On a quiet, hot and seemingly uneventful weekday afternoon in June, 2016, a musical ensemble was rehearsing in the sanctuary of St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Brooklyn, New York. As the strains of the music reverberated through the spacious confines, a spherical cast plaster ornament six inches in diameter suddenly fell about 60 feet to the floor and landed in a startling, dust-ridden crash.
Fortunately, no one was hurt. Nonetheless, Father John Denaro, an Episcopal priest for 25 years and rector (pastor) of St. Ann & the Holy Trinity, took the incident as a signal for action. “While I didn’t quite see this as a crisis, it was certainly a wake-up call. There is so much plaster in this building, it was clear to me that the time had come to address it.”