West Hill church to be expanded

With a growing membership of over 200 people, Grace Church Presbyterian is awaiting government approval to expand, said Rev. Evertt Briard, an interim moderator.

“It’s a busy place, and this extension will give us more space to carry out the programs we have,” Briard said.

He said that the expansion is designed so that when the new sanctuary is built, which will be “Phase 2,” everything will fit together properly.

The congregation has had a huge growth within the last year, as more families with children have been attending contemporary services, Rev. Mona Scrivens said.

Scrivens explained that the original sanctuary, which was built in 1962 and holds 230 people, is not big enough to adequately accommodate the members of the church.

“Some people would have to stand and it gets really cramped, so it’s not comfortable,” Scrivens said.
She estimates that the new sanctuary will seat about 250 people.

Organizers have been planning this project since early last year, with hopes that “Phase 1” of the construction will begin in early July and be completed by the end of September, Briard said.

Scrivens said that the architect had produced plans for a substantial addition to the building in 2000, but it fell through because of the cost and the fact that an expansion was not the focus at the time.

Briard said that while there are two ministers, there is currently only one minister’s

“Now we’re in a desperate situation for additional space,” Briard said.  “We will be getting a much larger lobby, two offices for ministers, a meeting room, and a new nursery, as the existing one will be used for other purposes.”

Briard is also hoping to get more natural light in the building by putting a skylight in the lobby.