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Churches in Victoria


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#1 Holden West

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 09:14 PM

The decline of mainstream churches locally has been in the news.

This is interesting to me because of the prime real estate being opened up for the first time in generations.

St. Albans' church at the foot of Ryan hill in Oaklands closed this summer. A good thing for the diocese to do would be to sell it off to a developer and turn it into market/affordable multi-family housing. The location is great--close to Hillside and Oaklands elementary.

Camp Columbia on Thetis Island was also closed.



It will be interesting to see what happens here. Private resort or sold to the government as parkland?

Any other properties in distress with great potential?
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#2 sebberry

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 10:12 PM

I was upset about the allotment gardens on Gordon Head Road being sold off several years ago to have luxury houses built on them.

Talk about sustainable living :rolleyes:

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#3 North Shore

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 08:52 AM

^ Not only that, but IIRC, that was an unnecessary sale - something about the Diocese getting some poor (perhaps even fraudulent?) financial advice, and losing a bundle..

Jesus saves, and Moses invests, I guess!
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#4 Mike K.

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 09:15 AM

This project has since been canceled, but St. Andrew's church on Douglas planned to redevelop its Kirk Hall property on Courtney St into an office tower. Obviously the funds generated from a major redevelopment would be a huge financial boost over an old gymnasium.

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#5 Baro

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 10:52 AM

It would be nice if the church lands went back to the city/public after the fact that we've been paying their share of taxes for generations.
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#6 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 12:09 PM

^ Not only that, but IIRC, that was an unnecessary sale - something about the Diocese getting some poor (perhaps even fraudulent?) financial advice, and losing a bundle..

Jesus saves, and Moses invests, I guess!


Didn't they buy racing horses, or race tracks in Washington State?

#7 Bob Fugger

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 12:51 PM

Didn't they buy racing horses, or race tracks in Washington State?


Debt-plagued diocese pays back faithful
Sale of controversial parcel of land is latest chapter in Victoria churches' six-year, multimillion-dollar scandal

Louise Dickson
Times Colonist
Wednesday, November 15, 2006

About 1,800 faithful supporters, who came to the aid of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Victoria when it was rocked by a multimillion-dollar financial scandal six years ago, have been repaid with interest.

The diocese has managed to sell a 65-hectare parcel of land in Washington state, known as the Lacey lands, for $14.875 million US. The land was at the centre of a high-stakes development venture gone wrong that left the diocese mired in a $17-million debt.

Proceeds from the sale have been used to repay the supporters who bought $13 million in bonds in 2000 to help the diocese pay off the land debt...

http://www2.canada.c...d8c5c9f&k=79114

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#8 Ginger Snap

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 03:08 PM

It would be nice if the church lands went back to the city/public after the fact that we've been paying their share of taxes for generations.


Not sure what you mean by this... church lands going back to the public? They weren't public lands to begin with, any more than wherever you live, work etc. They belong to each church who bought the property, paid for the building, maintenance, etc.

As for the property tax exemptions, churches are hardly the only properties that get this exemption.

#9 Holden West

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 09:35 AM

On The Island
Hosted by Gregor Craigie
Weekday Mornings 5:30 to 8:37 a.m.
on CBC Radio One

Bishop of Anglican Diocese of British Columbia, the Right Reverend James Cowan

Anglicans face a grim reality. We'll talk to the Anglican Bishop for Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands about the financial crisis facing the diocese.
Listen to the interview (Real Audio; runs 8:16)
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#10 yodsaker

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 11:18 AM

Years ago in Montreal and Toronto, probably Vancouver, too?, city core churches amalgamated congregations when attendance dropped as people moved away to the burbs.
Several were sold and re-developed into some amazing loft-style condos.
It was win-win-win-win-win-win: church got out from under costs, money into the church kitty, good-looking buildings preserved, neighbourhood heritage and aesthetic saved, more residents into the 'hood and the city got some more tax revenue.

