St. Rita’s Catholic Church looks toward re-build

Details falling into place on the way to a replacement for Castlegar sanctuary

Father David John in the parish hall where masses have been held since the loss of St. Rita's sanctuary

There are many considerations that go along with the decision to build something. When the project is a new church and committees, rather than an individual who are making the decisions, the process becomes quite involved.

Father David John is the priest at Castlegar’s St. Rita’s Church, which lost it’s sanctuary in early 2013 as the result of an arson fire. Weekly Mass has been held in the neighbouring parish hall in the interim, and parishioners are looking forward to a rebuilding effort to begin soon.

“We had to specify exactly what we wanted, and make a number of design decisions. We’ve done all that and we’ve got an outline design,” informed Father John on June 10.

“We got the parish very involved, as well as the 28 people involved with the various committees looking at different aspects of it. We went to the parish for votes on various things and we had 216 people turn out to vote, which I thought was quite amazing.”

A whirlwind of work has gone into the process before a physical step has been taken. This much is known so far – the new sanctuary will sit where the old one did, but will be oriented in a north-south, rather than east west fashion.

“We had the basic idea and took it back to the architect (Allan MacLeod – Fairbank Architects Ltd. of Nelson). He’s working on the detailed design which will then go for study by structural, electrical and acoustic engineers.”

“We’re expecting quite soon to get to a point where we’ll say, ‘Yes, this is what we want to build. Then we’ll need to go to the civil authorities and church authorities to get the permission to do that. Once that is done we can put the project out to tender.”

That tendering process could happen as soon as July.

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