Cape Breton group wins battle to save historic church
St. Alphonsus Church is shown in this undated photo near Sydney, N.S. (Heritage Canada / Donna Marie MacLean)
The Stone Church Restoration Society has won its battle to save Cape Breton’s historic St. Alphonsus Church.
According to the society’s Facebook page, the Diocese of Antigonish has agreed to sell the 99-year-old church and property for $40,000.
The diocese had wanted to demolish the church, but Victoria Mines residents were concerned it would be torn down if sold to another group.
The Stone Church Society has been lobbying to take ownership of St. Alphonsus Church for over a year, holding a number of fundraisers and launching a public campaign to save it.
The Diocese of Antigonish informed society members Sunday evening that it would sell the church to the group.
The society says it has paid the first nonrefundable instalment of $7,500 and has to raise another $12,500 to complete the purchase, plus associated purchasing cost, by Dec. 31.
It will need to make two additional payments of $10,000 each in the new year, and will received the deed after the first $20,000 has been paid.
The society says it will apply for heritage status and grants after the purchase is complete.