126-year-old Springhill, N.S. church to be torn down
Published Sunday, December 16, 2018 6:43PM AST
It stands like a beacon at the entrance to downtown Springhill, N.S.; a landmark more than a century old. But the All Saint Anglican Church will soon be gone.
The church was built in 1892 and lately, it’s been showing its 126 years of service. Damage to the roof and the steeple, and issues with heating the church all factor in the congregation's difficult decision to tear the church down.
“The size of the building, the need for repairs on the roof, which, our conclusion was a new roof and we figured, we believed there would be other maintenance issues,” says Reverend Dr. Brian Spence, the church rector. “It was an extremely difficult decision and one that was the result of many years of struggling with the situation.”
Winter services have been held in the adjacent church hall for the last few years, and the congregation has dwindled to about 30 dedicated members. The cost of heating the church is just about more than they can afford.
“This is a beautiful building, my regrets are that this beautiful architecture is not going to be preserved,” says Rose Nicholson. “As for our church, our church is where we are.”
The church is a landmark in the town of Springhill, with the community cenotaph nestled in front of the building.
“We don’t have much choice, but the Lord must have something new, somewhere to lead us,” says Karen Wood.
The church has seen the glory days of coal mining in Springhill, days when the pews would be full on Sunday morning.
Congregation members on Sunday remembered their church, as more than just a building.
“It’s hard to say goodbye to a building, but we will continue on as a church, and it’s the people that are the church,” says organist Joe Veinotte.
“It’s the space in which we worship and other activities take place, but it’s not the source of our identity,” adds Rev. Brian Spence.
A specific date for the church deconsecration and demolition has not yet been set, however it is expected that work will begin by spring or summer of 2019.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Dan MacIntosh.