BINGHAMTON, NY – Binghamton’s oldest church is relieved to have discovered and addressed a significant structural problem before it caused major damage.

Christ Church on Henry Street recently received a $10,000 Sacred Sites grant from the New York Landmarks Conservancy.

A large stone cross on top of the roof had started leaning forward, threatening to tumble down on other sections of the historic building.

The main sanctuary portion of Christ Church was constructed in 1853 out of local bluestone.

The parish priest, Reverend Elizabeth Ewing, says a number of parishioners noticed the cross tilting while participating in outdoor summer services on the lawn called Mass on the Grass.

“It’s hugely important that it didn’t fall. We don’t know what it would have pulled from the rest of the building. It would have landed on our memorial garden. We hope not at the time of a service there. We just feel extraordinarily blessed that we found this and were able to get it repaired before there was any more damage,” she said.

An investigation revealed that capstones along the roof edge had also become loose.

In addition to Sacred Sites grant, the church received $5,000 for the diocese with the congregation raising most of the remaining $94,000 cost of repair.

The cross is expected to be reinstalled by the end of the month.