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May 27, 2016 5:05 PM

St. Charles Borromeo Church in Dover to be demolished, will hold its final mass Sunday

DOVER - Another church on the Seacoast is being demolished to make room for workforce apartments.

St. Charles Borromeo Church in Dover will hold its final mass Sunday when the building will be surrendered to developers. This summer, a wrecking ball will knock down the 83-year-old Catholic church and its adjacent rectory.

“The town and the diocese didn’t try too hard, in my opinion, to save it,” said former Dover Councilman Tony McManus, a local historian.

McManus says the church was a vibrant part of the French community in Dover.

“When the mills were running in Dover, they recruited people from French Canada. The French built the church and they also had a full-time school. Generations of children went through those schools,” he said.

Several weeks ago, NH1 News reported on the closing of another Seacoast church, the First Baptist Church at Kittery Point. After that report, Greenland’s Bethany Church stepped in to take it over and save it from closing.

The pastor from Bethany Church says they will conduct worship services at the Kittery Point church and he hopes to reestablish the church a vital part of Kittery’s community again.

“We have the building and we have the volunteers. You’ve got to find ways to connect with the people,” said Bethany Pastor, Dr. Bruce Boria.

Six years ago, Bethany made the same decision when a church in Raymond failed. They took it over and grew that church from twelve members to its current total of 220 members.

In Dover, McManus was among the residents whom had hoped to get a last minute reprieve for St. Charles church too. He’s disappointed their battle was lost.

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