Capital Campaign – Frequently Asked Questions

What is Trinity Serves (aka the capital campaign)?

Trinity Serves is a $3 million campaign to create a connected, functional, and efficient campus that effectively supports Community Outreach and Parish Life by:

  • Building Trinity Commons, a building to replace the now demolished Carr-Rice building;
  • Repairing and updating Honyman Hall;
  • Improving traffic flow on our campus;
  • Preserving the historic church, beloved by Parish and Community alike.
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How far along is Trinity Church towards achieving the capital campaign’s goal?

As of January 24th, 2019 we have raised just over $1,126,000.

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Why do we need more space?

We are a thriving and vibrant parish where the demand for space exceeds its supply:

  • Our parish house, Honyman Hall is too small to successfully house all our existing ministries, and its size and configuration hamper the creation of new ministries.
  • Community Meal, Choir, and Sunday School, all require additional and differently equipped space; and sometimes they need to be able to operate simultaneously (e.g. the Choir cannot practice during Community Meal).
  • The parish as whole needs more storage space, and in a location that is not at risk of water damage.
  • We need accessible meeting areas and restrooms to better serve our congregants and our community.
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How will the additional and reconfigured spaces in both Honyman Hall and Trinity Commons facilitate and enhance activities?

  • Commercial Kitchen and Gathering Hall to support community meals, parish dinners, weddings and funerals, community events, cultural events, and the occasional Coffee hour.
  • Music Suite to support choir rehearsals, Steinway piano, Choir Master work space, robe and music storage.
  • Accessible Meeting Spaces to support Vestry, Trinity Loving Community, Bible studies, Wednesday services, sub-committee meetings (Finance, Endowment, etc), small sessions with parishioners and clergy (e.g. marriage, funeral preparations, pastoral counseling).
  • Storage areas will support Pumpkin Patch, Silver Tea, Sunday School, community meals, Alter Guild, and other activities.
  • An above-ground nursery will support young families at worship
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What will be in the new building?

We plan to revisit the building requirements very thoroughly with our new architects, but preliminary thoughts include:

  • Spacious, flexible meeting rooms
  • A 150-seat assembly room
  • Commercial kitchen
  • Community Policing office
  • Daily chapel
  • Dedicated Music Suite
  • Meeting space for community programs, music activities, etc.
  • Storage
  • Public facilities
  • Full ADA-compliance
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What will be in Honyman Hall?

As with the new building, we plan to revisit the building requirements very thoroughly with our new architects, but preliminary thoughts include

  • Nursery (moved to ground floor)
  • A small kitchen area to support coffee hour and similar gatherings
  • Event space for 75 or fewer people in an unchanged (except for repairs & repainting) Hawes Room
  • Accessible restrooms
  • Gift Shop/Guiding support
  • Accessible and reconfigured Staff & Clergy Offices
  • Two basement meeting rooms
  • Storage (basement)
  • HVAC systems for Honyman and the church
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How is Honyman Hall used today?

Honyman Hall is a two-story building with basement:

  • In the basement, there is an overcrowded storage room (food staples, cleaning supplies, signage, and other sundry items), a Choir Robe room, a nursery, a Men’s Room, and a meeting room.  There is little (if any) natural light, and it is quite damp and not appropriate for offices or storing any items of value.  There is no elevator so the Men’s room is not accessible to those with mobility issues.
  • On the main floor, there is a kitchen with residential-type cabinetry, stove and refrigerator.  A portion of the kitchen is also used for table and chair storage (limiting the usable space).  The main room (the “Hawes Room”) is used for everything from Coffee Hour to Community Meal, Choir Practice to Art Exhibits, Performances and Lectures.  There is a Ladies room on this floor.
  • On the second floor (accessible via stairs only) are ministerial and administrative offices, however no private space for confidential counseling/meetings.
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Why did we demolish the above-ground portion of Carr-Rice instead of rehabilitating it?

