The making of a rural community hub: The Kingsbridge community comes together to give a new life to their former Cathedral near Goderich, ON.
Critical to the success of this project so far has been the hundreds of active volunteers that have donated thousands of hours to complete most of the work. Partnerships with local governments and businesses have resulted in donated funds, building materials, and in-kind services.
And despite this beehive of renovation activity, the team has managed to increase the community’s use of the renovated spaces by programming many concerts, meetings, ecumenical prayer services, choir practices, and yoga classes – generating a stable source of revenue for their operations.
While the SJKC Board continues to actively seek grant opportunities from a multitude of sources, they are also pro-actively planning the long-term business strategies that will ensure the site’s ongoing sustainability.
Armed with their conviction that their historic Cathedral could have a new life, and by putting the community’s wellbeing at the center of their mission, the SJKC has made tremendous strides in creating a new hub for their rural community. Their inspiring successes to date can be attributed to many interrelated factors:
Preserving a link to our literary past: Community volunteers keep the doors open at Lakefield’s Christ Church in Lakefield, Ontario.
The challenges facing historic places of faith are daunting, yet across the country congregations and communities are finding creative new uses and partnerships to revitalize these important landmarks.
Hosting events is a great way to attract first time visitors to your site. If there’s a particular demographic you want to target (i.e. seniors, millennials, families) tailor your event to the experience they’re looking for. Remember there’s competition for events, so really think outside the box. Come up with themes that will create a memorable experience for your visitors that will keep them coming back.