As you may be aware, Christ Church has been in discussion regarding the future of Harris House, the church’s parish house. These conversations have taken place within a wider discussion and process around the church’s vision and mission in our community and the world. The discussions taking place regarding the future of this building are important and impact the whole Christ Church community and we invite all parishioners to take part in the ongoing conversation.  In order to remain as transparent and informative as possible, we have included the resources below consisting of information and documents regarding the process thus far, the feedback and information gathered and our hopes for the future of these discussions. We invite all parishioners to engage with these resources and know that your feedback is always most welcome and appreciated.

December, 2013 & January, 2014
Information Gathering: Responses sought and received from “Write on the Wall” campaign and online survey. Announced in the Anchor in December, 2013.

  • Questions #1: Here at Christ Church — looking at where we’ve been and where we might go over the next ten years — what things are essential to our life together?
  • Question #2: Jesus said to his early followers at the beginning of his ministry, “Come and see.” The church often uses “Come and see” as an invitation for people searching for a church to come and visit. If we were to change directions and “Go and look” what might we find in our towns, the region, the larger society and world that might call us to respond?
  • Also: What might be our calling, our special gift or contribution to the local, regional, national or even global community? What kinds of outreach and mission initiatives might we introduce or expand?

January, 2014
Reponses compiled and organized for discussion.

Document: “Write on the Wall” Campaign Responses

January 26, 2014
A facilitated Café Style conversation held in Harris Hall for the Annual Meeting  to share ideas and thoughts on what it means to Connect with one another, to Serve the community and world, and to Be faithful.  This is where we had the opportunity make sure the proverbial “rubber meets the road” actually happens – moving from theoretical to the practical. This is where we began to lay the foundation for the kind of faith community that we all aspire Christ Church to be.

Document: Annual Meeting 2014 Newsprint & Group Discussion Feedback

March 29, 2014
Vestry Visioning Retreat with facilitator

April 14, 2014

A Vision for Christ Church of Exeter approved by Vestry:

joyfully in faith

with God and one another

the local and global community

April, 2014
Building use analysis begun

May 4, 2014
Special Forum held in Harris Hall as a follow-up to the January 26th meeting where headlines were brainstormed and people were invited to “try on” the Vision and write headlines of what local newspapers might print if we lived, connected and served.

Document: Visioning Headlines

Summer, 2014
Initial inquires made to gather updated information about the repair costs to Harris House to address life safety code issues

October, 2014
Creation of the Harris House working group announced in the Anchor newsletter with appointments made by Vestry.

Working Group:

October 16, 2014
Harris House working group meets to review scope of repairs for Harris House and begin getting a sense of costs and scope.

January 25, 2015
Annual Meeting is dedicated to the presentation of the Harris House Working Group report.  Please see below the documents used to facilitate and lead discussions.


February, 2015
Responses from the Annual Meeting sent to the congregation via E-News and posted on the website.

Document: Annual Meeting 2015 Feedback (from Newsprints & Group Discussion)

February 9, 2015
Vestry authorized Harris House Working Group to investigate and propose a plan to produce a cost estimate for the rebuild option so that it can be compared to costs to repair.

March 7, 2015
Facilitated Vestry work day to discuss Annual Meeting conversations regarding repair/rebuild.

March 8, 2015
Follow-up to Annual Meeting with two listening forums after both services

Document:  Listening Session Questions and Answers

Between February – May, 2015
The Working Group identified and evaluated construction firms and architects

June 8, 2015
Vestry approves moving forward with Phase 1 of acquiring a design for a potential rebuild with Milestone Engineering & Construction of Concord, NH

Meetings with SMP Architects on behalf of Milestone

 July 1 
Staff and Ministry leaders met with SMP Architects for them to hear from those directly involved in ministries about present and future building use needs.

Tuesday, August 4 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Congregation Meeting to have a discussion for SMP Architects to present their initial thoughts and the work done up to that point and to receive feedback.

Wednesday, September 9 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. 
Congregation Meeting for SMP to present the project design to the congregation, answer questions and facilitate a discussion about next steps.

Tuesday, November 17 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
The final proposed project design and budget will be presented to the congregation.

December 14, 2015
Vestry received reports and expressed a desire to move forward on testing the funding capacity of a new building through the interviewing of capital campaign firms.  Expressed preference not to repair existing building, but the final decision has not yet been made.

Sunday, January 24 2016
Annual Meeting Reporting back to the congregation

Document: Harris House Report

March 14, 2016
Vestry interviews and hires the Episcopal Church Foundation for a feasibility study to test the support for a potential new parish house

April 24, 2016
Diana Church from ECF leads a forum and speaks to congregation for an update of the process

June 3 & 4, 2016
Questionnaires are mailed to congregation and a handful of face to face interviews are conducted

Document: Christ Church Exeter Case Statement

Mid-July, 2016
Feasibility report due from ECF to the Vestry with an estimate of how much could be raised.

September 11, 2016
ECF reports back to the congregation results of the study.  Vestry outlines a path forward.

Document: ECF Feasibility Study Report

October 3, 2016

Letter from Rev. Mark Pendleton

December 4, 2016

Renew, Gather Serve Capital Campaign is launched

January 22, 2017

Over $600,000 pledged toward the $900,000 goal

March, 2017

Final scope of project being settled with Milestone Construction. Sorting begins to decide which items get donated, sold or stored to be returned to renovated space

April 1, 2017

Six storage pods delivered for storage during the length of the project

May, 2017

All items need emptied from the Parish House into temporary storage

June – August

Renovation fully underway: asbestos abated, new roof installed, new windows installed, electric work completed and new insulation added.

December, 2017

Project completion if current timetable holds.

Christ Church Design Philosophy

January, 2018

Harris House renovation completed — pods and office trailer removed — with Dedication on January 21, 2018.  Thank you all!  

Dedication prayer Final

Renew Gather and Serve Campaign giving link.