ELKTON — Anyone who grew up in church probably knows the children’s finger play that goes like this: “Here is the church, here is the steeple. Open the doors and see all the people.”

Well the people inside Elkton United Methodist Church decided its steeple needed some tender loving care.

“It was installed in the ‘90s and it’s never been cleaned,” said The Rev. Karen Bunnell, pastor of the church at 219 E. Main St. “We knew several years ago it had to be cleaned.”

Atkinson & Sons Steeplejack LLC came from Philadelphia to do the job, Bunnell said. Paul Humphrey, a member of the congregation, found the company and the work was completed last week.

Bunnell said the crew performed a general restoration of the 60-foot spire that sits 175 feet off the ground.

Years of being in the elements left it dull.

“It was really, really gray,” the pastor said.

There were also some cracks in the surface that needed to be repaired. Using a crane and safety gear, the Atkinson crew power-washed and repaired the surface, then gave it a couple of coats of wax for protection.

“It’s beautiful again. I’m so thrilled,” Bunnell said. “Now when you come down the Delaware Avenue hill, it’s a beacon like it used to be.”

Returning the steeple to its shining status came with a $28,000 price tag though.

“We’re in the process of raising the funds,” Bunnell said.

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