a protective cover put over the windows, so they are not subject to the pressure of the wind.

The clock tower level needed replacement of most of the wood that was at the bottom of each feature on that level. Rainwater accumulated near the bottom of the features, like the clock faces, and accelerated the deterioration of the original wood. All replacement material is artificial material that will not rot. We decided the most cost-effective way to preserve the clock faces for the future was to re-gild the numbers and minute marks. They have all been re-gilded with gold leaf.

Some landscaping was done to prevent older trees from damaging the roof, gutters, and sidewalk. 2 of the 3 large LED spotlights that illuminate the steeple were restored to operation and the third is being repaired.

A bit of related work remains. The base of the columns in front of the sanctuary will be repaired where they have rotted. The bell and light tower levels inside the steeple need to be cleaned. The solar panels will be replaced on the roof in the coming weeks.

We are evaluating our options to determine the best way to preserve and maintain the operation of the clock mechanism inside the steeple.

We are also pleased to report that the teamwork of the primary contractor, our own project managers, and the church staff have brought this project in about $19,000 under the estimate that we budgeted for.

Day or night, when you are in the area, pause and take a moment to look up and enjoy the steeple against the sky.

You can find information and frequently asked questions regarding Wellesley Village Church sustainability topics on our website at: