Places of faith have anchored and shaped our communities for generations, and remain social and physical landmarks, whether in urban or rural settings. Many congregations are at risk as they face declining attendance and insufficient funding to maintain and operate their buildings and programs. It is estimated that, over the next 5 to 10 years, 30% of Canada's Places of Worship will close and or be demolished.
In light of this challenge, the National Trust for Canada and Faith in the Common Good, two national not-for-profit organizations, have come together to form Regeneration Works: Places of Faith, a partnership designed to explore, develop and evaluate tools that will be used to help rural and small-town community groups work together to make the most of these community assets in order to help re-vitalize and in some cases re-purpose endangered rural places of faith on behalf of the communities they serve.
In 2016, to assist in this work, Halo Canada explored the socio-economic impact of four rural and small-town congregations on their surrounding communities. Participating in the study were: St. James United Church (Parry Sound, ON), Huron Chapel (Aubern, ON), St. Andrew's United Church (Hallville, ON) and St. Paul's Anglican Church (Southampton, ON).
To read more about our findings please click on the link below:
In order to understand this impact more clearly, Regenerating Works is currently seeking additional input from local congregations on how many community and non-profit groups are conducting activities out of faith buildings.
To assist with this project, please take their survey by clicking on the link below: