Help needed to repair historic Prince Albert church

Jodi
Jodi Schellenberg
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St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church is off the market.

St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, located in the downtown area, is off the market. The congregation is hoping to raise enough money to fix the church themselves.

The church was put on the market in March, as part of a solution to fix the physical problems the congregation could not pay for themselves.

“As of the end of April, we had it up for sale and we didn’t have any offers, so we decided to do other things,” clerk of session Norman Hill said. “We have physical problems with the church. The attic has physical problems.”

The congregation started attending services at the Wesley United Church in October while they were looking for a solution.

“We have been trying to decide what to do with the building since we can’t occupy it,” Hill explained. “We decided let’s try to put it up for sale and then try to lease it back from somebody and they can look after the building because it was financially beyond our capability to be able to rebuild it.”

While the church not in use, their minister was on sick leave and then resigned. Since they have decided to now keep the church, the congregation is looking for a new minister.

“Now we have decided at the annual meeting that we would look at hiring an interim minister for a two-year contract to try to help increase membership of the congregation,” Hill said. “We put out a call for people to submit resumes for it and we have three ministers interested.”

In the next couple weeks, a search committee will be conducting interviews to hire a new minister.

“If we can grow our membership and know that we have a minister to worship with -- a Presbyterian minister -- we might have some growth and can look at doing some financial fundraising,” Hill said. “The fundraising might help us be able to restore the church.”

In order to repair the church, the congregation will have to raise at least $300,000 for a partial repair and $1.5 million for a permanent repair.

Although they do not currently have a minister, the congregation is still very involved in the community and fundraising for their outreach program.

“We have an extensive outreach program, we have Camp Christopher out at Christopher Lake just north of us here and every year we send about 130 children to camp, which is quite a sum,” Hill said. “We do fundraising for having those children’s fees paid come outs to over $200 a child.”

They have put on garage sales, ham and steak suppers, fashion shows, a fun run triathlon and other events to raise money. In order to raise enough to also repair the church, Hill said they need more members.

“We have quite an extensive outreach work in the community even though we do not have a minister right now,” Hill said. “I think we are just hopeful right now for our future.”

For details about the church or to help, Hill can be contacted at 306-960-7881 or check the website at http://saintpaulspa.org.

Organizations: Prince Albert church, Wesley United Church

Geographic location: Christopher Lake

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