Third Avenue United Church acquired by “excited” Orthodox congregation

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The Saint-Vincent de Lérins Orthodox Church finalized the purchase of the historic downtown church at the beginning of July.

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After years of being unoccupied, Third Avenue United Church in Saskatoon has changed ownership and is preparing to welcome a new congregation.

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The Saint-Vincent de Lérins Orthodox Church finalized the purchase of the downtown church at the beginning of July.

Pastor St. Vincent, Fr. Herman Fields said the congregation had long-term plans to restore the building to accommodate new services.

“It’s a huge, huge task… but it’s extremely exciting,” said Fields. “There is already so much beauty in it. “

Third Avenue United Church had not held a church service for more than three years, since late June 2018. The decision to end worship at the church was made by a declining congregation that believed the building maintenance would become too expensive to continue.

The building was granted municipal heritage protection in 2017, which extends to the exterior, rafters and organ inside.

Fields said restoring and maintaining these items was part of the plan.

“It is a majestic worship space,” he said. “It’s amazing for us to be able to have this space… it’s a great responsibility and a great joy.”

The Third Avenue United Church building was purchased by the St. Vincent of Lerins Orthodox Church.
The Third Avenue United Church building was purchased by the St. Vincent of Lerins Orthodox Church. Photo by Matt Smith /Saskatoon StarPhoenix

The Saint-Vincent de Lérins Orthodox Church was previously located in a building on Avenue E, which has already been sold to another congregation, Fields said.

He noted that the newly purchased building will provide space for the growing congregation, which has already hosted a service in its new location.

“Our old church was getting too small for us,” he said. “We heard that the Third Avenue Church was for sale and the price was surprisingly low, within our means.”

The necessary repairs are important. The city council’s planning, development and community services committee voted in favor of providing $ 20,000 to repair the church’s leaky roof in 2020 from the city’s heritage reserve, but estimates put the total cost of repairing it at $ 105,000 at the time.


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