MECHANIC FALLS — The Mission Committee of the Anglican Church of America’s Northeast Diocese is proposing to establish a church in the former First Congregational Church on Elm Street, it was announced Wednesday.

The proposal will be presented to the Town Council at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3, in the municipal building.

Members of the Mechanic Falls Historical Society met with members of the Mission Committee on Wednesday evening to discuss its proposal to establish an Anglican Mission Church in the building that serves as the society’s headquarters.

The details of the proposal are a work in progress. However, Mission Committee member Barry Vaill said their vision very much includes keeping the building as a repository of the town’s history.

“We absolutely love the building,” Vaill said. “We’re tremendously excited about it.”

“The Historical Society has been struggling; we don’t want to lose the building,” Nancy Petersons said as society members voiced support for the proposal.

The Town Council has been in a quandary over how and whether the town can afford to maintain the 160-year-old former church at 64 Elm St. A few years ago, when the congregation disbanded and gave the town the building, the society took it over as a repository for its collection of records and artifacts with the understanding that it would maintain it. However, the society hasn’t been able to generate the money to do so.

Last month, the town put up $1,800 to replace the oil tank.

At the council’s Sept. 6 meeting, councilors bandied about six-figure estimates to put the building in proper condition.

The situation caused Councilor Nick Konstantoulakis to say, “I’d hate to see this fall on our watch.”

That night it seemed it just might.

That changed in the past couple of weeks when Vaill met with Historical Society activists Jim Craig and Eriks Petersons, resulting in the Mission Committee’s proposal.

The Diocese of the Northeast includes parishes in New England and New York State.

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