If you’d like to get a friendly, but passionate debate going at Gordon United Church, bring up the topic of the church pews.
The congregation of 80 or 90 people is evenly divided on whether the pews, which were bought for $85 each in the 1950s, should remain or whether they should be replaced by (allegedly) comfier chairs with arm rests.
“Half the congregation (wants to) keep the pews, and I’ll put my hand up for that,” said Judy Muir. “I love pews.”
“I could go either way,” Ken Kelbough said.
The pews are now 60 years old, just like the rest of the sanctuary, and Gordon United Church has a couple of special events to commemorate this milestone anniversary.
The church, which held its first service on July 1, 1956 and was officially dedicated on Oct. 7 of that year, is somewhat of a throwback to churches of that time, with its high, arched ceiling resembling an overturned ark. It’s surprisingly soundproof from the traffic outside, and good thing, because Gordon United boasts a large and enthusiastic choir.
Bible studies, kids programming, coffee fellowship and twice-a-month community dinners in partnership with West Village Church are among the regular activities at the building.
Muir and Kelbough have been attending the church for decades now and both were adamant that the other members of the congregation had become an extended family for them.
“It’s a place to go on Sundays or any other day and meet friends that I call friends, true friends,” Kelbough said.
“There’s always a friend (here) and through life we do have challenges, and sometimes it’s nice to know you can go somewhere and feel comfortable about discussing these challenges,” Muir added.
The two are on the committee responsible for organizing the 60th anniversary festivities, which will include a turkey dinner on Sept. 30 and a special anniversary service on Oct. 2. Tickets are $10 for the dinner, which includes live music by the Chris Millington Band and a period theme.
“Everyone’s encouraged to get the poodle skirts out and for the men to get their suspenders … come in dressed in the theme of the 1950s,” Muir said.
Dinner tickets can be purchased at the church office and all are welcome to attend. Keep an eye out for Gordon United’s display booth at the Goldstream Farmers Market on Sept. 24 at Veterans Memorial Park.