A new lease on life
Million-dollar restoration completed at Truro’s First United Church
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.