Building A Cathedral
Learn about the new cathedral building progress or become a part of this great story!
This is a move of grace!
They will set the capstone with shouts of "Grace! Grace!" to it! - Zechariah 4:7
We are not looking to build a modern auditorium for show, a museum of church history, nor a humble chapel. We are looking to raise a haven for the broken, a lighthouse for the lost, and an epicenter of massive, unifying, revival in the country. We are looking to combine elements of ancient cathedrals, and modern technology. We are looking to create a cathedral that says to the eye, this is heaven and says to the heart, this is home. Come and be a part of what God is doing!
The Story So Far...
In December of 2018 our Cathedral church purchased a 56 acre plot of farmland just North of Bel Air in Forest Hill, MD. We have the vision to build this into a campus that includes a cemetery, sports field, rectory, and church structure complete with administrative spaces, classrooms, gathering space, bell tower, and sanctuary.
Prayer, Vision, Paper, and a Pencil
After purchase, the bishop and rector’s council are moving full tilt into prayerful planning and countless hours of discussions, prayer, and meetings with potential site planners, architects, and builders. The parish is in prayerful support of the impending wave of action. Our new bishop has called the people of the church to pray in this first phase to discern how they may financially support the project and the future of the church. The bishop can often be seen with a pencil and a ruler, pouring over plans and designs, rolled out across his desk.
Meet David Taylor – Civil Engineer
A civil engineer is needed when planning a construction project of this scale, to design drainage and water management, clarify local codes, lay out a parking area, and countless other tasks. In early 2018, we selected David Taylor of David G. Taylor and Associates to engineer the entire project from steeple to storm drain. He has been in constant communication with our team, relaying and adjusting countless plans and adjustments to plans. He is a local engineer, based in Bel Air, and this makes him invaluable to our mission. Throughout the community input process and many hurtles, David Taylor has been available and involved faithfully on our behalf.
11 acres were sold to Forest Hill Presbyterian church on the far end of the 56 original acres. The pastor of the Presbyterian church, when praying about the purchase, travelled to Lancaster County, PA. Where he visited a small church pastored by an ancestral relative, only to discover a plaque stating that bishop Northwood’s ancestor also pastored at the same exact congregation in years distant past. God makes connections and leads so subtly. In addition to this parcel of land, a right-of-way was sold to a farming neighbor for access to his land. A building right was purchased form the same farmer. Two additional lots have been slotted for sale. These sales will help to offset up-front costs for planning and development. The Cathedral will sit on 40 some acres of almost paid off land. Praise God!
Who’d have thought? Over the past few months, the state has been in contact with the church regarding the possibility of resident bog turtles in the wetlands of the property. If there were to be discovered this endangered species, a large portion of the church’s property would become ineligible for construction or alteration of any sort. To date there have been no sightings in the general area, and the state cannot name any local areas where there have been sightings due to the rare and valuable nature of this amphibious creature, for fear that poachers would seek them out for black market financial gain. 3 months and thousands of dollars in mandatory testing later, we are proud and extremely pleased to be able to announce the lack of ANY bog turtles at the future home of the Cathedral Church of Reconciliation. Another hurtle overcome!
The Architect of a Cathedral
After interviewing 3-4 potential architects for the job facing the cathedral construction project, the rector’s council selected Walter Daniels of Daniels Architects. Since that beginning, Walter has been a driving force of vision and has displayed an easygoing temperament that has fit flawlessly with the church’s team. Walter has proven himself again and again to be a tremendous addition to the project and we are confident that he will help us produce a beautiful new cathedral.
2.7 seconds is the delay time estimated to be added to the wait time at the stop sign of Grafton Shop and Rt. 23 by the addition of the cathedral to the area. This would be on Sundays at service exit times. We have engaged and hired a company called traffic concepts to monitor and record traffic patterns in the area. The local community was outspoken that the intersection of Rt. 23 and Grafton Shop Rd. is a high fatality accident zone due to poor visibility and high speed travel. The County would not hear of a traffic signal being installed due to cost and delay of travel on an emergency evacuation route (23). After it was suggested that the majority of traffic leaving the church would turn towards 23 rather than north towards Jarrettsville Rd, the statement was made that the church would have to pay to install traffic devices to force all entry traffic to turn right, rather than left onto 23, thereby preventing harm to drivers. Although this was an estimation, it was eventually decided that the solution would be a device preventing traffic from entering 23 any direction but right. The church voiced concern for the safety of its’ members and the community at large, and is satisfied that something would be done to negate further traffic related fatalities.
O Come to the Altar
Bishop Rob Northwood, Deacon Mark Carico, and Avery Northwood have travelled to a catholic parish in New Castle Pennsylvania (5 hours distant), to finalize the purchase of an altar for the new cathedral. They personally loaded the altar, weighing a grand total of 30,000 lbs, in pieces onto a freight truck. The new Altar includes the main altar table, rear doss (which sits against the back wall), three statues, and two side altars. It is made largely from Carrera marble, and houses the tabernacle seen in the photograph. It is the first item to touch ground on the new property and symbolizes the intent to make God’s worship first and foremost in all things. Prayers please pray about how you can be a part of the already historic act that God has begun.
The Road to Calvary
Many of Reconciliation’s congregants are familiar with the fourteen images known commonly as the stations of the cross. In our original sanctuary in Bel Air, they hung in the form of wood framed 8×10 inch prints. The church has bid on and purchased fourteen new stations of the cross – a complete set, from a former convent located in Pennsylvania. Each of the 75 lb, 16×24 pieces are marble framed and backed. The background of each is a mosaic of gold leafed tiles surrounding a hand carved marble image of Christ during his passion and road to Calvary. The gold and marble designs of these exquisite, dimensional icons, are in harmony with the gold mosaic and white marble front to the altar table purchased from another location and another vendor entirely. It is estimated that the Lord made a way for the church to purchase them at less than a tenth of the cost it would require to commission these pieces today. Rick and Tammy Schenning volunteered and drove a rented U-Haul vehicle North of Pittsburg, PA to retrieve the pieces and bring them back to Reconciliation to await their installation in the new space.
Planting New Life
“Trees. There’s something beautiful in the planting of new life on ground set aside for the fostering of new life.” This is regarding to the process begun by the Cathedral Church of Reconciliation to reforest some sections of the church grounds with over 2,000 young trees. It is encouraging to see that even before the ground is broken for construction, people can already see the great intention of the church, that is, restoration and the fostering of new, rich, and ever-growing life.
Reforestation is a process required by local government when developing property previously used solely for agriculture. You may have seen small trees with plastic tubes supporting and protecting their base along roadsides, highways, and in state parks. That is reforestation at work. The church has plans to plant thousands of trees before breaking ground later this year. The daunting task has been taken on by Superior Touch Landscape owned and operated by Deacon Mark Carico who bid the job out at little to no profit, simply to make sure that the trees are planted correctly and affordably for the church and coming generations.
Deacon Mark Carico and his crew will plant each tree using his bobcat skid steer and hand tools. They have already, at this stage, removed vast amounts of brush and choking vines surrounding the trees bordering the wetlands at the low end of the property. This preemptive work will allow one more chance at life for the fully grown trees that were previously burdened by creepers and vines.
The goal of the project is not only to meet the requirements set forth by the state and county, but to surpass them in a desire to beautify and preserve the land given by God to the Church.
Currently all permits for drilling and site work are in the permit process and/or awaiting final approval from the County Government. Covid 19 has continued to provide ample reason for delay and frustration of further development.