The Building of the New Sanctuary
Every family has stories that recount the events of the past. From time to time it is important to remember and retell milestone events that celebrate our church family history. One such event is the building of the sanctuary where we sit so comfortably each Sunday morning.
The deliberations that preceded the building of this worship space began in 1985. A committee was struck (and of course, tea was served) to consider a variety of options that would serve the needs of the congregation and allow for future growth. A number of options were considered.
Architect Bernd Hermanski was hired to create designs, three-dimensional models and cost comparisons. When a congregational meeting was called it became apparent that the majority of people wanted to build a new sanctuary and were willing to fundraise for the additional $300,000 necessary. Howard Johnston headed up the fund raising efforts.
The building committee worked with the architect on the design. The desire was for an aesthetically pleasing yet versatile space for worship that could accommodate 350 people. Finally the plans were finished, a variance for our limited parking area was granted by the District of Salmon Arm, the contract was tendered out and, in May of 1987, construction began. I will never forget my first look at the perimeter of the prepared site and the sheer size of the new building as framing began. It looked like a cathedral that dwarfed the old building in its shadow. Temporary ramps were put in place to access the entrance to the old worship space for the seven months that construction was underway.
November 1987 was targeted as a completion date for the new sanctuary. Numerous work parties were assembled to assist with tasks such as unloading the beautiful upholstered pews, setting up sound systems, moving furniture and landscaping the front of the building. The project had become a full time job for many dedicated members of the congregation.
It was a great day of celebration when the congregation gathered for the last Sunday worship service in the activity hall. Thanks were offered for the events that had taken place in that space for thirty years, and then, with rejoicing, young and old paraded into the new sanctuary to dedicate that facility to Christian ministry.
And in 1997 another day of celebration was marked when all the loans and debts for the building were paid off. It stands as a tribute to the faithful and generous financial support of our church members that this financial commitment was fulfilled earlier than hoped for.
by Joanne Leatherdale, Chair of the Building Committee