- Date completed: February 2016
- Overall project cost: $1,276,600
- 3,950 sq. ft. construction
- 5,350 sq. ft. renovation
- Development of a new community outreach center that serves multiple ministries including youth, adults, large and small group ministries, and preschool activities
- Reconfiguration of entrance into fully functioning lobby
- New administrative offices
Holy Family Episcopal Church in Fishers, Indiana, a white-sided, steepled church with a signature Episcopal red door, recently underwent a renovation of nearly the entire church. The project signifies the congregation’s commitment to reach into the community and make the church a welcoming place for all.
“Holy Family was constructed a certain way to meet ministry needs at the time it was originally built,” says Father Galvin, the church rector. “Our needs have changed, and we’ve outgrown the space. Our mission is different than when the building was first built. We’re outward focused and need to evangelize. We want to reach into the community and provide space for people in the area to use our church.”
“We now realize that people hang out longer after services because people have space to linger in….”
Pastor Brian Coffey, Senior Pastor
Since renovating their church, Holy Family has seen a boost in membership, especially with young families. “We have 60-70 new members of the congregation since the beginning of the year,” says Galvin. “With new space, we may be able to attract more people to the church throughout the week, which gives us opportunities to build into their lives beyond Sunday.”
Previously, the church’s main doors led into a small narthex surrounded by the church’s offices, where no one lingered before or after services. They simply brushed their feet off and shuffled into the sanctuary for Sunday services. Now, the narthex is the focal point of the building, and the new lobby space has caused people to stick around in between services. Many have started attending Sunday school as a result of connecting on a deeper level at the church. Galvin says they’ve seen an uptick in the number of adults and children who are participating in Christian formation classes in between their two Sunday worship services, and he anticipates these numbers to keep growing. Though they had adult classes in the past, they only had space for one class at a time. Now, with the addition of the parish hall and refurbished classroom space, Holy Family is able to offer more Sunday school programming for kids and adults.
From the start, Holy Family desired to create ministry space that they could open up to the community for other uses. The local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops now meet at Holy Family, as well as other community groups and organizations.
Food is a big focus for a lot of their events, and the little kitchen they had been using was totally inadequate for their needs. The church opted to install a warming kitchen—a more economical solution that allows them to still serve catered meals from a fully functional space.
“Two big opportunities we have locally are in feeding ministries,” says Galvin. “We work hand in hand with another area church, and now we’re looking to perhaps take another night and provide a feeding ministry here.” The new parish hall also provides space for the church to assemble backpacks with school supplies for kids during their annual back-to-school drive, and other locally-focused opportunities throughout the year.
Along with changes to the inside of the building, Holy Family also added a basketball hoop outdoors. Situated in a residential neighborhood, even this simple amenity has begun to draw neighbor kids to the church property.