Windheim the church of st. Nicholas is a beautiful and of course historical building. During its 400-year existence, the house of god has withstood summer and heat, storms and rain. Not much has changed on site since the last extension in 1970. Now, however, it is time for a general renovation of the building.
Defect at second glance
At first glance, the layman does not see the enormous need for renovation of the house of god. On closer inspection, however, the crumbling exterior plaster and the damp interior plaster on the lowest part of the wall stand out. You can also see that the seat and knee bench are getting on in years and also other corners that need more than just a beauty correction.
The church administration has been considering a possible renovation since 2016, explains church administrator manfred fehn. In the meantime, it has come to the conclusion that a general renovation after almost 50 years would be more sensible and more sustainable than tackling only partially completed renovation sections.
But what exactly needs to be done? According to the words of the project manager georg neubauer of muller architekten, the interior and exterior plastering will be reworked and the lighting will be brought up to the latest standards. Among other things, a thermal drying system is to be installed under the church chairs and on the wall plinths in order to catch rising moisture.
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A new sound system and a new church bench will be installed. The gallery will be partially rebuilt to provide a better view of the altar for those who sit in the back pews during services and ceremonies. The side church entrance is to be made barrier-free. A tubular heating system is attached to the church windows, which are under preservation order. And also the aubenanlagen are to be spared.
The tree removals are to be completed by christmas 2019. For georg neubauer this is a challenge. "It is a difficult, but at the same time very interesting task!" And, he is convinced: "we will keep the schedule!"
Firm commitments from companies
He says that all the tenders have been made and that there are firm commitments from the companies that will carry out the work. The costs for the general renovation of the church of st. Nicholas amount to about one million euros.
The money is well invested, says manfred fehn. In this context, he thanked the archdiocese of bamberg, which supported this renovation project with 65 percent (about 650000 euros). He is also grateful to the community of steinbach am wald, which will contribute ten percent of the construction costs. The rest was financed by the church administration’s own capital and by donations. The members of the church administration hope for the support of the population. For they are unanimous: the church is the center of the community, a place of prayer, meeting, community, joy, hope and mourning. "The church is our landmark", explains manfred fehn. And this has been the case for many centuries.
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In this context, the sacristan wendelin vetter pointed out the importance of the windheimer church as a parish church. The church was first mentioned in a document in 1190, as the "chapel of st. Peter". Nikolaus and leonhart zu winthagn". In 1613, suffragan bishop friedrich consecrated the church. At the same time, he consecrated the three altars: the high altar in honor of st. Nicholas, st. Emperor heinrich and st. Kunigunda, the altar next to the sacristy in honor of mary and the altar in honor of the holy cross, all the apostles and st. Otto I. The church consecration ceremony also dates back to this year. Between 1705 and 1709, the church of saint nicholas was given its present structural form.
In 1478, the church of st. Nicholas and windheim were separated from the parish of teuschnitz and became a "free parish" with the parish jurisdiction by prince bishop philipp, count v. Henneberg, raised. At that time, windheim received the branch villages "herssfelt, puchpach and steinbach". A long history to be preserved also in material form.
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"We were negligent if we did not act now", says manfred fehn. In this context, he points to structural change. Who knew how long there would be grants for church renovation?? The members of the church administration do not want to be accused in a few years of not having taken advantage of the opportunity to renovate the church with the help of demands.
Faith is lived
Nikolaus church is the second oldest church in the county, explains pastor cyriac chittukalam. He has led the parish since 2014. "Faith and community are lived out in this church!" Therefore, this house of worship should remain in a good structural condition for the next decades.