Popular Stamford church plans to transform rectory

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STAMFORD -

A Stamford church that dates back to the 1800s is hoping to restore its rectory for the public.

The Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist Church was built in 1872. The church then bought a neighboring home and turned it into a residence for priests.

Rev. Andrew Vill says anyone who has been to downtown Stamford has seen the rectory, and recognize it has seen better days.

"The house was built in 1850, and people would definitely say it's in need of a good coat of paint," says Vill.

A pastor at the church has had a "20-year vision" of fixing up the campus, according to Vill. The plan includes renovating the existing building, building an addition with new public rooms and creating a European-style piazza outside.

The church estimates the cost of the renovations at around $6 million. They say they have already raised nearly one-third of that figure.

Vill says the church welcomes over 100 people for mass, and that the new space would be a great welcoming area to meet up with friends and family.

"People who, whether you're Catholic or not, want to come and enjoy the beautiful outdoor space, are going to be able to throughout the day," says Vill.

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