New Brunswick

Fredericton's Christ Church Cathedral mulls sale of properties

Leadership at Christ Church Cathedral is looking at the possibility of selling some of the church's buildings and making changes to others.

The proposal suggests selling both Memorial Hall and Odell House

Christ Church Cathedral is considering the possibility of selling Memorial Hall and Odell House. (Lauren Bird/CBC)

Leadership at Christ Church Cathedral is considering the possibility of selling some of the church's buildings and making changes to others.

A "vision" outlined on the church's website cites the cost of maintaining each of the five buildings as a reason for the potential sale.

"In recent years, the Cathedral congregation's average expenditures have totalled just less than $200,000 per year for the Cathedral, the former deanery (Odell House) and Memorial Hall, not including insurance," read the vision document posted to the cathedral's website.

The proposal suggests selling both Memorial Hall and Odell House, which was formerly the home of the dean.

The document proposes a new building to be built between the Bishop's Court and the Synod Office directly across from the Cathedral on Church Street. It could house condos and the Cathedral offices and be connected in some way to both the Bishop's Court and the Synod office, which cost the diocese approximately $36,000 a year to maintain.

Additionally, the church is exploring ways to refurbish the interior of the Cathedral to make it more modern.

Bishop David Edwards presented the plan to the congregation in November.

Heritage trust concerned

Richard Bird of the Fredericton Heritage Trust was at the meeting. Though not speaking for the trust, he says the vision is concerning.

"You can't tell at the moment just what road this is going to go down," said Bird.

Memorial Hall is one of the buildings being considered for sale. (Lauren Bird/CBC)

"It may be that they're never able to sell the church hall, that may solve part of the problem, maybe not... but that all remains to be seen."

Edwards underlines in the document that this is a proposal for discussion and not a final plan.

The church's properties and land, which include a large section of the Green, are assessed at $3.9 million.

Senior members of the church have met informally with the city of Fredericton.

City officials and senior members of the church declined to comment. Edwards could not be reached.

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