PEI

10 weeks after flood, Charlottetown church restored for services

It's been a huge job, but the congregation of First Baptist Church in downtown Charlottetown will be back at home this Sunday.

'It's familiar in some ways and it'll be brand new in other ways'

First Baptist Church will be ready for services Sunday. (David DuBois)

It's been a huge job, but the congregation of First Baptist Church in downtown Charlottetown will be back at home this Sunday.

In early March a broken pipe spread water all through the pews, destroying the flooring and wrecking ceilings on the floor below. For 10 weeks the congregation has been meeting at Florence Simmons Performance Hall at Holland College.

"We had to tear up a lot of the flooring on the main level where the sanctuary and entry area is. And we had to remove a number of the ceilings in the lower level where the water had seeped through," said pastor David DuBois.

"It's familiar in some ways and it'll be brand new in other ways."

The tile floor and carpet runners between the pews are gone, said Dubois, replaced by carpeting throughout. But that's not the biggest change.

"What most people will notice immediately is that the pews are gone," he said.

The church decided to take the opportunity of the accident to replace the pews, says David DuBois. (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC)

"They were damaged by the flood, and although it was possible to remediate them and bring them back in we had been considering for some time the possibility of increasing the flexibility of our space."

The oak pews have been replaced by pew chairs. The chairs can be linked together for a traditional layout, or they can be separated and set around the room as required for different purposes.

DuBois said insurance covered most of the cost, but the church will have to pay for the pew chairs, and the congregation is fundraising for that.

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With files from Angela Walker

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