Churches up for sale
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.
Stanstead College is presently negotiating to buy Centenary United Church from the United Steeples congregation.