A professionally conducted review of the Carr –Rice building indicated that it would be more expensive to rehab than to rebuild due to lead paint, uncontrollable mold, extensive fire code violations, and ongoing water issues; all of which were accelerating the deterioration of the building and creating building safety issues. In addition, the building had an inefficient floorplan, outdated fixtures and systems, and was expensive to operate (poor insulation, electric heat, etc).

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Why don’t we sell the land that was under Carr-Rice…?

  • Carr-Rice, Honyman Hall, and our side lawn are on the same plot of land.
  • We will have no options for growth.
  • We would lose parking which is already in short supply
  • We would have no control over what was built on that space and what it was used for.
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Why can’t we just add onto Honyman Hall?

Honyman is a beautifully proportioned building with a pleasing façade that carefully partners with the lines of the church building and there is strong opposition in the parish to making significant changes to the existing exterior of the building.  In addition:

  • We believe that neither the Community nor the Historic District Commission would be support or approve plans to make major changes to the exterior of the building.
  • The cost of an addition would likely be equal to, if not more than, present building plans given the constraints posed by renovation versus new construction.
  • It may not be possible to replace the amount of space we originally had and utilized in the Carr-Rice building (approximately 9,000 square feet) by adding on to an existing building.
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Why can’t the choir rehearse in the church?

  • A piano is needed to learn new music. It is very hard for most amateur singers to learn new pieces without the support of the piano clearly laying out the tune. This is especially important for 4- or 8-part harmony which our choir regularly sings.
  • We have a Steinway Grand piano it is the ideal instrument for rehearsal, but it is currently in storage as it would consume too much of our limited space in the Hawes Room.
  • Rehearsals cannot take place when the church is being utilized.
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How is the parish doing?

The parish is thriving and growing!

  • While average Sunday attendance at worship since 2010 in the RI diocese has decreased from 5523 to 4575, the average attendance at Trinity Church has grown from around 105 to almost 200. The number of baptized members has increased from around 350 to over 500.
  • Sunday stories had another year of growth in 2018. We have been blessed with wonderful volunteers and an incredible group of kids. This year thanks to the work of Joanna Davis we are now able to provide nursery care for children 3 years of age and under.
  • Trinity Loving Community celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. During 2018: 193 visits were made, Communion was administered during 45 of those visits, 31 meals were provided, 111 phone calls were made, 259 greeting cards were written, 169 rides were arranged and 13 hand-made prayer shawls and 2 baptismal blankets have been presented.
  • The Community Meal program serves nutritious and delicious meals to anyone in need on the first, fourth, and fifth Mondays of each month as part of the Christian Action Center’s Community Meal calendar. In 2018 we prepared and served 32 regularly scheduled Community Meals, plus we served two extra meals when other calendar participants were unavailable. We served three holiday meals, including the night before Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Eve. Average attendance is about 75, but we had over 100 on a number of occasions. Our robust team of about 8 rotating chefs and about 30 servers consist of parishioners as well as volunteers from the broader community. Collectively the team donates about 40 hours of volunteer time per meal. Both the Stop & Shop Foundation and the Rhode Island Foundation’s Newport County Fund supported our food and supply purchases.
  • Since its inception 10 years ago, the Pumpkin Patch has generated over $35,000 which we have donated to charities in town such as Martin Luther King Center, Seaman’s Church Institute, Salve’s Honors Outreach Program, Roger’s Honors Program, Trinity’s Community Meal and Rising.
  • The 5th annual Strawberry Festival was held on Saturday, June 16th from 11-5:00 p.m. We enjoyed increased sales this year and made a profit of $2,973.
  • Trinity’s long-standing Silver Tea was met with great success. New this year was the “Preview Party” held the evening before the tea. The event raised almost $3000.
  • Trinity Church continues to be a popular place to visit. Overall visitation increased by 34% with June showing a huge increase from 422 people the previous year to 1,087 (158%) in 2018.
  • We stuffed and sent 50 stockings to soldiers this year, and we are grateful to all who donated their time and generosity and teamed up with East Bay Community Action Adopt-A-Family to provide gifts to 15 families.
  • Bible Study continues to meet weekly on Wednesday mornings. In October the Adult Sunday School began studies on the “Way of Love”, a program of teaching sponsored by our Presiding Bishop.
  • The parish ended the year with a small surplus of about $2,000 and projects a balanced budget for 2019.
  • Major capital improvements include the door restoration started in 2018 and the installation of air conditioning in 2019.
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How do we plan to raise the money for the new building?

