It’s news that will warm more than the hearts of the congregation at St. Saviour’s Anglican Pro-Cathedral in Nelson.
The Columbia Basin Trust recently announced that Anglican Church on Ward Street is on the Heritage Grants list for more than $135,000 to install a new heating system.
The system will use a series of efficient technologies to heat the church as well as reduce gas emissions.
“There are seven grants to various churches or repurposing of church buildings in the area,” said local historian and St. Saviour’s parishioner, Greg Scott.
“This is important as has been recently pointed out by The National Trust for Canada, these churches are our heritage and the buildings integral parts of our community and not just religious institutions.”
St. Saviour’s Church, built in 1898, was designed by architect George D. Curtis and is an excellent example of Gothic perpendicular church architecture. A temporary Mission Church was built on the property in 1892 and moved to the adjacent lot when the present Church was constructed.
In 1928, the Church burned down to its granite foundations but within a year a rebuilt Church, largely conforming to the present design, was opened.
St. Saviour’s contains 16 memorial stained glass windows that are unique and collectively considered the best example of stained glass in the Kootenays.
In 2012 the adjacent Memorial Hall was sold and an addition was constructed on the Church to accommodate modern washrooms, kitchen and storage.
“The main function of the Church over the decades was and continues to be for Anglican religious observances,” Scott explains. “The congregation has served the surrounding community in many and varied ways over the years, including the establishment of the first Boy Scout troop in Nelson.”
The current outreach of St. Saviour’sto the community includes a weekly Food Pantry, a weekly men’s drop-in, and a venue for concerts, films, climate vigils, and meetings.
During the summer months, the Church is open for quiet meditation and heritage tours. The building has been conserved through the continuous efforts of congregations over the years.
St. Saviour’s roof was re-done in 1992 with shingles guaranteed for 35 years. In 2005, the large Good Shepherd window at the front of the church, which was sagging badly, was repaired by stained glass experts.
There were repairs to small holes and cracks in the diamond-paned clerestory windows in the church.
The addition to the church in 2012 provided an opportunity to repair and re-paint the stucco, re-point the stone work, re-paint the trim, re-finish the wooden doors, upgrade the electrical service, and improve the drainage around the building."
The Church is also a by-law designated heritage building, only 1 of 11 so designated by the City.
The actual grant of $137,071 will be used to install two combination heat pumps and high efficiency condensing gas-fired furnaces to heat the nave; a heat recovery ventilator for the nave; a new high efficiency condensing boiler to serve areas other than the nave; a zoned heat distribution system, additional hydronic heaters in parts of the main church; a new variable frequency drive pump; a new boiler control system; a new buffer tank, and temperature-controlled ceiling fans in the nave.
Launched in 2017, the Columbia Basin Trust Built Heritage Grants are a three-year commitment to help groups preserve, rehabilitate and restore heritage buildings.
The grants are administered by Heritage BC. In this intake, the Trust is supporting 17 projects with $2.4 million.
Prior to the news of St. Saviour’s successful grant application, the parishioners were busy selling chocolates to raise funds.
Scott said that funds raised for the “Bucks for the Boiler” program from sales of chocolates and drinks by the Church ladies during concert intermissions hosted in the Church will now be re-invested into other projects so supporters won’t be disappointed, nor their waistline.
The interior St. Saviour’s Church, built in 1898, will be a lot warmer once the new heating system has been installed thanks to the Columbia Basin Trust Heritage Grant. — Submitted photo