By Ben Westcott, Chronicle Staff Writer
The Community Chapel of West Glens Falls announced on its Facebook page on Oct. 4 that the chapel has closed permanently. The congregation continues virtual services through its Facebook page.
“Our building requires more repairs than we can afford,” it said in part.
Lisa Daly, treasurer since 1999 and a member at the church for 38 years, said the closing is primarily due to poor attendance.
She said the chapel had about 20 members when it closed. “But as far as regular church attendance every Sunday, it was probably anywhere between 10 and 12.”
“I would say that’s the smallest I’ve seen the attendance,” she said.
“When I started attending there I would say there were at least 50 or 60 people on a Sunday, and lots of families with young children.”
“We have an aging congregation, and unfortunately the smaller the congregation gets, the less money you have coming in,” Mrs. Daly said.
She also cited the age and condition of the building, which is located at 55 Main Street in Queensbury.
Mrs. Daly said that chapel personnel talked about the possibility of closing for well over two years. “And then, as our savings have continued to dwindle, it be comes more imminent,” she said.
A building inspection revealed that a foundation wall is not in good shape, and it would cost lots of money to get it fixed. she said. The chapel currently has a temporary wall set up for safety.
Having to close the church is emotional. “We’re all very sad because we have so many good memories there,” Mrs. Daly said. “We have had a lot of community events and dinners there where we have made a lot of good friends in the community. We’ve had baptisms, weddings. So it’s just sad that won’t be happening in the future.”
Continuing with virtual services on its Facebook page, Mrs. Daly said, “We have quite a few people who watch every Sunday and it definitely makes an impact.”
She said the congregation plans to meet in person at some point as well. “We haven’t determined exactly where yet, but we’re definitely going to continue to meet, because we’re such a small group.”
Mrs. Daly said the chapel’s minister, the Rev. Annette Vredenburg, will also be staying with the church.
The building is owned by the Albany Presbytery. “Chances are they will put it up for sale,” Mrs. Daly said.
It was constructed in 1886 as a Methodist Church, according to Chapel Clerk of Session Linda Skellie. Later, the chapel became non-denominational before its most recent iteration as Presbyterian. A newer sanctuary and classrooms were added to the original structure in 1955.
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