Once COVID-19 restrictions allow St. Andrew’s United Church to hold services again, parishioners will enjoy a newly furbished exterior.
In the last few months, the church’s wood siding has been replaced with hardie board and the cement along the bottom has a fresh coat of paint, which complements the new roof.
“We thought it needed an upgrade and went with the hardie board because it lasts forever,” said Linda Hicks who is part of an ad hoc committee with the church responsible for the renovations.
Hicks said they are now wondering about getting some new signage and have shared some ideas with each other but so far no decision has been made.
St. Andrew’s was built in 1982 by volunteer labour and one hired contractor.
“We had one down on Carson that met its demise by some young arsonist,” Hicks said.
Pointing the manicured lawn and garden area, Hicks credited Rosalin and Hal Giles for their efforts at keeping it look nice.
Reverend Nancy Colton arrived in December 2019 in Williams Lake to serve the church.
Through the pandemic she’s been reaching out to her parishioners through phone calls, Zoom and e-mails she said, adding the congregation determined they would go to a ‘soft close’ during the pandemic and the doors have been open for people to come in and spend time in the sanctuary if they wanted.
The church office has remained open and because they are blessed with ‘lots of space,’ anyone coming in has been able to keep a physical distance easily. She recalled how a small group sat and visited in the foyer, all sitting apart from each other on chairs, and it was a nice opportunity.
As for virtual services, she said the decision made by the worship committee was that parishioners would be encouraged to go to ‘other virtual churches’ on Sundays.
“There is lots of opportunity to visit congregations who have been doing all sorts of online things for a long time. They can deliver a product and a service that’s different than what we would be able to,” Colton said.
The ‘silver lining’ through COVID-19, is that it gives people that chance to meet other folks and explore other congregations, denominations, even other faith groups and see what they do in terms of worship and gathering, she added.
Colton was ordained in 2003, and really likes Williams Lake.
Originally from Vancouver she said B.C. is home and it’s good to be home.
Brad Thiessen, co-owner of Sprucelee Construction Ltd. said he met with the committee last summer and had a contract ready, but it was a matter of finding time for the crews to do the work.
“They wanted low maintenance by going with the hardie board from the painted wood siding. I helped them out with the design of it,” Thiessen said.