Churches up for sale

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Vic­to­ria Vanier Stanstead

More and more “For Sale” signs have been go­ing up in front of churches around the Town­ships. In Stanstead, the Catholic Par­ish of St. Trin­ity re­cently an­nounced that it wants to sell two of its four churches and its pres­bytery on Prin­ci­pale Street in the Beebe sec­tor. The Catholic Ste. Therese de l’En­fant church in Beebe and the Notre Dame de la Merci church on Notre Dame, in Stanstead, are the two for sale.

The lo­cal United Church con­gre­ga­tion made the de­ci­sion to try to sell two of their three Stanstead churches sev­eral months ago, putting all three up for sale to see which ones could in­ter­est buy­ers. Stanstead Col­lege has shown in­ter­est in the most im­pres­sive and his­tor­i­cal of the three, the Cen­te­nary Church on Duf­ferin Street. “Stanstead Col­lege is in the process of talk­ing with the United Steeples con­gre­ga­tion to ac­quire own­er­ship of Cen­te­nary Church. They are still work­ing out the de­tails and we’re look­ing for­ward to a res­o­lu­tion,” said the Col­lege’s spokesper­son, Ross Mur­ray.

Stanstead Col­lege is in­ter­ested in the beau­ti­ful church, sit­u­ated just across the street from the school, for sev­eral rea­sons. “We use it twice a year: for our Christ­mas Ser­vice and for our Bac­calau­re­ate, and we fill the pews on both oc­ca­sions. It’s a re­source that we use and we don’t want to see it close,” ex­plained Mr. Mur­ray, who con­tin­ued: “It is a beau­ti­ful space that we want to help pre­serve and the school would be able to use it for other things, like plays and con­certs. We’d take care of it and the con­gre­ga­tion could con­tinue to use it for church ser­vices if they wish.”

There is also a his­tor­i­cal con­nec­tion be­tween the church and the Col­lege. When Stanstead Col­lege was first founded, it was a Methodist school by the name of Stanstead Wes­leyan Col­lege, and it was con­nected with Cen­te­nary Church which, at the time, was also Methodist. “Many of the head­mas­ters in the past were also pas­tors at Cen­te­nary and the United Church ac­tu­ally owned Stanstead Col­lege un­til about 2000,” added Mr. Mur­ray.

Photo Stanstead Jour­nal

Stanstead Col­lege is presently ne­go­ti­at­ing to buy Cen­te­nary United Church from the United Steeples con­gre­ga­tion.

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