© Justin Crann
Rev. Dean Pinter and Reverend Deacon Arleen Champion stand inside the renovated chapel of St. Aidan Anglican Church.
St. Aidan Anglican Church initiated fundraising for a second phase of planned church renovations with a concert Monday evening.
“We’ve finished phase one, which was renovations to the church proper,” said Arleen Champion, reverend deacon at St. Aidan.
The building’s first phase of renovations included the installation of a new heating system, the overhaul of former clergy living quarters into office space, and touch-ups to the chapel, sanctuary and other top floor areas.
The second phase of renovations is aimed at making the gymnasium and parish hall into more accessible spaces.
“It’s our goal to raise the floor of the gym so it’s the same height as the church,” said Champion. “(The space) is not easily accessible for everyone ... it’s our goal to make it so anyone can come in and so that there are no barriers for anyone."
All told, renovations to St. Aidan are expected to cost upwards of $1 million. Much of that money was raised in the sale of old church properties following the amalgamation of the four Moose Jaw congregations that now attend St. Aidan.
“The original intent, when we first came together as an amalgamated parish, was to build a new church and we put all four buildings up for sale," said Champion. "When the other three sold, this is what we were left with, so we said, ‘Okay, this is the one.'"
But the funds raised in the sale of existing properties weren’t enough to cover the renovations, so other fundraising efforts — such as the Country Blend concert on Monday — are necessary.
Still, the cost is “not as important” as “the mission behind (the renovations),” said Champion.
“The church is not just there for people who come on Sundays, it’s also there for the community ... (we want) to make it a place that’s more easily used by the community.”
“When we look at the church and see what we’ve done, we think, ‘We’ve come a long way,’” she continued. “But God’s not done with us yet.”