Greening the Sanctuary and Boston Community Preservation Grant
We raised funds with multiple grants from the Henderson Foundation, the Amelia Peabody Charitable Trust, and the Massachusetts Historical Commission. Individual donors made significant donations, and in 2018 we received $430,000 from the City of Boston’s Community Preservation Commission, allowing us to finish the work on the building’s exterior.
In 2013, we created the Covenant Boston Preservation Project, a non-profit group that created and manages our Open Sanctuary program, opening our beautiful building to visitors and tourists from around the world. The building is open 6 days a week and received 21,500 visitors in 2019. Proceeds from Open Sanctuary ($63,000 to date) support the preservation of the building.
In 2013, the church faced the unanticipated necessity of replacing the crumbling linoleum floor in the sanctuary, which was deemed a health risk because of the exposed asbestos.
As the church faced this life safety repair, we also realized that there was a unique opportunity to replace and upgrade our heating system by installing radiant heat, which is extremely energy efficient and could reduce annual fuel/heating costs by as much as 40%.
This opportunity was not only fiscally wise, but also an important move toward a more efficient and sustainable use of energy. Once again, we were able to raise the funds ($480,000) through private donations, a family foundation and a pledge grant of $50,000 that was matched by congregational donations. The flooring was completed in 2014.
Community Preservation Act (CPA)
In 2016, Boston residents voted to establish the Boston Community Preservation Act, enabling the city to raise funds with a surcharge on local property tax bills. The funds were designated for open space preservation, preservation of historic resources, development of affordable housing, and development of outdoor recreational facilities. The first grants were distributed in 2018, and the Church of the Covenant was in the first round of recipients. When the initial request for proposals went out, we quickly assessed the final list of items for exterior repair/restoration and submitted a proposal. We received a major grant of $430,000, enabling us to complete all major repairs on the exterior of the building.