Home > Historic Restoration
Current Restoration Work
The interior restoration of the Church was completed over the course of five months from May-October, 2017. This project included repairs to the plaster walls and ceilings, repainting and decorating, and lighting improvements. (More information below)
A parish celebration to mark this milestone, including a Mass of Thanksgiving and a reception, is planned for Sunday, November 19 at 11 AM.
There is still more work to do in order to bring the restoration of our historic church to completion. In the Church, the floors are in need of replacement, and some of the pews and other furniture items are in need of repair and refurbishment. In addition, with such old structures, there is always ongoing maintenance required to prevent the kind of deterioration that leads to costly repairs down the road.
Support our Historic Restoration Efforts
We have been greatly blessed in our efforts to restore and preserve our historic buildings by a combination of generous contributions from the St. Peter's community, the support of the New Jersey Historic Trust, the involvement of the Diocese of Metuchen, as well as funds from the sale of other property.
We know that completing the work we have begun, for the glory of God and the benefit of the community, will require creativity and sacrifice. We are very grateful for the generosity of so many members of the St. Peter's community who have supported these efforts, including our recent capital campaign, which greatly exceeded everyone's expectations.
If you are interested in contributing to the historic restoration of St. Peter's Church, please contact the Parish Office at 732-545-6820.
Background & Previous Restoration Work Since 2004
St. Peter the Apostle Church, Convent and Rectory were listed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places in 2004.
In conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the church building, the parish undertook the "Upon This Rock" capital campaign, raising $1 million towards restoration efforts expected to take place in three phases over a span of fifteen years.
These funds, combined with a $500,000 matching grant from the New Jersey Historic Trust, supported the Phase I restoration work in 2006-2007, which included new roofs and drainage systems for the church and convent buildings, as well as addressing some other critical exterior repairs on the church building.
In 2009, the convent building received a complete, multi-million dollar interior renovation from the Diocese of Metuchen for use as a center of Catholic campus ministry for students at Rutgers University. The Diocese has assumed full responsibility for the building, now known as the Catholic Center at Rutgers, including its historic preservation.
In 2011, the basement of the church was renovated, creating a new Parish Hall and offices for the staff. The majority of this work was carried out and funded by the Diocese of Metuchen.
Beginning in October 2011, the parish moved ahead with Phase II work on the church and rectory buildings, using funds from the sale of other property and a $750,000 matching grant from the Historic Trust. Phase II included completing the repair and restoration of exterior stone on the church building, with special attention given to the bell tower. In addition, the rectory received a new roof and drainage system, and the front facade of the building was restored, including much of the original cedar clapboard siding. Phase II was completed in the fall of 2012.
The next area to be addressed in the overall restoration effort was the church interior, which was badly affected by past moisture issues. In order to prepare for this work, the "Step Forward with Christ" capital campaign began in 2014 with the ambitious goal of raising $725,000. The campaign has reached over 95% of its goal.
Work began in the summer of 2015 with the restoration of the two large murals on either side of the sanctuary.
While the planning continued for the major plaster repair and painting projects, as well as some interior lighting improvements, the summer of 2016 saw structural repairs to the capitals (where the arms of the arches converge), which had been compromised by age.
The main interior restoration project, including repair of the plaster walls, complete repainting and decorating of the church interior, and lighting improvements, began on May 8, 2017. The church was closed for the duration of the work, reopening on October 7. In December 2016, this mockup of the proposed design and color palette was done, as both a preview and an aid to making final decisions about the work to be done. As the accompanying photos indicate, the final product stayed close to the design concept, with only a few significant alterations, most notably with regard to the Stations of the Cross.