News

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE -- THIRD AVENUE UNITED CHURCH AND RIVER BEND PRESBYTERY
July 2nd, 2013

Third Avenue United Church a Step Closer to Preservation

Third Avenue United Church and River Bend Presbytery are pleased to announce that the process leading to the sale of the Third Avenue United Church building will resume effective immediately. The Church will therefore withdraw its appeal of the Presbytery Motion of last March.

According to Peter Barnacle, Chair of the congregation’s Board, “Today we are releasing a new request for proposals, and we anticipate completing the sale by the end of September.” Conditions of sale from the previous request for proposals remain in that the new owner will commit to preserving the building, the congregation will remain with a long-term lease and the planned use of the building will be for a purpose consistent with United Church of Canada values. In addition, however, there will now be a stated preference for sale to a community-based organization and the sale itself must be completed as an outright purchase by September 30, 2013.

Rev. Michael Webster, Chair of River Bend Presbytery, says that the presbytery supports the congregation’s plan. “We hit a bump in the road earlier this spring, but that has now been resolved to everyone’s satisfaction,” he said. The sale of the building had been delayed while the congregation and the presbytery worked out some procedural differences. “Presbytery and the congregation have always wanted the same end result,” says Rev. Webster. “It was just a matter of ironing out the details of how to get there.”

Now, with the church building once again on the market, Mr. Barnacle is confident the sale will move ahead quickly. “With this new process, we will ensure that this 100-year-old building is preserved and used for the enjoyment of the citizens of Saskatoon and area.” In addition, he expects that the congregation will continue worshipping in the church. “Our hope is that not having the expenses associated with maintaining the building will allow the congregation to revitalize our ministry in the heart of the city and become more active in the life of our community.”

Backgrounder

Third Avenue United Church is a historic jewel in downtown Saskatoon. With a sanctuary that seats 1,000 and the finest acoustics in the province, it is ideally suited for a variety of uses including a concert hall and centre for performing arts. Contact: Peter Barnacle, Chair, TAUC Unified Board at pbarnacle@wlawgroup.com; 306- 665-9504

River Bend Presbytery consists of representatives, both clergy and lay, from 36 congregations in the Saskatoon area. Its boundaries stretch from Humboldt to Maymont and south to Davidson. As the second level of church governance, it is given responsibility for the oversight of all congregations within its bounds. This includes giving its approval to all proposals for the sale of church buildings.

Contact: Michael Webster at mwebster@sasktel.net; 306-664-6496

Download Request for Proposal (pdf)