Nova Scotia

St. Patrick's Church rectory sale delayed by address mixup

The congregation of St. Patrick's Church on Brunswick Street wants to sell its rectory to help maintain the church, but officials say what amounts to a clerical error has created a roadblock.

Rectory once housed four priests but is now empty

St. Patrick's Rectory Project volunteer Blair Beed says the developer would keep the exterior untouched. (CBC)

The congregation of St. Patrick's Church on Brunswick Street wants to sell its rectory to help maintain the church, but officials say what amounts to a clerical error has created a roadblock.

St. Patrick's was built in 1883 and is now costly to maintain. Necessary work on the steeple itself could total $1.5 million.

To fund the work, the congregation decided to sell the church rectory, which once housed four priests but is now empty.

Last fall, church officials found a developer who wants to create nine units inside the building.

St. Patrick's Rectory Project volunteer Blair Beed says the developer would also keep the exterior untouched.

"The number of windows is part of the selling feature because the units would have lots of light in all direction," he said. "And it's in keeping with one of the rules of this side of Brunswick Street to maintain the structure. So it works out well for everybody."

St. Patrick's was built in 1883 and is now costly to maintain. (CBC)

Any sale was stalled after city officials said the rectory is a registered heritage property.

The church says this is a mixup over addresses.

"We wanted the clerical error corrected," Beed said.

"Which to a lay person, you think would be a letter to the Registry of Deeds saying 'Oops, this is not the church location, please move it to the other address', but they say the only process to follow is a de-registration process."

Beed says they were instructed to apply for de-registration and did so.

A new report by heritage planners opposes the application.They instead want both the church and the rectory properly registered.

The news is disappointing for a congregation spending thousands of dollars every month on a building they no longer need, while improvements to the actual church are put on hold.

Church officials are hoping that despite the recommendations from planners, that regional council will approve the sale of the rectory as soon as possible.

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