A Crescent Beach church noted to be of architectural and historical significance to the City of Surrey is to close in the new year.
According to a Dec. 12 decree signed by Archbishop of Vancouver Rev. J. Michael Miller and posted on the Star of the Sea Parish website, Holy Cross Church “will no longer be a sacred place… relegated permanently to profane, but not sordid, use,” effective Jan. 16.
“Grave reasons” listed as motivating factors in the decision include the building’s need for significant repairs that “would be a heavy and needless financial burden” on the parish, and that proceeds from the property’s sale would benefit the parish and Star of the Sea school; added to funds “on deposit for the purpose of constructing a new facility.”
The church, located at 12268 Beecher St., was built in 1942 to accommodate a growing congregation. According to the decree, approximately 85 parishioners in the Crescent Beach area attend its Sunday services.
Word of its closure comes 5½ months after parish officials spoke to Peace Arch News regarding concerns some parishioners’ expressed about plans to expand the Good Shepherd complex in South Surrey.
Those plans – in the works for more than three years, and with a conservative estimated cost of $13 million – include disposal of the Holy Cross Church site as well as the Star of the Sea Parish site in White Rock’s Five Corners, to enable construction of a parish centre on four acres adjacent to the Good Shepherd complex.
The archbishop gave approval to sell the four-lot Holy Cross site in mid-2015.
City of Surrey officials told PAN in July that there is a strong interest in protecting the church building, and that negotiations around that would get underway following any development applications for the site that include a request for rezoning.