‘Flying Church’ developer inviting community to dig for possible relics

(Emily Thurlow) As renovations for the former Methodist church near completion, residents will have the chance to dig into the old grounds to find historic treasure on July 6.

GREAT BARRINGTON — As renovations near completion of the former Methodist church on Main Street, its developer is inviting the community to dig into its lot.

Built in 1845, the former Great Barrington United Methodist Church closed its doors at the end of 2011 as the result of its congregation dwindling to fewer than 20 people, the New England Conference of Methodist Churches reported in April 2012.

Paul Joffe of New Marlborough, purchased the property from the church under the business, GB Historic Preservation LLC, for $425,000 in 2013, according to real estate records.

Since then, the building — dubbed by locals as the “Flying Church,” after it was elevated eight feet during renovations — has been outfitted to accommodate three potential offices, one restaurant/entertainment venue and four retail spaces, said Joffe. In addition to the spaces in the former church, the property also now includes a retail kiosk that could be potentially outfitted for an eatery or even a cell phone distributor like Verizon, he added.

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