As further commitment to “welcoming all with joy” and after an inclusive and intensive process, new sanctuary handrails leading up the chancel steps will be installed this summer. This installation is the culmination of many years of hopes for increasing accessibility in the sanctuary. Last May, 2015, the congregation was given an opportunity, over a number of Sundays, to voice opinions and to participate in the design and style of handrails. We thank Kathleen Zagata, Maria Fernando, Stephen Cole, the Deacons and the Facilities and Worship Ministries for leading the charge and bringing us to this exciting point.
Maria helped us find a designer, David Choi, who created the original drawings. The challenge? To find the right artisan for this project, and we have done just that. Jeffrey Schiff of Schiff Architectural Detail (Fine ornamental metal fabrication) was chosen to refine the design, based on the particular challenges of the chancel stairs and floor, and to install the railings. Jeffrey and his associate, Alaina Mahoney, will complete the job by the end of the summer.
The design is simple: discreetly curved bronze-capped railings, at each side of the chancel stairs, attached at the top to the existing limestone supports, and secured at the bottom into the floor. You may have noticed masking tape on each side of the steps these last few weeks. Although the tape is attached in straight lines, it will show you the path of the curved railings. These railings will be ADA compliant in height and strength.
We thank many participants for their faithful efforts to ensure the safety of all guests and members of our congregation.
In faith, and for the Ministry Team,
—Jane Ring Frank, Minister of Music and Worship Arts