BECKET — Residents have answered a local church's prayers for $100,000 toward fighting a destructive wood-boring bug.

At the annual town meeting on Saturday, townspeople agreed to spend the six-figure sum from Becket's Community Preservation Act account to shore up and repair damage done to the First Congregational Church by the powderpost beetle.

The funds are half of the $200,000 church officials need, the rest coming from grants and private donations.

A church trustee, Rita Furlong, says the church will now solicit bids for the project that will start with repairs to belfry that Furlong says in the worst shape.

She says the damage to the171-year-old historic church is such that some of the wood will be repaired; some of the wood, such as the flooring, which is over damp ground, will be replaced; and the damaged beams will be shored up with additional beams.

Dick Lindsay can be reached at