A new lease on life

Mil­lion-dol­lar restora­tion com­pleted at Truro’s First United Church

Truro Daily News - - COLCHESTER COUNTY - BY LYNN CUR­WIN lynn.cur­win@truro­daily.com

e mil­lion-dol­lar restora­tion at First United Church is com­plete, and that brings a big smile to Rev. Va­lerie Kings­bury’s face.

“It’s so nice to have the work all done,” she said. “It’s much brighter in­side now, and ev­ery­thing looks so nice.”

About seven years ago, those at the church learned the build­ing needed ex­ten­sive re­pairs in or­der to stay open. Mem­bers of the con­gre­ga­tion do­nated money and the steeple and roof were re­paired. en they were told win­dows were struc­turally un­sound and could be blown in if there was a storm with very high winds.

ere were 14 win­dows, about 18 feet high, that needed to be re­placed, and be­cause the church is a her­itage prop­erty, new xtures needed to match old ones.

e church en­tered the Na­tional Trust’s is Place Mat­ters con­test with the Win­dows into the Fu­ture project. Mem­bers of the pub­lic went on­line and voted, and the project – with 107,806 votes – beat out 24 oth­ers from across Canada to win the $60,000 grand prize. e pub­lic­ity also gen­er­ated more on­line do­na­tions.

In­stal­la­tion of the win­dows be­gan in May, and each took about a week. Walk­ways were also re­paired.

“ e com­mit­tee was very dili­gent about cost sav­ings, and there was enough money left to x part of the park­ing lot,” said Kings­bury. “ at was a bonus.”

She said the vast ma­jor­ity of money for re­pairs came from within the con­gre­ga­tion, but other com­mu­nity mem­bers also pro­vided valu­able con­tri­bu­tions.

“I think they prob­a­bly sup­ported it be­cause it’s a land­mark in the town,” she said. “Peo­ple in Truro un­der­stand what it is to lose his­toric sites.”

Chris Bow­man, min­is­ter of mu­sic at the church, noted the build­ing is used by many peo­ple who aren’t con­gre­ga­tion mem­bers.

“This place is rec­og­nized as be­ing a com­mu­nity hub, with the men­tal health pro­grams, and mu­si­cal groups work­ing out of here,” he said. “ ere’s not a day goes by that the place isn’t used for at least a cou­ple of events.”

Kins­bury added that although peo­ple make up a church, hav­ing a phys­i­cal lo­ca­tion is very help­ful.

“Hav­ing a home from which to move out into the com­mu­nity makes a di er­ence; it helps us do what we’re called to do,” she said.

“We’re grate­ful to our peo­ple and com­mu­nity, to those who felt called to jour­ney with us. With­out them, we would not be where we are to­day.”

To cel­e­brate, the church is hold­ing a beans and brown bread lunch at noon on Nov. 17, fol­lowed by a ser­vice of reded­i­ca­tion.


Chris Bow­man, min­is­ter of mu­sic at First United Church, and Rev. Va­lerie Kings­bury are thrilled to have the restora­tion work on the build­ing com­pleted. A reded­i­ca­tion ser­vice is be­ing held at the church Nov. 17.


The ren­o­va­tions have been com­pleted at First United Church. All work was done on sched­ule, and there was enough money left to repave part of the park­ing lot.

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