Lutheran Redeemer Church is set to rise again on the same site where the original parish was built in 1957.
Pastor Phil Washeim said the old building had long passed its best before due date and was in need of constant costly repairs, including the need for a new roof.
“It made more sense to plan for a new building,” Washeim said.
The last service was held in January 2012, and plans for the new church began in earnest.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to be at this point,” Washeim said. “We’re really looking forward to completing this long journey.”
Members of the congregation held a solemn ceremony on Monday to bless the site and break ground for the new church, which will be built at the corner of Jenkins Avenue and Jacklin Road in Langford. Work is expected to begin within the next two months, and the $2 million project should be completed within 18 months.
Washeim said it will include an elevator which will make it easier for members of the congregation with mobility issues to attend.
Residents of the adjacent seniors facility slated for the same location will also have access to the elevator, which may help boost the number of people attending services, added Washeim.
The church and seniors care facility are being built under the direction of Cherish Living Group.
The congregation currently has about 50 members. But the new church will be able to accommodate about 100 people.
The hope is that attendance will increase when the project is completed, said Howard Blair, president of Redeemer Lutheran and chair of the building committee. “A strong group of people had a goal and it’s been a great journey,” Blair said. “It’s an exciting time for our congregation.”
Washeim said the multi-generational congregation has a long-established history in Langford and strives to make a positive difference in the community by supporting and assisting people of all ages, whatever their background. “From my perspective, there’s much more to a church than simply being a place of worship on Sundays,” he added.