Hillsview Pastoral Charge
Knox United: Historical Background

The Building Committee, as set up at the last congregational meeting met on several occasions, though not always with full membership present. The first meeting was held in the church. On that occasion they examined the basement and foundations of the building. Those who have seen the basement in recent times will agree with the committee when they say that the cement work is in bad shape. There is a decided buckle in the east wall and many wide cracks in the other walls. The floor is cracked and chipped in many places. The little heat that comes at any time from a pipe-less furnace makes the whole basement quite unsuited for general use.

There was general agreement right from the start in the committee that our present establishment is not adequate for the needs of the congregation. While the church auditorium looks well with the recent additions of new platform, carpet and pews it is barely large enough. But quite apart from that the present building has no accommodation whatever for choir work. Young peoples (or other mid-week work), then too, there has always been the legitimate complaint of the Sunday School that their work must be carried on under the handy-cap of inadequate space.

Faced with these two problems -the bad condition of the present establishment and its increasing inadequacy -the committee then dealt with the task of what to do about it.

Repair was the first possibility. The cement work under the church would have to have a great deal of patching done to it to hold it together. Were that done then there would still be the problem of how to make it usable. There was the suggestion previously made of building rooms in the basement for Sunday School class rooms. Such rooms however would have to be separately heated" It is quite unlikely that a fire inspector would permit the building of such fire traps. A stairway and trap door, the only entrance and exit in the basement, is not adequate fire escape.

With the basement repaired and rebuilt the upper part of the building would be the next to receive attention. No one will deny that new roofing and general paint job are essentials. But some have suggested that a set of more church-like windows would add to the appearance of the building.

The committee did not delve into possible assets for such repair work but they would mount up to quite a sum.

The second possibility, not an alternative to the first but rather supplementary to it, was an enlargement plan. On this 'the needs of all the departments of the church would have to be considered, It would be a simple matter to build a little: lean-to out back of the church to act as a dressing room for the choir. However that would not answer the needs of the Sunday School. For an adequate program in religious education some arrangements for individual classrooms are essential. A room big enough for this would have to be considered.

There, too, it has always been a bother, to say the least, for the ladies to have to serve suppers in the town hall. In the days before our pipe-less furnace and crumbling basement it was possible to serve them in the basement but that's out of the question now. It would not be fair to consider any enlargement scheme that would not consider this need.

As for the needs for mid-week activity in the church, no church program is complete which does not seek to connect the likes of the young people with the church. The whole future of the church depends on how we can bind the children to her. Now the day for considering that mid-week activities are not part of Christian religious education are past. The whole of our lives must be consecrated. Recreation must be re-creation and to center our recreation in the church is to give it the Christian influence. Any plans then for enlargement therefore must take this into consideration.

Into the matter of enlargement there also comes the consideration of adequate seating accommodation for all services. It is quite impossible, for obvious reasons, for our congregation to offer our building for church conferences. Not only are we definitely limited so far as seating capacity is concerned, discussion groups, which are always a part of conferences, are impossible in a church auditorium. Besides that the present seating capacity of the church auditorium is barely adequate. Really we're at the point where, if all members came out at one time we would have to restrict all but 15 of our adherents and forbid any children to attend. Now it's true we can look back to the days when you could count the attendance on one or both hands. But are we going to "look forward" to such days? Or do nothing to be able to meet better days.

All this is said about the problem of enlarging the present building. The real question is how could that be done so that we'd have something that looked like a church and wouldn't be just an old building with a few lean-tos.

Actually that baffled the Building Committee so much so that they spent most of their time considering an entirely new plan.

Now this may sound ambitious -it is! So what! Is it not true that "without a vision the people perish?" "If you want to expect great things from God you must be willing to attempt great things for Him."

Attached here to is the plan the committee has been thinking of Its adoption as an objective for this congregation depends of course upon the whole 'congregation. It is offered as something which the committee figures will answer all the needs of the church.

Respectfully submitted