St. Andrews restoration in Kingston reveals hidden past

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St. Andrews restoration reveals hidden surprises
WATCH: Workers discover old signatures while restoration work at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Kingston – Jun 19, 2018

St. Andrews Presbyterian is located in the heart of the city on Princess Street.

It’s one of Kingston’s oldest churches. and it’s currently undergoing some restoration work, but you won’t see it unless you attend services.

You have to go inside, and when you do, you can see them if you look up – way up.

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Between 35 and 40 feet up in the air, tucked underneath the cupola, where the ceiling workers have removed several stained glass windows. According to Mark Gray with the Ecclesiastical Refinishing Group, the windows haven’t been refurbished for over a century.

“Removal didn’t take that long and the installation won’t take that long, it’s the actual leading of the stained glass and the repair of it. It takes about two months,” said Gray.

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Now it’s a waiting game for those involved. The restoration has revealed a few surprises, including finding several signatures behind walls and panels. Gray says the earliest one dates back to 1896, another 1906.

“They were probably the caretaker or maybe the guy that was lowering the chandelier or maybe they were working on the roof through the cupola.”

The church documented the signatures before they were painted over. Now it’s just a matter of time before the work is finished and history is restored to its original luster.

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