Copper Beech Tree
Durham's cherished Copper Beech Tree stood beside our congregation for about 125 years. From generation to generation, the tree witnessed countless baptisms, confirmations, weddings, and worship services. Many moments were captured under her boughs. Unfortunately, the beloved tree suffered from disease and insect infestation causing dangerous falling limbs. Arborists tried to treat these problems for years. Without warning, on a calm sunny day, large heavy branches began dropping, a sign her days were numbered. With heavy hearts, the tree was cut down for safety sake in October 2016. The tree trunk circumference was 184 inches and she stood 62 feet tall with a branch spread 92.5 feet wide.
The spirit of the Copper Beech Tree lives on in our gorgeous sanctuary cross crafted in memory of Malcolm Pearce, whose service to Christ, and whose love of United Churches of Durham inspired its creation. The Cooper Beach Cross, was created by Alan Poole from Trees to Tables. May this image of reconciling love, justice and peace inspire all who sit in contemplation before it, to use their gifts to bear witness to the love of Christ.
A cross section of the tree's trunk was studied in a course at Wesleyan University and was placed on permanent display at the College of the Environment.