Magazine article Anglican Journal

Sale, Development Mulled for Historic Church Buildings

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Sale, Development Mulled for Historic Church Buildings

Article excerpt

The bishop of Fredericton has put forth a proposal for the possible sale and development of millions of dollars' worth of historic church property in the heart of New Brunswick's capital city.

Last November, Bishop David Edwards presented a "vision" for Christ Church Cathedral and several nearby church properties to the congregation of the cathedral. Church officials are reported to have met with Fredericton city staff earlier that month to discuss the plan and ensure it fit the city's plan for the area.

The proposal, available online, includes the sale of two church properties--Cathedral Memorial Hall, which contains offices and rooms used for meetings and other functions; and Odell House, the former deanery of the cathedral. It envisages the construction of a new building encompassing the existing Bishop's Court (the former residence of the bishop) and the synod office building next door. Plans for the building include institutional and possibly residential space--condominiums or rental units--providing income to both the diocese and the cathedral.

Driving the possible changes is the high cost of maintaining the five properties currently held by the diocese and cathedral. The cathedral itself, a National Historic Site of Canada that Edwards calls the architectural "jewel in the crown" of downtown Fredericton, is nearly 170 years old. It was restored in the 1990s, but "many of its parts cry out for another multi-million dollar restoration project," the proposal says.

Cathedral Memorial Hall is unused most of the time, but also needs "extensive and expensive renovations. …

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