New Brunswick

Saint John's oldest church up for sale for $134,900

The oldest church in Saint John, the 193-year-old St. George's Anglican Church, is now for sale.

St. George's Anglican Church, on city's west side, is 193 years old

The oldest church in Saint John is up for sale.

St. George's Anglican Church, built in 1821, has been put on the market for $134,900, including its hall and three city lots.

St. George's Anglican Church, located on Watson Street, on Saint John's west side, will be shuttered up for the winter as it waits for a buyer. (CBC)
Rev. Rob Salloum says with an aging population, the parish faces financial challenges.

"We certainly don't make these decisions lightly or quickly and so we do want to make sure the people we serve understand where we're at, and that they will understand that we're still very much alive and serving God on the west side," he said.

The congregation, which merged with neighbouring St. Jude's when that church closed in 2012, will now worship with another nearby parish, The Church of the Good Shepherd, said Salloum.

Meanwhile, St. George's will be shuttered up for the winter as it waits for a buyer.

Sollum says they've had a few inquiries, but nothing serious yet.

Local historian David Goss says it's sad, but it's a sign of the times. The city isn't willing to step in and help with historic buildings, he said.

"Nobody is prepared to help keep these things going. Buildings on Prince William Street [in the city's uptown area] are torn down because nobody cares enough to make sure these things don't happen."

Last year, the church, located in the King Street West Heritage Conservation Zone, had sought to drop its heritage status, saying it made renovations too expensive for the dwindling congregation.

But Saint John city council denied the request.

The church contains much of its original paraphernalia, including an old organ, and priceless stained glass windows.

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