From time to time I’ll share some perspectives on our heritage. New Vision emerged from the embers of Centenary and St. Giles churches. It is increasingly likely that the St. Giles building will remain pretty much as is on the outside and be adapted to housing. It will continue to be owned at least in part by New Vision on behalf of the United Church. We are looking into, as well, the very strong possibility of a role for the Centenary building in the local music and performance scene as we work out our calling as a community of Christian faith.
We opened the doors of our MacNab site (aka, former Centenary building) to the community this past weekend as part of Hamilton’s Doors Open. About 100 people came by to see it. The occasion allowed us to turn over a few stones and learn some things about the building. Begun in 1866 and finished in 1868, its construction framed the year of the founding of Canada. This means that next year it will be 150 years old. At its opening it was understood to hold 1800 people. This was reduced in the 1910s to 1600 by order of the fire marshal, who told the congregation that it couldn’t continue to put fold-up chairs in the aisles! Today, Hamilton’s Fire Prevention Office has determined that the maximum capacity for the sanctuary is 1100 people. (Click on the thumbnail photo to see photo full-sized.)
The volunteers for the Doors Open project prepared a fact sheet which I will post on our website later today or tomorrow. Check there (http://newvisionunited.org/) to learn more about this fascinating part of New Vision’s congregational heritage.
And see you Sunday, for community ~