Dear Franklin Community,
We have been residents here since 1994, raising our young family and forming lasting friendships in our neighborhood and the community through the schools, sporting events, local establishments, and churches.
When visitors come, we love to tell them how our town got named, how we still have Ben Franklin’s books displayed in the library, that Horace Mann was born here, and that the Little Red Schoolhouse was the oldest operating elementary school in the country.
This town has given us much happiness and opportunity, and we’d like to share an amazing story about what could be Franklin’s best kept secret.
In 2004 a neighbor told us about a church that met in a warehouse off Grove St, across from a gravel yard. Quite different than some other traditional places of religion, more than 400 people attend New England Chapel each week. Their tag line: A place for people who have given up on church, but not on God.
For years, our church has been looking for a new, permanent space to call home. And just recently we announced that we have found it in the building that housed a town icon: Ficco’s Bowladrome on Rt. 140. It’s one thing to have finally found a place, but to have a building with a such legacy and history within our town makes it very special. The building has been vacant for 3 years, with speculation about it being torn down, maybe turned into a convenience store or apartments. Instead, it will once again become a place where people gather in friendship, some searching for a deeper meaning for their life or support through a hardship, and all are welcome.
One of the missions of NEC is to be part of the community—to have space that is available to other groups and contribute to the well-being of everyone. We partner with many local organizations including the Franklin Food Pantry and YMCA. With a more visible presence in town, we hope to continue to be a community-centered place of service and worship.
We New Englanders have the lowest church attendance rate in the country, owing much of that to the busyness of our fast-paced lives. A lot have also given up on an institution which may have disappointed or gave them little hope to face the brokeness in this broken world. NEC offered our family hope, love and a way of life that is bigger than us. We invite you to come check us out.
Robin & Scott Cowper