Union Democrat staff

Work began Wednesday on replacing the roof at Sonora’s iconic St. James Episcopal Church, commonly referred to as the Red Church.

It’s the culmination of years of fundraising, research and hard work by parishioners and volunteers. A ridge beam to support a half-inch plywood sheath will be installed to cover the roof before shingles are put in place.

The work is being done by Soulsbyville-based JMK Roofing Inc., which installed the existing roof in the 1930s.

Planning for the project began almost three years ago.

In 2017, a donor who wished to remain anonymous provided $215,000 for the repairs. More than $10,000 was raised through smaller donations.