Church committee launches online consultation
Meetings to take place in Harbour Grace to identify community needs
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
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The former Immaculate Conception Church in Harbour Grace is the subject of a newly-launched public consultation process.