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Manchester church receives grant from Downing trust

MANCHESTER — Dr. Curtis Smith, president of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Manchester (UUCM), has announced the award of a $2,000 grant from the Lewis Downing Trust.

The grant will be used by the church to expand the music department, particularly the choir.

Downing was one of the original members of Unitarian Church of Concord and was most well known as a manufacturer of the highly popular Concord Coach. He was a much respected resident of Concord in the 19th century and the Concord Monitor stated upon his retirement in 1864: "Mr. Downing, senior, retires from business, after active participation in it for nearly 52 years, and we think we express the general sentiment of the community when we say that during that time, his integrity having never been questioned, he is entitled to be called Concord's best benefactor."

Today, 140 years after his death in 1873, Downing, through his generous legacy, is still a benefactor to his church as well as other UU churches in New Hampshire.

Each year, in accordance with his will, a committee of the Concord UU Church receives approximately $10,000 to $20,000 from the Lewis Downing Trust. Some of this money is used in churches. The remainder of the money is awarded to: minister(s) at large to conduct sermons preaching "liberal Christianity" to "strengthen the societies of the Unitarian faith in New Hampshire" and congregational projects such as special programs, guest preachers, advertising campaigns, or capital projects relating to accessibility, to make a church more effective to its members and the community.

The Second Congregational Society Unitarian Universalist of Concord administers the annual distribution from the trust.

For more information, go to, email or call 625-6854

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