Sacred Places Fall 2011 - Page 11

Profile of a Partners for Sacred Places and Save America’s Treasures Grantee: St. Mark’s Episcopal Church St. Mark’s Episcopal Church has a long-standing commitment to community service. The church runs a Saturday Soup Bowl out of its historic building, and has a food cupboard that is open four days a week. In addition to caring for its own historic structure, the congregation has recently taken on the challenge of caring for the historic Church of St. James the Less, which was vacated in 2006. The congregation is working to transform the church into a place of hope for the neighborhood and has started a school in the former parish hall for children of low-income families. St. Mark’s was a participant in New Dollars/New Partners for Your Sacred Place training and in 2010, the church received a $62,500 capital grant from Partners for repairs to masonry on the north facade of the church. This repair had been identified as an issue of high priority in the church’s master plan, but it was also a project that was manageable for the church in terms of both scale and expense. The New Dollars training helped the leadership of St. Mark’s to identify projects that were important yet realistic and achievable. Photo by Jay Blossom. Subsequently, St. Mark’s was the recipient of a Save America’s Treasures (SAT) grant of $700,000 – the highest that SAT awards – for the exterior repair of the church, parish house, and rectory buildings. The Reverend Sean Mullen, St. Mark’s Rector, sees a definite link between St. Mark’s work with Partners and receiving an SAT grant. “What’s crucial to us,” he says, “is the planning process we went through, the preparation of how to work with architects, and the background we got from New Dollars to be able to make a strong case. That’s what was really important for us. It all falls into the rubric of Partners’ approach to fundraising and being the stewards of historic properties. There is no question we picked up a lot of skills and attitudes that prepared us to write a stronger grant application.” The Church of St. James the Less, which was vacated in 2006 and is now cared for by St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. Sacred Places • Fall 2011 • 10