In a bustling parish like St. Stephen’s, advance planning is a way of life. Whether it’s this week’s worship, next year’s retirement, or five years down the road, we are always thinking ahead. Our new building committee, Open Doors II, is a good illustration of this
When we completed our last round of renovations, in 2013, we knew we were not done. Phase I was complete, including radical changes to our worship and program space, our accessibility, and our infrastructure. But Phase II was already on our minds. The church offices and Canterbury Room were dying a slow ragged death and the Memorial Hall was literally falling apart!
Open Doors II is our attempt to articulate a new vision for our ageing buildings and to coordinate their revitalization through a new renovation project. At the core of this vision is the Memorial Hall and its potential as a community hub for our neighbourhood.
The lower floor of the hall, where we used to host Inn From the Cold, boasts a kitchen and banquet hall, ideal for redevelopment as a community kitchen. The upper hall, which now houses a dozen artists in affordable studios, is in fact a full–sized community hall with stage and wings. The office space provides homey administration for small organizations.
So our team is busy these days meeting with city planners and other potential partners to flesh out a vision, to be followed by parish consultations, and then some feasibility planning. There’s no moss gathering here!