Central Ohio Technical College banner ad

Trinity Church becomes more accessible with stair lifts

| May 28, 2014

COSHOCTON – Making the Word of God a bit more accessible has been accomplished at Trinity Episcopal Church.

“This is something that has been talked about here for 20 years or so,” said The Rev. Diane Cook, rector of the parish since 2009. “We wanted to maintain the structural integrity of the building and still get people where they need to go.”

Three stair lifts were installed at the church at the corner of Seventh and Main streets in Coshocton, making the 103-year-old church easier to reach for its members and the community.

“A century ago, builders of churches and other public buildings did not take into account individuals with mobility problems,” Cook said. “This is a huge step for Trinity Church to become more accessible.”

One lift takes the rider from the Main Street sidewalk into the sanctuary, while the other two have been installed inside to allow access to restrooms and the fellowship room of the church.

“We have a number of parishioners who are in their 90s that have not been able to come to church the last few years because they couldn’t make it up the steps,” Cook said. “We are really excited to be able to have them back in church and involved in the community. We’ve missed them.”

The lifts were installed just in time for a parish visit from the Rt. Rev. Mark Hollingsworth Jr., Bishop of Ohio, who traveled from Cleveland to Coshocton on May 25, to confirm three members of the church, David Bursh, Karen Bursh and Tara Salmans.

“It was great that the completion of the lift project and his visit coincided,” Cook said. “He only visits here once every one and a half years or so.”

Following the service of Confirmation, the Bishop blessed the stair lifts to the use of the parish and members of the greater Coshocton community.

“Maxine Carnahan who is in her 90s was the first one up the lifts,” Cook said. “She called to make sure they were done because she wanted to come to church to see the Bishop. She had a huge smile on her face.”

Funds for the lifts were provided chiefly by the Trinity Episcopal Church Fund of the Coshocton Foundation. The fund was established following a bequest to the church by the late Joan Gross, who had a dream of making the church handicap-accessible.

“The last few times she was here she was lifted up the stairs in her wheelchair,” Cook said. “She would be thrilled to know we have these lifts.”

Sunday services at the church are at 10 a.m., with special services as announced.

“We weren’t able to host things and do some things with the ministerial association because we weren’t accessible,” Cook said. “This opens up whole new possibilities for us.”

The public is invited to attend Trinity for worship and fellowship following services. The church can be reached at 622-0860.

“We are a small congregation and everybody is important,” Cook said. “I tell them they may be tiny, but the spirit is good in them.”

[email protected]

Tags: ,

Category: Faith

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

Comments are closed.