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At St. John the Apostle, gym becomes a sanctuary, bleachers pews

Mike LeMoine of St. John the Apostle Catholic Church helps secure a piano during the move in May. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

Mike LeMoine of St. John the Apostle Catholic Church helps secure a piano during the move in May. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

BY JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE

RED MILL – For the past several weeks, the faithful at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church have worshiped in the school gymnasium while a sanctuary renovation gets going.

It’s a major project. 

A new ceiling, flooring, sound system and stained glass windows are planned, and it is expected to take months.

To make way for the changes, members of the congregation gathered on a Saturday in May to move pieces of their church into storage in a shopping center just across Sandbridge Road.

Which is how, on a mighty warm day, the Rev. Rob Cole and Mike LeMoine, grand knight of the Knights of Columbus council here, found themselves in the parking lot, under a piano, securing the pedal mechanism before loading it onto a trailer with several other people.

Cole, 51, said the church secured a six month lease at the space, which was a godsend.

“All the pews, everything is all lined up in there,” he said.

Several members of the church joined together to push the piano on the trailer. 

“I don’t think that’s going anywhere,” said Wayne Lombardo of Lago Mar.

“We’re not going far,” said Bob Barcomb of Buckner Farms.

Dozens of pews, close together, filled much of the massive space across the road. The piano, a welcome desk, and other items joined them.

At the school, Jenny Scharf of Christopher Farms showed a visitor to the gymnasium.

Song sheets and prayers rested on the seats of folding chairs and, along one wall, bleachers. A painting of the school mascot decorated the wall behind where Cole would lead Mass. 

“Father said we don’t have a picture of Jesus,” she said, laughing. “We have a stingray.”

The Independent News

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