Two years ago, The Anglican Church of the Redeemer in Franklin MA embarked on a campaign to purchase property to become more visible in their community, as well as to more closely align with their mission of “generously loving their neighbors”. On Tuesday, July 16th, 2019, Redeemer became the owners of the Hayward Manor property located at 195 Main Street in Franklin MA. Senior Warden, Judith Fontes, and Redeemer Treasurer John Pierro, signed the closing papers at 11am that Tuesday morning, completing Phase 1 of a ministry vision that started in July of 2017.
The story around Redeemer and Hayward Manor began over ten years ago, when Redeemer held its first worship services there in its living room. Previous owner, Christine Molla, had opened up the space and welcomed the newly formed mission. Little did Redeemer know that it would return as owners of the property.
Fr. Dan, the Rector of Redeemer notes:
“From the very beginning when I toured the Manor with our former Senior Warden, James Gaul, it was out of curiosity more than reality. It was a huge dream that seemed out of our reach financially along with all of the details and unknowns. Yet God, by His grace, allowed us to see a path in which the purchase and operation of this property was possible. A vision of utilizing a property located in the very center of our town for reaching into the community with the love of Jesus was something the church enthusiastically rallied around”.
With much prayer, generosity, hard work, and numerous planning sessions, the role Hayward Manor would play became clearer as Redeemer took missional steps towards living into her mission to “be a community that joyfully worships God by KNOWING him, faithfully lives for Christ by GROWING disciples, and generously cares for our neighbors by LOVING them”. Visits by then Bishop, William Murdoch, who blessed the efforts of the church in this endeavor, went very well and momentum began to build. In his words: “This is not just for the here and now but will be a legacy that the church blesses its children, grandchildren and great grandchildren with!”
Redeemer, through many stories of personal generosity and prayer, successfully raised over $300,000 dollars in a campaign to fund the downpayment of the property loan. After that it was a process of securing all the details, permits, logistics and a lot of patience as the church waited for the completion of the sale. Right before the papers were signed, current Bishop Andrew Williams came to Redeemer, heard the vision, walked the property and prayed over all that this endeavor entailed, lending his enthusiasm and encouragement!
The vision for the Manor Property is one of community ministry and missional training. Redeemer envisions the Manor becoming a center for community minded organizations and neighborhood outreach. There are currently a number of office spaces located in the Manor being leased by local businesses. The plan is to work with those current businesses to rally around giving back to caring for the town of Franklin. Redeemer hopes to fill unused office space with para-church and community minded ministries or organizations which would allow both healthy ministry to the community along with a place to train and mobilize those who want to serve. Plans for an on-site office of operations for Redeemer Ministries are also in the works. Phase 2 of a vision plan for the parish is being developed as realities for the existing property, along with their current and future worship space, are being shaped and discussed.
Redeemer is overjoyed at the grace and provision God has shown. It is with great gratitude that they hope to wisely use and steward that which the Lord has graciously given. It is a privilege being a part of ADNE knowing that the churches pray for one another in the hopes of success for the shared mission of the Gospel. The church asks for continued prayer as God continues to unfold the plans he has for them!