KAMLOOPS — It was a celebration a decade in the making. On Saturday, the Kamloops Untied Church held a ‘Festival on Fourth’, to celebrate some important milestones for the congregation.
On Saturday, St. Paul Street was closed down so the church could celebrate the opening of redeveloped property at the corner of 4th and St. Paul. The new complex was built to help address some of the needs the congregation saw in the downtown core. The building is home to multi-purpose meeting space, the KUC thrift store, a community kitchen, the United Church Daycare, as well as 56 units of affordable housing.
According to Ron Rutledge, all of this is part of the United Church’s mandate.
“We have, in our own history, a lot of things that we have done downtown,” Routledge told CFJC Today, on Saturday. “We’ve been very… community oriented. We knew there was a big demand for [affordable] housing, especially for housing for people who were having difficulty finding that.'
The complex is also home to the United Church’s Centre for Community and Spiritual Discovery, which will widen the offering of programs and worship opportunities the church offers. The celebration also coincided with the 20th anniversary of the church being declared as an affirming congregation; meaning it’s fully inclusive of all people, regardless of sexual orientation, age, gender, racial or ethnic background.
“One of the main things we’re wanting to do is to reach out to the wider community,” said Bruce Comrie, Minister at the United Church. “We’ve always done that here at 4th and St. Paul, with Kamloops United, but we want to put even more emphasis on that.”
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