Time has taken its toll on St. Paul's Episcopal Church.
Built in 1885, the historical church building at 340 Locust St., Columbia, has weathered rain, snow and wind for over a century. Faced with a growing list of repairs and a lack of funds, the church is struggling to keep its doors open.
"The most urgent structural repair needing to be done is the roof," says the Rev. Patrick Peters, priest at St. Paul's.
If something isn't done soon, he says, the building will need to be vacated due to safety concerns. He knows the roof protects the structure of the building and church artifacts as well as those who gather for worship. St. Paul's leaking roof affects the interior as well as exterior of the building.
Peters says he's seen a lot of upgrades to the church buildings in his almost 18 years as church rector.
The necessary roof repairs are estimated at $300,000, Peters says. This involves replacing ridge caps, flashings, valleys and gutters on the 135-year-old gabled slate roof. The main problem appears to be the masonry wall under the capstones on the roof peaks which will need to be rebuilt.