Local federal Members of Parliament Eric Duncan (Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry) and Francis Drouin (Glengarry-Prescott-Russell) have announced that the Glengarry Fencibles Trust has recently received a federal contribution of $98,572.02 in support of the conservation of the Bishop’s Residence within the Ruins of St. Raphael’s Roman Catholic Church, a National Historic Site of Canada.

The project focuses on the conservation of the three north-facing stone walls of the Bishop’s Residence, equating to about 2,000 square feet of wall area. The volunteers of The Glengarry Fencibles Trust are also investing substantially in the rehabilitation project through local fundraising and donations.

The two Members of Parliament visited the site to see the work in progress and recognized the economic impact this site has on their joint communities. Heritage sites, like those in St. Raphael’s provide direct spending, visitor spending and spin-off economic activity. The federal contribution will ensure that the effects of this program will be felt for years and generations to come.

“The Bishop’s Residence in St. Raphael’s is not only a historic monument, it is a place where we, in eastern Ontario, can learn about our history.,” Drouin said. “A year ago, the federal government, through Park Canada invested in this historical site, to ensure that generations to come will have access to this piece of our history.”

“The Bishop’s House is another great example of volunteers stepping forward to save a historic site and turn it into both a cultural and economic opportunity,” said Duncan. “It is appreciated that the hard work and fundraising efforts of the Glengarry Fencibles Trust has been recognized nationally with this funding.”

The Glengarry Fencibles Trust engaged conservation architect Mona Lamontagne to advise on heritage masonry styles, and then oversaw the stonemasons’ materials and progress on Bishop’s House. The group has worked to conserve the building’s most weathered walls — including the 1808 northern exposure. Attention to technique and historical accuracy was critical said Brenda Baxter, President of the Glengarry Fencibles Trust.