Langford Church prepares to move to new home as congregation continues to grow – Vancouver Island Free Daily
A Catholic church in Langford is bucking the trend of shrinking congregations with growth so strong it is building and moving to a new building three times the size of its current church and community hall .
Our Lady of the Rosary Parish has occupied its current location on Goldstream Avenue for nearly 70 years, but Father Dean Henderson said it had been known for at least 25 of those years that a larger space was needed.
“The church is really full at around 225 people. Before COVID, we used to get masses of 350 people at times – just crammed in like sardines,” Henderson said of the current location. growth, by many young families, by many children, by general need for space for worship.
The pastor said there had been intermittent efforts to move to a new location dating back almost to the founding of the parish, but they all stalled and were eventually completely abandoned. This time, however, everything goes according to plan.
A seven-acre property on Irwin Road has been secured and plans for the new building are being finalized. The new building will include a 350-person capacity community hall attached to a 600-person church sanctuary that can be expanded up to 750 people when needed.
It will also include numerous office spaces and a 30-place daycare centre. Henderson said the building is also designed to accommodate a potential K-4 Catholic school further down the road.
“There will be a lot of capacity to accommodate people. There is great hope that we will be able to increase the number of ministries and programs that we manage,” he said.
The larger space is needed because despite the fact that many other parishes across the country are seeing their congregations dwindle to the point that some churches across Canada are closing completely, the Henderson congregation is growing rapidly and has been for many years.
It’s a trend he attributes to the rapid growth the West Bank is experiencing, significant immigration from predominantly Catholic countries like the Philippines and those in Latin America, and the parish’s efforts to be a community that people want to be part of. .
The parish is currently due to vacate its current location by October 2023 after Royal Roads University purchased the property earlier this year, and the hope is that the community hall section of the new building will be ready around the same time, allowing the congregation to change location. transparently.
The sanctuary section in the new building should be ready a few months later, allowing the congregation to move into their permanent home.