$10M will be raised to save Assumption church, group says

A community group that has been

A community group says it will have the money needed to start reconstruction by Nov. 3

A group of volunteers says it will raise the money in both cash and pledges needed to save Assumption church from closing down. (Michael Evans/CBC News)

A community group that has been fundraising in an effort to save Our Lady of Assumption Church says it will gather the $10 million needed to repair the building by November.

The group said it has already raised $7.5 million in cash and commitments for the restoration.

Ed Agnew, who speaks for the group, said it has raised about $1.2 million in cash and the rest is in pledges.

"There's a little be of work involved yet, to say they're absolute, but in our opinion the people that we're dealing with ... are solid and we're confident that the commitments will be fulfilled."

Agnew said they've been working to raise the money since January, and are disappointed to hear about the decision to close the church.

"Our concern is that it came out of the blue ... we have until Nov. 3 to finalize everything," said Agnew. "The church itself is safe to attend, there's no danger to the public to be in the church. So we didn't know what the rush would be to make a determination that it's going to be closed that quickly."

Agnew said the group is supportive of the bishop, but doesn't not understand where the time crisis came from.

"I think it's important to the community to do everything we can to make sure we don't lose this heritage building and we don't lose the opportunity to use it for religious purposes."

The current Assumption Church is Canada's oldest church west of Montreal, at 170 years in service.

Philanthropist, Al Quesnel, committed to a $3.5-million challenge pledge to Windsor's Assumption Catholic church, almost two years ago.

Quesnel, who had previously made a $1.25 million donation to the church for preliminary restoration work, said he would match any donations up to $3.5 million.

The church plans to close its doors on Nov. 3 and relocate services to Holy Name of Mary church.

Agnew said it will have the $10 million in cash and pledges by that date.


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