1 The sanctuary of this impressive, new church building in Grimsby has a cathedral feeling to it. The massive beams support a towering roof over the central 'nave' as well as the lower pitched roofs over the side 'aisles'. The large side windows at the very front, with their own vaulted ceilings, give the illusion of transepts.
2 Starting only a few days into the new millenium, the organ builders, Keates-Geissler, along with volunteers, began to disassemble the organ in the old building and to reassemble it in its new loft. Most of this organ is meant to be heard and not seen, so a screen is needed to hide it from view. For this, an oak framework, designed by the architect to match the style of the building's windows, was covered from the back with cloth, and supported (visually) by panels
3 The framework of two by four oak is screwed together, and rounded over on the face. Every space is trimmed with one by three, rounded oak to add bulk and cover the screws. The cross was made and hung by volunteer Gary Meijerink. Stapling the cloth to the back was a job best suited to monkeys, since there was no scaffolding on that side. Once the working show pipes were set into place, the cloth was finished off and the facade was complete.
4 The oak framework had been cut, fitted and assembled (at a much lower altitude, on the fellowship hall floor), then disassembled, stained and lacquered, before it was hauled up, piece by piece onto scaffolding erected just for this two day job. Up till then there had been no way to reach the opening for exact measurements, so we had to make do with those measurements that we could get on the balcony side, and to trust that the masonry work of John and Terry Bezuyen was true. In a space that was 26' wide and almost as tall we were most fortunate to find that our oak framework was out by only an eighth of an inch. On the inside, by this time, the organ was together again and voicing and tuning had begun.
5 Before we could even get to the the organ loft however, while waiting for the stonework to be finished, we started our work with window boxes under the transept windows, and then with the curved balcony at the the back of the sanctuary.
6 The balcony began as a cantilevered steel beam platform with a roughly 'curved' front edge. From a more truly curved plywood template attached to its underside, we worked our way up with a stud wall clad in 3/8" plywood, to which we added panels and moldings. The top is also capped in oak. Every new curve was made by following the last. Because the curve over the full thirty-two foot length is actually quite gentle, we had little trouble bending the moldings to it. Only the cove molding at the top proved stubborn.
7 After all of the massive stuff was done I could relax a bit and concentrate on some more intimate details like the fireplace mantel and surround in the 'Fireside Room' ...
8 ... and some 'feel good' handrails for the stage and side entrance.
9 The 'Mountainview job' was a good place to spend a cold winter. Less than two months after beginning in a construction site I was able to worship with the Mountainview congregation and many of the people that I had worked with, and to confirm that the meaning of work is more than money.
Newmaker is the spirit that drives a lifetime of creativity, and is a reflection of the Creator who continues to make all things new.
H.James Company is the business name for the renovation services of Henry de Jong since 1991. Services have been offered as sub-contractor and as contractor, but primarily as a professional craftsman working alone. Working on small to medium size jobs allows a personal committment to executing every detail with the same care, and to working one job at a time, on a steady and predictable schedule.