Archives of Memories: Presentations of the History of Novi Bečej through Anecdotes, Photographs and Untold Stories

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Catholic Church in Novi Bečej

The restoration of the tower at the Catholic Church in Novi Bečej

After the collapse of the first Catholic church in Novi Bečej in 1800, which was dedicated to Saint Wendelin, the foundation stone for a new church was laid in 1804. The ceremony was attended by the mistress of the estate, Klara Sisanji (1773-1830).

Upon completion of the construction, the consecration of the church, dedicated to Saint Clare of Assisi, took place in October 1809. Unfortunately, the donor Klara Sisanji could not attend the ceremony.

Catholic Church in Novi BečejAccording to available sources, minor repairs to the church were carried out in 1909 in preparation for the centenary celebrations, including the acquisition of the first organ. The interior restoration of paintings and the painting of new ones was carried out by the Slovenian Isidor Mole in 1961. External restoration and thorough repair of the church followed in 1970 and 1989. A complete renovation of the roof structure and replacement of the 200-year-old roof tiles was carried out in 2006 and 2007. Church insulation against capillary moisture was done in 2016.

The shape of the Catholic tower has not changed during these 210 years, only patching of galvanized sheet metal has been performed. The restoration of the Catholic tower and the installation of a copper roof began on July 24, 2020, with completion scheduled for October 31, 2020. Due to the deteriorated-corroded sheet metal of the tower, rain leaked onto the wooden beams, necessitating their replacement to a greater extent than initially planned. The change of rotten beams, replacement of the complete old reeds and wooden lining with new ones, caused delays in the completion of the works. Consequently, the investment significantly increased in cost. Therefore, any voluntary contribution is welcome.

Funding for this major undertaking was obtained from Germany, as the largest donor, as well as from the legacy of an individual, and contributions from other Roman Catholic believers, for which Father Mellar Jožef is very grateful.

It is worth noting that the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments in Zrenjanin, by official duty, has been involved from the beginning of the tower restoration and has been overseeing the works.

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