Church Steeple Presides Over Intersection

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When I am not gnashing my teeth at some clueless driver at the intersection of Mountain and Grand Streets, my eyes often land on the white clapboard church that has stood there since 1839. The West Suffield Congregational Church stands in the middle of the West Suffield Center Village District Association and completes the quintessential scene of a small New England town. And, even if one is not a fan of church or religion, the building itself is a focal point of life in West Suffield.

Photo provided by the author
Glowing in the morning sunlight, the south side of the West Suffield Church is at the right where a row of columns at the entrance welcomes its dedicated parishioners and newcomers.

I am grateful that, unlike in many small towns, the wrecking ball has been held at bay preventing a Pride Station or a Dollar Store from replacing this historic church. And, as long as the church keeps its doors open, passersbys will be spared neon lights blaring in their retinas and ads for donuts and lottery tickets bombarding their views. The church has history and tradition on its side and is well ensconced in its location where it has stood for almost 200 years. All those churchy things have taken place within its plaster walls, and they still do; babies are baptized, couples say their vows, and people are laid to rest at the end of life’s journey. But the journey for this church is far from over.

So, if you are held hostage at the red light, you may have noticed the exterior of the church has slowly started to look a little tired. The folks at WSCC decided it was time to preserve their beloved building. This made sense on all counts as the church is energized with a vibrant pastor, top notch choir and a dedicated group of people who fill up the pews most Sundays. They have hired a crew to make repairs and to paint the steeple and the front of the church. So now when you are stopped at that light on some steamy summer day, maybe the work being done will remind you of a special building near your childhood home, whether it is here in town or across the ocean. And perhaps the thought of that barn or shoe repair shop or vintage movie theater will bring a smile to your face. And just maybe someone is looking after that building so that when you head back, you have a stronger sense of home.

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