MANCHESTER — A new Kingdom Hall for the local Jehovah’s Witness congregation will soon rise on Candia Road, built entirely by volunteers.
“We have brothers and sisters who are very skilled and are able to give their tie and resources to get it done,” said Doris Ammann of Manchester, one of the local members helping the construction effort.
The membership outgrew the Manchester Kingdom Hall that stood on South Mammouth Road for a quarter century. It was sold two years ago to the Church of the Redeemer, a Presbyterian congregation.
Work began at the new location this past week with site preparation work. Heavy equipment was used to remove debris, dig the foundation and set utility trenches on the site. Some volunteers who own construction companies pulled heavy equipment off their commercial jobs and trucked it to Manchester.
Jehovah’s Witness members from Vermont and New Hampshire work as volunteers through a regional building committee. Other construction is planned during the construction season, including a hall in Lancaster in October. A Kingdom Hall in Merrimack was the scene of another volunteer project last year.
Glenn Partridge, one of the organizers of the work in Manchester, said the number of volunteers on the site will peak in June after the preliminary work is finished. Hundreds of members are expected to turn out to perform the manual labor that goes with getting the structure ready.
“Our main work is preaching the Bible,” Patridge said. “Once we get the building up, we can get back to what we do.”
Volunteers commit for days at a time. Some stay in campers they drive to the community where a new hall is being built; others stay with host families in the community.
The Manchester Planning Board approved the one-story, 5,000-square foot-building several weeks ago.
Representatives promised that the new structure would be used only for religious-oriented activities — worship, bible study, and occasional funerals and weddings.
In its official application, members said they do not “conduct dinners, bake sales, rummage sales, concerts or Bingo games,” and don’t use the building for such secular purposes as day-care or food pantries.
The first services in the new structure are planned for July.