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St. Peter’s Celebrates New Addition with Topping-Out Ceremony

The Rev. Jody Burnett speaks to those attending a topping-out ceremony at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church Friday with a rendering of the new building and ceremonial beam behind him. Photos by Alyssa Schnugg.

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church held a topping-out ceremony for the construction of a new addition to the church.

A topping-out ceremony is generally held when the last beam is placed on a structure.

Church members and administration and community leaders gathered under the steal framing of the 8,700-square feet building, located behind the main church in the former parking lot.

The project is being managed by Innovative Construction Management and will add a new parish hall, kitchen and education building.

St. Peter’s was formed in the 1840s and the church building was constructed in 1860.

“We have always had our eye on the future,” said The Rev. Jody Burnett, rector of St. Peter’s. “We have always dreamed about how we can serve more people, welcome more people and include more people.”

Also speaking at the ceremony was Mary Ann Connell, chair of the original 2005 planning committee, Corinne Jackson, co-chair of the 2017 planning committee and Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill.

The Rev. Jennifer Southall signs the beam.

“St. Peter’s has been such an integral part of this community for as long as anyone can remember,” Tannehill said. “The ministers and members of this church have had an impact on every corner of our community … who have served with integrity and compassion to those who need it the very most. Because of that, our community is stronger. May this space be a place where you can reach more, serve more and love more people than ever before.”

After the ceremony, Burnett invited those attending to sign the last beam that will be later placed by construction crews.

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