If you have missed the church bells ringing in L’Orignal recently, it is with good reason. Due to structural issues with the church steeple, the bell has remained silent, likely for safety reasons.

A press release was issued late Tuesday afternoon, April 3, advising that significant fundraising efforts will be required in order to effect the necessary repairs to the steeple. No cost has yet been determined.

The parish has been aware that there was a problem with the steeple for a few months now.  Initially, water leakage caught parishioners’ attention, and when they went to look at the source, they realized that infiltrating water had caused light to moderate damage to the metal covering on the steeple and the planks underneath.  They patched it and stopped using the bell as a precaution, worried that the vibration could cause more damage.
Experts will be assessing the damage and defining what work needs to be done and at what cost. The diocese will have to approve the work as officially, the church belongs to the diocese.
Parishioners want to protect and preserve their church and hope that the structural work needed is contained within the steeple structure itself.

Parishioners Eric and Tammy Drouin are taking the church and its heritage to heart and have offered their services to launch the fundraising campaign. They are inviting anyone who is interested in the future of the church to attend a meeting on April 19 at 7 p.m. at the church. The press releases says that parish officials will be on hand to explain the seriousness of the situation, the necessary steps related to the diocese and the need for an engineer’s inspection.

Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church is located at 1057 Queen Street in L’Orignal. It was built in 1851-52.