Newport’s Historic Trinity Church announced the launch of a $3,000,000 capital campaign at an event held on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at the church. Trinity Serves supports a bold suite of projects to restore and renew the centrally-located Trinity campus to better serve the people of Newport and the surrounding areas. Maintaining the historic church building as the central feature of the campus, the project will:
- Restore Honyman Hall for continued and expanded use and improved accessibility;
- Continue preservation efforts in the historic church building with special emphasis on climate control and other building systems;
- Address critical issues of pedestrian and vehicular traffic flow on the campus; and
- Increase and improve usable program space through the construction of a new, environmentally and historically sensitive building on the site and foundation of the former Carr-Rice House.
The Trinity Serves launch announcement included the news that over $1,000,000 has been raised in early fundraising, with significant gifts coming from both individuals and foundations. The Alletta Morris McBean Charitable Foundation has awarded a grant of $250,000 to completely fund the planned work in the historic church building, including installation of air conditioning and repairs and upgrades to other building systems. With three of the campaign’s four major initiatives funded, the campaign now turns to focus on funding the construction of the planned new building on the historic campus.
To achieve a tasteful, sustainable design harmonious with the historic setting and compliant with state and local requirements, Trinity worked closely with Glenn Gardiner, a partner at Northeast Collaborative Architects (NCA). In December 2015, Newport’s Historic District Commission granted permission for the demolition of Carr-Rice and the construction of the new building as designed by NCA. This bright new facility will include meeting rooms, a 150 seat assembly space, a dedicated music suite, as well as a commercial kitchen. Anchor partners in this venture include Harvest Kitchen, a program of Farm Fresh Rhode Island; Newport Police Department’s Community Policing Unit; Community Meal Network; and East Bay Literacy Volunteers. These dynamic organizations join Trinity’s outstanding music program and existing community outreach activities. (Learn more about our partners and planned programs here.)
In the end, though, Trinity Serves is not just about bricks and mortar, but about serving the community. Church leaders, led by the Rector, The Reverend Canon Anne Marie Richards, have committed to making campus space available to community organizations, meeting and conference planners, and to the active Newport bridal industry—all with a vision of establishing Trinity Church as a center for gathering, celebrating, and supporting the residents of Newport and the surrounding areas, and Newport’s many visitors.
Commenting on the goals of Trinity Serves, Canon Richards said, “More than the construction or restoration of buildings, this is a campaign to support and expand service to and with our community. Success will not be measured in square feet, but in lives affected. Success will not be about buildings, but about the creation and utilization of a true community asset.”
Trinity has already begun planning for new climate control systems in the historic church and improvements and repairs to Honyman Hall, and expects several projects to be underway in the coming months. Construction of the new building will begin as fundraising milestones are met.