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Parishioners fight to save 100-year-old landmark
Jessica Earle, ctvedmonton.ca
Published Sunday, September 26, 2010 6:37PM MDT
A centennial celebration at McDougall United Church on Sunday was marked by a crossroads. Thousands of Edmontonians filed into the historic building to honour its rich past and at the same time were forced to acknowledge the massive bill needed to keep the site operational in the future.
Minister John Henry Weinlick says as much as $10 million in renovations is required.
"There are a lot of things that have been neglected over 100 years," he said.
"We're working on that. The first thing we are going to do is repair the roof so the rain doesn't come down on the people worshiping here."
Both the premier and the mayor were on hand for celebration on Sunday, applauding 100 years of social service facilitated through the parish.
"This building is not a building," said Stephen Mandel.
"It's a place of worship, a place of love and a place of great future."
Marion Rattray was also in the pews.
The woman's life is inextricably linked to the building; she's attended services for 90 years and nine months, and was married on site 66 years ago.
"It's a wonderful place to come on a Sunday morning because of the memories I guess," she said.
She hopes to continue her visits for years to come.
"I hope it will be here for my final service. My dad lived to 101 so I'm hoping that I might be here for a while yet."
A committee has been formed to save the church. To learn more about the initiative, click here.
With Files from CTV's Sean Amato