HARRISON — Parishioners temporarily forced out of their Main Street church following a Labor Day weekend fire last year will be worshiping there on Easter Sunday.

The 10 a.m. service March 31 will be the first in the United Parish Church of Harrison and North Bridgton since fire heavily damaged the basement kitchen early on Sept. 1, 2012.

Since then, the United Church of Christ congregation has been holding services at the Harrison Fire Station community room.

The sanctuary and basement hall, where the kitchen and Sunday School rooms are, have been painted in cream-colored shades. New framing, insulation, walls and carpeting are completed. New electrical work, including new overhead lights in the basement hall, were also installed.

The final push toward completion began last week as furniture, pew cushions, office equipment and other items were moved back in. Cleaning and last-minute utility work were under way as well.

“My copy machine just came back. I’m very excited,” said Joanne Sullivan, administrative assistant to the Rev. Franklin Anderson. She and others helped unpack boxes that had been stored in a trailer for seven months.

The fire caused heavy damage to the kitchen and smoke damage throughout the building. The cleanup included removing all the ceiling tiles and insulation in the vestry, gutting the kitchen, and cleaning the ceiling in the sanctuary. The pews were washed multiple times to remove soot, and the sanctuary’s stained glass windows and chandeliers were cleaned.

Most of the items that could be salvaged, such as an Art Deco cabinets,  were sent out for cleaning. The pew cushions arrived back wrapped in plastic. Some new furniture had to be purchased to replace unsalvageable items in the lower hall.

The United Parish was formed when the Calvary Community Church of Harrison and the North Bridgton Congregational Church merged. In 2006 the North Bridgton church was sold to Bridgton Academy.

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