Atop the Church Steeple!
High above our church, gleaming in the sun, you can now see a declaration of faith in the form of the United Methodist Cross and Flame. The cross represents Christ. The flame is a reminder of Pentecost when witnesses were unified by the power of the Holy Spirit and saw "tongues, as of fire" (Acts 2:3).
Why a new steeple ornament? When our church was built back in 1899, the steeple had a tall pointy steeple topper that included an orb in the middle of it. It was very lightweight. It lasted a long time, but it blew off ten or more years ago. As a temporary fix, a small inverted cup of some sort was placed over the resulting hole left by the topper's absence. At some point over two years ago the temporary cup blew off the steeple, once again revealing the hole at the top of the steeple (see pictures below). The trustees decided to rectify the situation by installing a new steeple topper. Bob Sweeney was asked to design and create the steeple topper using the United Methodist Church logo.
Design: The overall size of the Cross and Flame is approximately 27" wide x 44" high and is made of 304 Grade Stainless Steel. The flashing is solid copper sheeting and is mounted over a steel mounting post bracket.
Installation: In order to install the Cross & Flame it was necessary for Bob to build a square donut" shaped walkway platform that could be hauled up and assembled at the top of our approximately 50 ft high steeple. With the help of Nick Ahnefeld, Bob Sweeney ascended the steeple several times using a lift from Wayne Smith. It's been a long process, but what a glorious result!!
Funding: The cost of the steeple topper was primarily paid through Memorial Funds with additional money from the Trustee Fund.
The top of the damaged steeple prior to the installation of
the new topper.
[ Pictures of the new steeple topper coming soon! ]