NEWRY — The remaining three board members of the little Newry Community Church, citing difficulty in paying bills, are asking the town to take over the building on Route 26 in North Newry.
Member Sylvia Gray met with selectmen Wednesday to make the request. She said most of the church members have passed away.
Gray estimated the church was built in the late 1800s or early 1900s, and she said it is still in good shape. It seats just under 100, but does not have water or bathroom facilities.
Gray said maintenance costs are too much for the use the church sees — mainly occasional weddings and funerals.
A past attempt to revive the church failed, she said. Services had been held weekly decades ago under Pastor Rodney Hanscom, but with the cost of the electric heat in the winter, the gatherings were cut back to warmer weather only and eventually they ended.
Selectmen said they could put the question regarding the church on the warrant for the annual town meeting in March. They asked Gray to have the church board members submit a letter to make their request formal.
“(Taking over the church) would be a way to preserve it,” Board of Selectmen Chairman Gary Wight said.
Gray said she thought the building might qualify for the National Register of Historic Places.
“It’s a very pretty little church,” she said.
The Newry Community Church (Newry Town Office photo)