New Brunswick

Historic Saint John church holding final service after sale

An historic Saint John church will be holding its final service this weekend after the parish sold the church because it could no longer afford to maintain the building.

St. George's-St. Jude's Anglican Church was founded in 1821 and is a designated historic site

St. George's-St. Jude's Anglican Church, which is located in Saint John's west end, was founded in 1821 and is a designated historic site. (Cherise Letson/CBC)

A west Saint John church building will host its final service this weekend.

St. George's-St. Jude's Anglican Church has been vacant since January after the parish could no longer afford to maintain the building.

The church is now sold and will be serving a very different purpose.

St. George's-St. Jude's Anglican Church has been vacant since January after the parish could no longer afford to maintain the building. (Cherise Letson/CBC)
For St. George's-St. Jude's rector Rev. Rob Salloum, the sale of the church brings mixed emotions.

"It's very sad as you can imagine for all of us in so many ways. Seeing this piece of history and a chapter in history closing," Salloum said.

"And we look at it also in a way that these times are changing and the method in which ministry is done in churches and the way the church exercises its ministry in the name of Christ is being done in different ways."

Carla Humphrey and her family recently bought the church. They plan to turn the church hall into a family restaurant. The sanctuary will become a wedding chapel.

Humphrey says it will be a place where people can have a traditional church wedding, regardless of religion.

Carla Humphrey bought the church and plans to turn the church hall into a family restaurant and the sanctuary will become a wedding chapel. (Cherise Letson/CBC)
"So I think everybody would like to have a church-style wedding but are not able to because of religion or because they don't go to church," she said.

"So I think this is a really good opportunity to come marry in a church-style wedding."

Humphrey says they will preserve and repair much of the building. It was founded in 1821 and is a designated historic site.

For Salloum, that news is comforting.

"There's been so much effort, blood, sweat and tears and love that has built this house. So yes, absolutely. I'd be very happy to know that this would continue to be a beacon in the community for sure," he said.

A final service will be held at the church this Sunday.

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