BLOOMFIELD, P.E.I. —
A 12 months and a half forward of schedule, St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church has paid off the sizable loans it took out for a significant renovation challenge.
“I feel this accomplishment tells us something’s potential if we (don’t) get discouraged by it, and simply consider that it’s going to work,” stated Sharon Jones, a parishioner with the church and member of its fundraising committee.
To assist pay the mortgage, the Bloomfield church’s fundraising committee placed on occasions like dinners, home excursions, lotteries and bingo.
The church even acquired donations in reminiscence of family members; those that donated greater than a certain quantity got a plaque within the church.
“Not solely did the parishioners … help the occasions that we had happening, however the neighborhood at massive did, as effectively,” stated Jones.
The renovation challenge started in 2013.
The highest precedence was to interchange the church’s roof and put up 4 new crosses. This challenge price $100,000, and the mortgage was paid off by the point it was full.
In 2014 and 2015, the basement was renovated, creating rooms for the Knights of Columbus, in addition to a room for common use and washrooms.
The ultimate renovation challenge ended up being essentially the most tough and expensive.
Initially, the church was simply going to color the siding. The paint job would price between $30,000 and $40,000 and must be redone each 10 years, so the organizers opted as a substitute to place new siding on.
They began with one facet in 2016 and rapidly paid off the $75,000 for it.
When beginning the second facet, nevertheless, rot was found within the partitions of the church, sacristy and bell tower; the church wanted to cope with this earlier than they might proceed with the siding.
The attic and basement needed to be insulated; a brand new washroom was added. The massive stained glass window on the entrance of the church, they found, was additionally in want of repairs.
“Ultimately, it was factor that we determined to do the siding as a substitute of portray,” stated parishioner Stacy MacWilliams in an e mail to the Journal Pioneer, “because the rot could not have been found, and the construction of the constructing would have change into compromised.”
The church accomplished the renovations in July 2017, in time for its picnic. Though this picnic occurs yearly, it was the church’s first actual probability to debut the renovations to everybody, each in and out of doors of the church, who helped make it potential.
“We had been capable of showcase what had been achieved and what we nonetheless wanted to fundraise,” stated Jones.
In complete, these renovations price $400,000. Thankfully, the church had already raised a lot of the cash for the repairs and solely required a $150,000 mortgage with a five-year time period.
After a number of extra years of fundraising, the mortgage was paid off on Dec. 23, 2020, three and a half years after the challenge was accomplished. On Feb. 1, 2021, the church held a mass of thanksgiving to have fun.
“What we’ve achieved to the church … goes to present it that long-lasting life,” stated Jones. “Hopefully, with the individuals supporting the church, it’s going to stick with it because it has through the years.”
Kristin Gardiner is the Journal Pioneer’s rural reporter.