May 16—EXETER — The weather was perfect for Saturday's Belfry Bazaar, a fundraising event to to restore the Slocum Chapel's steeple, which was removed 35 years ago because of its deteriorating condition.
Slocum Chapel sits at 1024 Exeter Ave., Exeter. It was built by James Slocum in 1867 as a memorial to his mother and father.
There is also an effort to get the Slocum Chapel listed on the state's historical registry.
Pastor Guy Giordano said he and his parishioners wanted to preserve their house of worship to be able to pass it on to the next generation and to the community.
The chapel's belfry remains and the original church bell still rings, calling the congregation to worship every week. However, the steeple above the belfry needs to be restored.
On Saturday, the church group hosted a "Belfry Bazaar" to raise money to restore the steeple back to the Slocum Chapel. There was a community yard sale, live music, silent auction, food and a bake sale.
A large crowd turned out to support the effort, with the grounds around the church filled with craft vendors and tables for people to sit and enjoy the home-cooked food and the live music.
Giordano said the last estimate received for the steeple ranges between $10,000 and $20,000.
"The Slocum Chapel has stood the test of time," Giordano said. "We wanted the Slocum Chapel to be a place for those addicted and down and out to come to worship and have a place to raise their children in the Lord. We have about 40 members right now and we also host a large AA group that meets on Tuesdays and Fridays."
Giordano said the restored steeple will house the original church bell that continue to be "a call to worship" for the congregation.