FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Fairfield’s Black Rock Congregational Church will take a step toward more than doubling in size as the Black Rock Turnpike church breaks ground on its rebuilding project Monday.
Black Rock Congregational plans to demolish the building it has used since its move to Fairfield in 1968 and replace it with a much larger facility. The church’s space will increase from 33,000 square feet on a single floor to 70,000 square feet on two floors.
The new church’s sanctuary will fit nearly twice of the existing one, increasing the capacity from 500 people to 950. Currently, about 2,000 people worship at Black Rock Congregational. Executive Director Ken Brix said he hopes that number will increase along with the capacity.
“We see it as our mission to reach as many people as we possibly can for Christ, so the primary motivation is to have more space for more people to hear the Gospel,” Brix said in a statement.
Along with the bigger main section, the newly renovated church will have more space for its education programs, including dedicated spaces for middle school and high school groups. The new building will also feature a café in its front lobby and a larger kitchen.
The church needed to get permission to build from the town’s zoning boards and the state transit board, because it sits on State Route 58. With those approvals in place, the church is now ready to begin construction. The process is expected to take about 15 months.
Church and town leaders will officially break ground on the new building Oct. 8. The old church’s final services will be that Sunday. Starting Oct. 21, most Sunday services will move to Notre Dame Catholic High School on Jefferson Street. The sanctuary service for young adults each Sunday evening and weekday activities will shift to First Presbyterian Church on Easton Turnpike.
The congregation expects to put a lot of work into the transition. But Brix said he has been happy with the support from members so far. More than 450 have volunteered to help set up at the temporary sites each week.
“We’re extremely excited that the church has embraced the need so enthusiastically, and we’re looking forward to engaging everyone in setting up and tearing down rooms as needed at Notre Dame,” Brix said.