When it comes to church attendance, the common conception is that it's shrinking and there is some truth to that.

Statistically, the number of people attending church has dropped significantly since the 1980s.

In 1985, 30 per cent of Canadians aged 15 and over said they attended a church service weekly, according to Statistics Canada.

By 2005, that number had dropped to 21 per cent.

The number of people that have never attended church increased over that same period, from 22 per cent in 1985 to roughly 33 per cent in 2005.

But a church in Canmore is bucking that trend.

Father Wilbert Chin Jon

Father Wilbert Chin Jon, top centre, leads a service at Our Lady of the Rockies Catholic Parish on Sunday in Canmore. He says attendance is on the rise and a new larger building is on the way. (CBC)

More than 200 people sang during the service at Our Lady of the Rockies Catholic Parish on Sunday.

Paul Denaeghel has been coming to this church for more than 25 years.

Paul Denaeghel

Paul Denaeghel has attended service at the church for more than 25 years. (CBC)

He's seen a lot of changes.

"I see a lot of young families in Canmore. I mean, if you look out at the congregation this morning, there's a lot of new babies," Denaeghel said.

"There are young families that are deciding religion is important."

The crowd here backs that up.

Our Lady of the Rockies Catholic Parish in Canmore

Our Lady of the Rockies Catholic Parish in Canmore is often full, at times the faithful have to listen to the service on a speaker in the front lobby. (CBC)

It's often so crowded that some people have to gather near the front door and listen to the service on a speaker.

Father Wilbert Chin Jon is the pastor in Canmore.

Father Wilbert Chin Jon

Father Wilbert Chin Jon says most of the money needed for a new church has been raised. (CBC)

He says this building, built in the late 50s, needs to be replaced.

"It's difficult to build community and not just because of the lack of seats," Chin Jon explained.

"We also don't have any function rooms, meeting rooms, formation rooms."

Our Lady of the Rockies Catholic Parish, new building

Artist rendering of the new Our Lady of the Rockies Catholic Parish in Canmore. The pastor hopes to move in by 2018. (Artist rendering/Our Lady of the Rockies Catholic Parish)

Father Chin Jon hopes to get his wish soon.

He says the community, including Calgary, has raised most of the funds needed for the new 25,000 square foot, 500-seat building and he's hoping to move into it by 2018.