Carnarvon's Zion United Church to close
Carnarvon’s Zion United Church is scheduled to close following a vote by members of the amalgamated congregation of the church and Minden United Church.
In October of 2016, members of the churches, as well as Maple Lake United Church, held a vote on amalgamation. While the members at Maple Lake chose for it to remain a freestanding church, members at Carnarvon and Minden voted to amalgamate the churches.
Since the beginning of this year, services have alternated on a monthly basis between Carnarvon and Minden and in September, members voted on which of the churches they would keep open.
“It really didn’t come down to the buildings, as much as location,” Rev. Max Ward told the paper. Ward explained that members didn’t want to allow the decision to be made by a thin margin, and so a threshold of two-thirds of votes cast – or 66 per cent – was established. Sixty-nine per cent of votes were cast to choose Minden as the amalgamated church’s location. The church, to be known as the Highland Hills United Church, has 180 members.
“We knew it would be a difficult process,” Ward said of the decision to close one of the buildings. For the remainder of 2018, the alternating schedule that has been in place throughout the year will continue, with October services taking place in Minden, November services at Zion, and December services back in Minden.
Ward said it has not been decided yet when a final, closing service would be held at Zion.
“The hall will continue to be in use for community groups,” Ward said of the hall located at the Carnarvon church, and said user groups would be given notification about any sale of the building.
Ward said the plan is for the building, owned by the United Church of Canada, to be sold.
He said that the congregations at Zion and Minden have tried their best over the years, but that it’s time to pool their resources for the continued operation of the church.