PEI

Charlottetown church moves services to movie theatre

Surrounded by the smell of buttery popcorn, people fill the seats in an auditorium at Cineplex Odeon in Charlottetown. Instead of settling in to watch a movie, the crowd is ready to sing worship songs.

Center Point Church's weekly services are now being held at Cineplex

Center Point Church has started holding its weekly Charlottetown services in a movie theatre. (Nicole Williams/CBC)

Surrounded by the smell of buttery popcorn, people fill the seats in an auditorium at Cineplex in Charlottetown. Instead of settling in to watch a movie, the crowd is ready to sing worship songs.

Center Point Church has started renting out a Cineplex auditorium to hold Sunday morning services. 

"We view church not as a building. Church is people and we gather together," said Pastor Howie MacMaster.

Making church more accessible

Center Point is a non-denominational evangelical Church. It started in Montague, and has held evening services in Charlottetown for about five years. Those services have moved between Holland College and UPEI. And now, the church has made the shift to Sunday mornings. 

MacMaster said there were a few reasons that a movie theatre seemed like a good setting for church services. 

"Location is always key. So, everybody knows where the movie theatre is, and that way it's easy to get to," MacMaster said.

Pastor Howie MacMaster hopes the Cineplex is an inviting place for people to come to a church service. (Nicole Williams/CBC)

"As well, some people have different, I'll just say preconceived ideas about church. This sort of knocks down the wall where 'Oh, I've been to the movie theatre, maybe I'll check out a church service.'"

He also noted the service could easily be moved to a larger auditorium if the congregation grows.

Positive feedback

Church volunteer Kelsey Murray said she was surprised at first to hear the church would be moving to a movie theatre. 

"But when I thought hey it's at the Cineplex I was like 'Great, we can have church, and then we can go see a movie if we really want to.'"

There has been positive feedback from the congregation so far, says Pastor Howie MacMaster. (Nicole Williams/CBC)

MacMaster said he has heard a lot of positive feedback about the move, and he says the church would eventually like to expand to Summerside.  

More P.E.I. news

With files from Nicole Williams

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