  • Use the information from the focus groups to revise the case statement for potential donors
  • Raise our profile in Newport by hosting events to which we can invite philanthropists and the general community to introduce them to Trinity and our plans
  • Add new volunteers to bolster the steering committee who can introduce us to the philanthropic community with whom we could work to raise funds
  • Engage an architect to work with parish and community to redesign the building to keep it to cost and to create enthusiasm for a new and pleasing structure
  • Engage major philanthropic foundations by periodically meeting with them, outlining progress and actively applying for more grants
  • Engage the parish in our efforts by giving regular updates and opportunities to help the campaign and the churches mission
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How will we pay for increased maintenance, upkeep and staffing?

Our reconfigured and expanded campus must generate incremental revenue to support its expansion.  As such, Trinity Serves commissioned a business plan from The Capacity Group in 2016.  It was thoroughly reviewed and updated it in 2019 to reflect both our current plans and the changing marketplace in the City of Newport. Anticipated revenue sources are:

  • Rental payments for small meeting space for nonprofits and local businesses to meet with clients, hold workshops or classes, conduct staff retreats, or engage in other compatible activities
  • Rental payments for rehearsal dinners and wedding receptions
  • Rental payments for evening and weekend community and fundraising events
  • Lease payments from tenants providing mission related activities (e.g. the Newport Police Department has signed a non-binding letter of interest for office space in the basement of Trinity Commons)
  • Lease payments for a small retail space to Farm Fresh Rhode Island shelf-stable products.


As more community members are attracted to the Trinity Church campus, we have an opportunity to increase our membership as well as our community connections, providing additional human and financial capital to grow current ministries and add additional programs.

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How do we know that outside groups will want to use the new building?

  • Within the last twelve months, our Rector, The Rev. Anne Marie Richards has met with the Executive Directors of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, Farm Fresh RI, Child & Family Services, and Newport Mental Health, and with the head of Newport’s Community Policing division, who all reaffirmed their interest in using the space.
  • In addition, we hosted a focus group session with representatives of East Bay Skills Alliance, Boys and Girls Club, Newport Art Museum, the Martin Luther King Center, Child and Family Services and the Island Moving Company who confirmed a need for additional kitchen facilities and meeting space.
  • We are updating the original business plan with current information and the original assumptions remain sound.
  • Faith
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Why should we provide facilities for other non-profits?

To continue Trinity’s centuries old tradition and commitment to the greater community and to fulfill God’s call to us to serve.

  • “Jesus said ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.”(Matthew 25)
  • “For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore, I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.” (Deuteronomy 15:11)

The new building will allow us to live our Christian faith in Newport by materially helping professionals within non-profits to provide for those in need in Newport. Rather than duplicating services, we are augmenting them.

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Is there an “elevator speech” description of the project?

Yes! Here it is:

“Trinity Commons is a meeting place for the Trinity congregation and local community that will serve the parish and the public as a place to gather, to co-work, to learn, to be fed, or simply to come together as neighbors and friends. Trinity Commons will support job training, the arts, and a host of other community-based activities, while still serving the essential functions of an active and growing parish church.


After engaging in a series of conversations with its worshiping community, Aquidneck Island neighbors, and interested stakeholders, Trinity is building a vibrant new building that will offer a wide range of ministries, spaces, and services for the multiple communities it serves. While developing designs and raising funds for this new building, Trinity’s parish house, Honyman Hall, is supporting current ministries, and helping to incubate new programs that will eventually be housed in Trinity Commons. As part of the overall plan for Trinity’s facilities, Honyman Hall will receive needed updates and repairs and will continue to be a vital asset on the Trinity campus.”

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Who should I contact with questions?

  • Elaine Burress, Capital Campaign Chair


  • Tatiana Schweibenz, Senior Warden
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