COMMUNITY SUPPORT – Rev. Noel Wygiera of St. Luke’s Anglican Church is hoping the community can lend a hand in raising funds for ongoing restorative work to the church

St. Luke’s Anglican Church in need of restorative work

Fundraising efforts to restore historic building continue

  • Jun. 25, 2014 3:14 p.m.

Set in the heart of Red Deer, St. Luke’s Anglican Church is certainly a kind of monument to the region’s early settlers.

But these days the beautiful church, built in 1899 and known as the City’s oldest standing church, is in need of various types of renovations, and Rev. Noel Wygiera and his congregation are calling on the community to lend a hand in raising funds towards that end.

Recently, the ‘Raise the Roof’ campaign helped bring in the funds necessary to repair the church’s roof, but there is other restorative and engineering work that needs to be done, said Wygiera.

The Raise the Roof campaign began last fall within the congregation itself, and had a target of $30,000 to raise, said Wygiera. “Eighty per cent of our $30,000 was raised internally,” he said. “It was this past April that we went public with it.

“With community donations and a bequest on behalf of a former parishioner, there was an additional $12,000 to $13,000 raised.”

But as Wygiera pointed out, the roof is the tip of the iceberg.

He added that the appeal for funds will continue even after the roof work is completed so as to help raise money for external structural work on the building, as well as work to preserve the sandstone.

The building, which has been designated as a Provincial Historic Resource, features an exterior of locally-quarried sandstone, and is an example of late 19th century neo-gothic architecture.

In 1899, Canon Joshua Hinchliffe arrived in Red Deer as rector of the parish of St. Luke’s. Schooled in England, he was an architect and a master stone mason and carpenter. As St. Luke’s couldn’t afford to pay for a full-time priest, Hinchliffe worked during the week at the Piper Brickyard.

Initially, the Edmonton firm of Edminston and Johnson prepared designs for St. Luke’s. Then under Hinchliffe’s supervision, construction began in 1899.

According to church documents, as the congregation couldn’t afford bricks from the Piper Yard, sandstone from the local Reinholt Quarry was used instead.

“They started building on the east end of the church and worked towards the west.”

The sandstone was cut and prepared by members of the parish. And eventually, the building was opened on Nov. 4th, 1900 and a consecration service was held in 1902, he said. St. Luke’s was fully completed in 1906.

“People worked really hard to make this happen.”

As the church’s web site puts it, ‘St. Luke’s Church building is indeed a provincial treasure and a crown jewel among Red Deer’s historic resources.’

Raising public awareness about the restoration projects has also bolstered awareness about the church in general, said Wygiera. “We’ve been able to open up the facility more for people.” For example, the Wild Rose Harmonizers recently performed there. And another local congregation uses the building on Sunday afternoons. Wygiera wants to see more of that sharing of the church down the road.

“We want to be able to offer it back to the community as a whole. And we want the community to know it’s here to use.

“I’d like to see it being used every day of the week.”

For more information, or to support the fundraising in any way, call 403-346-3402, email office@oldchurchrd.com, or donations can also be mailed to St. Luke’s Anglican Church at 4929 – 54 St. The postal code is T4N 2G7.

Cheques should be made payable to St. Luke’s Anglican Church.

editor@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

Olympic sportscaster Brian Williams says IOC too lenient on Russians

Williams was in Red Deer for a speech for Farm Credit Canada

A 37-year-old Red Deer man arrested for impaired driving

Man sustained serious injuries in two-vehicle collision

Red Deer RCMP investigate Fairview home invasion

RCMP believe it was a targeted home invasion, targeting wrong residence

Red Deer Big Brothers and Big Sisters receives $9,000 to help children

Funds go to matching an adult with a child, providing them with training and support

Tyler Steenbergen looking to centre a line for Team Canada

Sylvan Lake’s Steenbergen invited to try out for Canada’s National Junior Team

Troubled Monk releases new spirit

Troubled Spirit vodka was introduced in early December

FCC votes along party lines to end ‘net neutrality’

Move rolls back restrictions that keep big providers from blocking services they don’t like

Truck driver volunteers to take dog lost in B.C. back home to Alberta

Frankie, a pit bull service dog, was found wandering in the Lower Mainland

Disney buying part of 21st Century Fox in $52.4B deal

Disney is buying a large part of the Murdoch family’s 21st Century Fox for about $52.4 billion

Bountiful polygamist believed he couldn’t be prosecuted: lawyer

Winston Blackmore’s lawyer says Blackmore did not believe he could be prosecuted

Woman charged after altercation injured baby in Toronto

Charges have been laid after a four-month-old baby girl was critically injured in Toronto

Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil announces retirement

Veteran Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil spent 15 seasons with the NHL team

Trudeau’s office confirms staffer being probed over allegations

PMO confirms staffer being probed over allegations of reported “inappropriate behaviour.”

Police kill gunman north of Toronto

Police shot and killed a gunman during a hostage situation at a bank north of Toronto

Most Read