Church com­mit­tee launches on­line con­sul­ta­tion

Meet­ings to take place in Har­bour Grace to iden­tify com­mu­nity needs

The Compass - - EDITORIAL -

The com­mit­tee tasked with en­sur­ing the long-term fu­ture of the for­mer Im­mac­u­late Con­cep­tion Church in Har­bour Grace is reach­ing out to the gen­eral pub­lic.

A new on­line sur­vey has been launched and a town hall meet­ing is in the works, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease from the Im­mac­u­late Con­cep­tion Church Her­itage Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee.

The Ro­man Catholic Dio­cese of Grand Falls closed the church in 2014, fac­ing de­clin­ing at­ten­dance at ser­vices and sub­stan­tial main­te­nance costs.

The year be­fore, an engi­neer­ing re­ported as­sessed it would cost $9 mil­lion to re­store the build­ing, which is 124 years old.

The 10-per­son com­mit­tee has met pe­ri­od­i­cally over the last num­ber of months and will ul- ti­mately make a rec­om­men­da­tion to the dio­cese on the best path for­ward.

The on­line sur­vey lists sev­eral po­ten­tial uses for the de­con­se­crated struc­ture.

It sug­gests the for­mer church could sup­port artis­tic and cul­tural prac­tices, the town’s so­cial well­be­ing, tourism, ed­u­ca­tion, or serve as a rental space for wed­dings and meet­ings, amongst other uses.

“The fu­ture of the church de­pends on find­ing new uses that will both re­tain the her­itage char­ac­ter of the struc­ture and that can sus­tain it fi­nan­cially over the long term,” said com­mit­tee co-or­di­na­tor Dianne Lee in the news re­lease.

“The key will be to find some­thing that is a good fit for the his­toric build­ing and for the com­mu­nity. We are con­fi­dent that there is a way to pre­serve it for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. Any ideas from the pub­lic for how this can best hap­pen are most wel­come.”

The yet-to-be-sched­uled town hall meet­ing will be held in con­junc­tion with the pro­vin­cial Of­fice of Pub­lic En­gage­ment.

Ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion about the pro­ject can be found at the Her­itage Foun­da­tion of New­found­land and Labrador web­site.

“The fu­ture of the church de­pends on find­ing new uses that will both re­tain the her­itage char­ac­ter of the struc­ture and that can sus­tain it fi­nan­cially over the long term.” Dianne Lee

709-683-8676 pame­lanor­man@ex­itre­al­tynl.com www.TeamNor­man.ca Pam Nor­man Real Es­tate North River Bay Roberts Bay Roberts Bay Roberts Bay Roberts Spa­niards Bay UIC

COM­PASS FILE PHOTO

The for­mer Im­mac­u­late Con­cep­tion Church in Har­bour Grace is the sub­ject of a newly-launched pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion process.

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