The congregation of a Moose Jaw, Sask., church built over a century ago is reaching out for support to help maintain the heritage building.
It was determined that Zion United Church at 423 Main St. North required a new boiler and the cost of replacement would be at least six figures.
Former Saskatchewan premier Lorne Calvert is chairing the committee to raise the funds to replace the boiler.
“We need to … purchase the new machinery, the new boiler, and to have it installed,” Calvert said.
“As with many of these old boilers, there is a certain amount of asbestos on the pipes around the water that’s going to have to all be removed. So the estimate we’ve received from the professionals is for $100,000.”
Calvert said he served as the minister of Zion Church years ago and many have witnessed the acoustics inside.
“Over the years there have been thousands and thousands of people who have sat in the seats in the pews of Zion Church for music festivals, band festivals, concerts and carol festivals,” he said.
“Thousands of people who have experienced that beautiful sanctuary and its wonderful acoustics and who will want to help preserve this very historic building.
“Of course, the congregation itself is stepping up to the plate, although the congregation now is smaller and it’s older and we will require the support of the wider community.”
The deadline to hit the fundraising goal has been set for Thanksgiving, according to Calvert.
“In Saskatchewan, we might end up with snow in September. So we’ve set Thanksgiving as our fundraising goal and it will also be the time we need to have the new boiler installed,” he said.
“This is Saskatchewan. A heat source, boiler or a furnace is not optional and so the unfortunate reality is if we’re unable to replace the boiler, we’ll have a derelict building … It would be tragic to lose this heritage property.
“We just invite support for this project from whether the gifts to be small or large, every one of them is going to be appreciated and every gift will help preserve this part of our community.”
Calvert said they’ll also be looking at any heritage money or renovation funds that might be available through various levels of government.
“The easiest route, perhaps, is the GoFundMe page … a direct contribution straight to the church for 423 Main Street North in Moose Jaw or call the church office and would be happy to receive donations of any sort,” Calvert said.
According to the city’s website, Zion Church is a municipal heritage property that originally finished construction in 1907.