After 60 years

Church congregation on the move

Three years after selling their property, the congregation of St. Andrew's United Church is moving.

Three years after selling their property, the congregation of St. Andrew’s United Church is moving to a new home.

The purchasers of the property at 10th and Grand are making preparations to develop it.

The church board was looking for alternative locations, and found one not far away. As of Sept. 4, the congregation will be using the facilities at All Saints’ Anglican Church, at James and Second, on the edge of the downtown business district.

“We were delighted to accept the invitation from All Saints’ Anglican Church to rent the space we need in their premises,” said Judith Ray, the board chair of St. Andrew’s.

“Our last service in the Grand Street location will be on Sunday, Aug. 21 at 10 a.m. All are welcome to come and remember the many worship services, community events, and rites of passage that have occurred there in the last 60 years: baptisms, confirmations, weddings and funerals.”

As is the case with many churches, many community groups have used the building over the years for a wide variety of programs, such as Guides, Cubs and Scouts, Lifetime Learning, Centennial Place, AA meetings and LINC dinners. The congregation has also helped spearhead resources development in the community, such as St. Andrew’s Co-op Housing, and remains a member of Mission Association for Seniors Housing.

Ray said the St. Andrew’s board initially approached All Saints’ asking if there was office space available, and after further discussions, the Anglican church agreed to rent its sanctuary space for Sunday services as well. An agreement was reached several weeks ago.

Sharing the same space will allow the two congregations to work together on more projects.

At All Saints’, St. Andrew’s will hold its services at 11:30 a.m. The Anglican congregation will worship at 9:30 a.m. Between the two services, there will be a coffee and fellowship hour, starting at 10:45 a.m.

Ray hopes this will allow members of the two congregations to get to know each other better and forge new links.

“We are actually really excited that we can share things in terms of what we can do for the community,” she said. “This ecumenical collaboration will provide opportunities, as we continue to be an ongoing resource to the community of Mission.”

The final event at the Grand Street facility for St. Andrew’s will be a moving-out sale on Saturday, Aug. 27 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Many of the furnishings and other supplies will be on sale, although the pews will remain in the church building.

Ray said the congregation made the decision to sell its facility largely because of the increasing challenge of maintaining it. In addition to the worship space, the St. Andrew’s building has a fairly extensive education wing. As with all aging buildings, repairs and maintenance have become more pressing and costly.

On Sunday, Aug. 28, St. Andrew’s members will worship with fellow United Church members at Gladwin Heights United Church in Abbotsford. They will meet for the first Sunday service at All Saints’ on Sept. 4.