Community members formally appealed the decision by the Diocese of Manchester to demolish St. Joseph’s Church in Laconia. This is a last ditch effort to save the building after church officials filed for a demolition permit.
The appeal was submitted by St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Preservation Society, a nonprofit created by a handful of impassioned community members last week.
The group says it’s willing to take full responsibility of the church and shoulder any necessary restoration or maintenance costs. If the Manchester Diocese rejects or fails to respond to the appeal in a timely fashion, the group says it will take the appeal to the Vatican.
Andrew Hosmer is a Laconia city councilor, a former state senator, and one of the founders of the organization. He says that under cannon law, since the group is willing to preserve the church as a sacred space, the diocese should prioritize it over commercial buyers.
“People have such a deep connection to its history,” said Hosmer. “It’s where so many people have spent many happy times, but so many sad times. It’s been a sacred place people have turned to in times of sorrow.“
Church leaders have been at a conference in Baltimore and were unable to respond this week. A spokesperson at the diocese said they plan to respond soon.