#11 Bernard

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 06:43 AM

The idea of property tax exemptions for churches (and other groups) is that they are providing useful public services and therefore saving the government money. The concept comes from the past when churches provided many of the social services for our society.

Given the reasoning, there is no case for arguing that the public has an interest in the land once it is no longer being used as a church.

If someone is using the fair share argument as a reason for why the local government should have an interest in the land, this should then apply to residential housing. In almost all municipalities in BC residential properties do not pay their fair share of the taxes for local government.

#12 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 12:04 PM

Anglican Diocese team recommends closing several churches around Victoria, Vancouver Island in "transformation"

http://www.timescolo...6370/story.html


Times Colonist
January 26, 2010 11:49 AM


[...]

#13 Baro

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 12:14 PM

Interesting, this has been happening to churches in the developed world for a while now. One of the problems though is by consolidating they often lose even more people as many casual visitors end up not wanting to travel to the sometimes much farther away hub church after the local church in their neighbourhood shuts down. It's a tough position for them to be in for sure.
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#14 AllseeingEye

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 12:46 PM

I think actively reaching out to the community in an effort to attract new members, and doing whatever it takes to remain relevant - no matter how much that activity may be at odds with what the organization has done "before" - are the keys.

My fiancee has manged the books for one of the affected churches for the past year. She just shakes her head in amazement at the ingrained intransigence of some people as these closings have been clearly coming for years. And yet parishioners steadfastly refused to even consider amalgamating churches that, in many cases, were multiple thousands of dollars in the red, with no hope of ever addressing their fiscal situation.

Even among my own group (Freemasons) we have had to continually work at reinventing ourselves, take advantage of whatever resources and communication medium(s) are available, i.e. the internet to name the most obvious, which Freemasonry has wholeheartedly embraced, in order to ensure the Masonic Order is healthy and prospers well into the future.

Regardless which group you are talking about they "ain't your Grandfather's <Insert Group or Organization Name Here>" and therefore you better implement a game plan specifically equipped and constructed to deal with 21st Century realities and challenges.

#15 Mike K.

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 12:47 PM

Bigger churches also allow for more mass "perks" like live music and large choirs during mass. These types of services at cathedrals have big followings.

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#16 Holden West

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 01:16 PM

Church closings thread

Posters here have recommend doing "whatever it takes" to stay relevant.

We have seen how this trend plays out in the United States where glitzy, impersonal, suburban megachurches offer fare that is heavy on entertainment and light on spiritual development, often with an odious preoccupation with the accumulation of material goods and wealth.

I would be saddened to see that trend happen here.

Not that I'm against entertainment--but this is my idea of entertainment: :)

Blow Gabriel - John Davis/Bessie Jones/St. Simon's Island Singers [Lomax Collection]
bKchcaPYAvw

Or this!
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#17 Baro

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 03:23 PM

Yeah I've read some interesting stuff on the "recent" transformation of the Masons, they're really reaching out to new members and a lot of the secrecy is gone and sometimes bad reputation is gone. I had some good discussions with some masons in my age group and it sounds like a really great organization, shame I don't quality for membership.
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#18 AllseeingEye

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 04:37 PM

Just out of curiosity Baro, and if you'd rather not answer that's completely understandable - not trying to pry - but why don't you qualify for membership in Freemasonry?

#19 Baro

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 06:00 PM

Gotta believe in god/greater power/the force or what not. Which in its self is a nice change as in the olden days you had to flat out be christian, but now they accept all religions (other than I think sweden, which still says you have to be the local christian denomination) although I understand each area can have different membership rules and I've mostly spoken with American masons.
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#20 AllseeingEye

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 07:18 PM

Ah, that would be true then.

We refer to Deity as the Grand (or Great) Architect of the Universe and avoid references to exclusively a Christian (God), Hebrew (Jehovah), or Muslin (Allah), thereby making the organization more welcoming and inclusive.

That is what the "G" stands for on Masonic rings for example, and in likely the best known Masonic symbol, the Square & Compass. It also doubles for one of the most highly prized (to Masons) of the liberal sciences, namely Geometry.

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