Union Church parish house changes hands

June 18, 2012 Denise Romano
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The Union Church of Bay Ridge held a bittersweet ceremony on Sunday, June 10 to celebrate 81 years in the community while passing the ownership of the parish house to the Bay Ridge Preparatory School.

The congregation did not have enough funds to keep up with the 80-year-old parish house. Pastor Moira Ahearne talked about the transition process during a worship service. “Right now, we are at a place where we decided the best course of action is to sell to Bay Ridge Prep,” she explained. “It’s good for the church, but we are losing part of our history.”

Over the summer, renovations will be done to prepare the building for school use. Although parishioners may be sad to see the building change hands, it won’t be demolished, unlike other churches in the neighborhood. In 2008, the historic Bay Ridge United Methodist Church, fondly known as the Green Church, was razed. This year, the Salam Arabic Lutheran Church was torn down.

“It’s important to continue service in the Bay Ridge area. Instead of being demolished, it will become another type of house,” Ahearne said. “We have an educational mission, which is what [the building] was built for, but with a different context. The congregation feels good about it.”

After the service, attendants enjoyed a small luncheon, where elder members of the Union Church passed over the “key” to Dr. Charlie Fasano, headmaster of Bay Ridge Prep.

Throughout the summer, congregants will have access to the chapel. “The process of renovation and consolidation is going to continue for a while,” Ahearne said. “People wanted to avoid seeing another building demolished and another mission die out. [Bay Ridge Prep and the Union Church] will continue working as partners in the community.”

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