FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Plans for the relocation of Fort St. John’s St. Martin’s Anglican Church, which has a history of more than eight decades, now rest with the decision makers at city hall.
It’s been just over a year since the church building on 100th street was demolished, following purchase of the land by the North Peace Savings and Credit Union, for a new three story building, adjacent to its current one.
The last of 44 years of Anglican services at the 100th street location, shared for a number of years with the local United Church congregation, was held on June 29th of last year.
Fort St. John is one of three Anglican congregations, the others in Taylor and Cecil Lake, which make up the North Peace Parish and it is now hoped to build the new church in the cities northwest sector on land which has been acquired west of the Christian Life School, on 112th avenue.
However, the Parrish still requires city approval of a rezoning application, before any construction can begin, on what would be a single story building.
Still church rector, Reverend Enid Pow, says things are positive in terms of development and so, “I’m really hoping we’ll have a church by next year”.
Current plans would see the building made available for community use seven days a week, and she also hopes that will lead to desired expansion of both the facility and the current congregation of about 30 people.
Meantime, she’s had unconfirmed reports that some salvaged parts of the old church building will be included as part of the architecture of the new Credit Union building.
However, even though in this case, the permit, valued at about 15 million dollars has been issued, as reported earlier, construction of the three story structure is now on indefinite hold, due to the current local area economic downturn.
Still the Credit Union is moving ahead with refurbishment of the small cemetery on the site, and Reverend Pow says she’s been assured it will include a new fence.
She says, while fewer than a dozen graves are involved, they’re associated with long family histories and attachments and she believes the last burial, dates all the way back to the early 1930’s.