Update as of December 8, 2016

Over the last several weeks, the Committee has been working with the Board and Gowlings to put in place the legal mechanisms required to prudently protect Trinity and abide by the process rules of the Presbytery, Trustees and/or Board. One such step is creating a non-profit corporation(NP). This has been done.

The corporation is controlled by the Board and has the support of the Trustees and the Presbytery. The NP will soon be working with our preferred commercial real estate agent to move the re-development process forward. Please remember that no development of any kind will take place without the final approval of the congregation at a formal meeting.

In addition to the above steps, the Committee and the Board continue to consult interested well-wishers in the downtown community and potential users/partners in our development. The City and its downtown service providers, businesses and government all have development plans of their own which can change and evolve over time.

To bring the gospel in a relevant, useful way to downtown Kitchener, we need to stay in close contact with our neighbours. This is what we are doing as we move ahead with our plans to build an effective ministry in downtown Kitchener.

Graham

Update for November 16, 2016

The Board, its Steering Committee for Re-Development and the Trustees continue to work in concert toward the Congregation’s agreed sale of our property to a developer who will work with us to achieve our vision for our site. In addition, the Board is continuing its ongoing commitment to understand the needs of our community and how Trinity can contribute to its well-being and the sense of belonging for all of its citizens.

Kitchener, like many cities, is undergoing change and while improvements in people’s lives are often achieved, it often means also that problems arise. The Board and Steering Committee are striving to keep up to date on the impact of changes in Kitchener  by meeting with City elected and administrative officials, social service agencies, businesses and so on while continuing to stay in touch with and support our existing partners

2016: What We've Done So Far

  • Since a May congregational meeting, Committee members have met individually with professional consultants and together over the phone and in person to develop the best strategy for offering our property for sale to the development community. Our situation is unusual due to the important role played by the corner property in attracting a developer and maximizing our return on our property assets.
  • The Committee has worked on relationships with Gowlings WLG for legal guidance and Colliers Canada for commercial realtor expertise required to list the Trinity property. 
  • The Board has formalized a professional services relationship with Gowlings WLG and Colliers Canada.  
  • The Board and Trustees have signed the necessary resolutions to proceed with a sale and Waterloo Presbytery, representing the United Church of Canada has been included in the process.
  • Throughout this lengthy process the congregation has remained committed to being a church in the city core. The Trinity Board has worked on a rental arrangement for an interim location during the time the site is redeveloped. The goal is to collocate with another church in the Kitchener downtown.

Work Done in 2015

The Steering Committee authorized and completed the following studies:

  • Planning Study on bylaws, development rules and proposed changes by the City and the impact of these on development options;
  • Geotechnical study of the soil conditions with respect to environmental regulations, load bearing capacity, etc.;
  • The first formal survey of the two sites owned by Trinity (we think of our site as one, but on the City rolls, the parking lot is a separate site to the church building site);
  • Environmental Site Assessment I and II.

Four Churches, One Project

From The Prebyterian Record July 1, 2008

Four downtown Kitchener congregations, who had signed a covenant in 2001 to work together, met in May to discuss the issues they face. St. Andrew's Presbyterian, St. Peter's plus Zion and Trinity United Churches, held an architectural competition at the University of Waterloo in 2004 which resulted in a plan to raze several church wings, and build high-density housing while conserving sanctuaries. This year's conference sponsored by Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation sought to hear about other downtown church projects and consider future options.

A Lutheran member assessed the problems facing his church: too much real estate, declining attendance and membership, operating expenses are not being met, mission money is not there, staff are not being paid appropriately, and upkeep is not being done.

In contrast to the other congregations, Rev. J. Mark Lewis of St Andrew's says, "I think that we're growing. And trying to expand all our missions and ministries. And we have money, because we have people. I think that we're in a growth and strengthening position." The congregation is aging but vibrant, youth ministry continues to grow. Attendance is leading some to think about returning to two morning services.

Jan Blackburn of St. Andrew's sees the Four Churches project as a mission in itself, a witness to the community of Christian unity, an avenue to attract people into the downtown and into the worshipping community. Perhaps a renewed day care will be located at St. Andrew's. They want to grow mission in the downtown, not to just preserve the congregation. But preservation is an issue as St. Andrew's building has a heritage designation that limits its uses and reshaping. The next meeting is this fall.

Dave Rogalsky