Two faith groups buy land from city in Longfields area
May 27, 2009
BY Margaret Sambol
Two faith groups in Barrhaven are a step closer to opening buildings in the Longfields subdivision, after the city’s corporate services committee approved the sale of land on May 19.
The South Nepean Muslim Community has a $1.05-million deal for 1.3 hectares of land at 3020 Woodroffe Ave. and a Lutheran-Anglican Church has a $1.1-million agreement for 1.2 hectares of land at 159 Claridge Dr.
“It will have elements of the Anglican and Lutheran church combined,” Rev. David Selzer says. “We try to live out the unity most churches are seeking.”
In 2001, the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church signed a declaration of communion with each other, meaning that clergy and worship would be interchangeable. However, to Selzer’s knowledge this church in Barrhaven will the first built as a joint Anglican-Lutheran Church.
“It’s a church that started from the ground up intentionally Lutheran and Anglican together,” says Rev. Ann Salmon. “We are hoping to be a model of unity in Barrhaven and the nation as well. We are hoping not just Anglican and Lutheran, but anyone who does not have a church home can come and be comfortable. We want to be available to everyone.”
The Anglican church of St. John the Divine used to worship on Slack Road in Nepean and has been at Pierre Elliot Trudeau school on Longfields Drive for the last six years. The church is now in the process of dissolving to form the new church to be called Good Shepherd, Barrhaven.
Selzer says the liturgy draws on the best of the Anglican and Lutheran traditions. He says the church is also helping to work interfaith with the Muslim and Jewish communities.
“Our clear goal is to become part of the community,” Selzer says.
He says the community is hoping to find a partner to work with in its new building.
“There’s very little non-for-profit space in Barrhaven. We want to establish space for the community,” Selzer says.
While there’s been nothing definitive yet, the church is having conversations with housing co-ops and other not-for-profit groups.
“Hopefully we can partner with Nepean Housing, who will be our nearest neighbours,” Salmon says.
While Salmon says she hasn’t been in Barrhaven that long, she senses that the community could use a community meeting space.
Salmon says the goal is to have a portable sanctuary so it can also be used as community space.
“We’re so excited to minister to the community,” Salmon says.
The church does have a preliminary design completed for the building to be located at Claridge and Beatrice drives. The goal is to break ground within the year and then open the doors within three years. The building will have worship space to accommodate at least 400 people.
The church currently averages attendance of about 100 people each Sunday without having done any advertising, so Selzer expects to see a lot of growth with the new building.
Dr. Emdad Khan of the South Nepean Muslim Community says the board wants to wait until council votes on the land purchase on May 27 before commenting on the sale.
However, in a previous interview in 2007, the SNMC said it was planning to construct a 2,787 square metre (30,000 square feet) multi-purpose centre with built-in mosque. The plan at that point was to build a handicap-accessible single storey building with a basement on 1.2 landscaped hectares with a parking lot large enough to accommodate 200 cars. The mosque will accommodate 400 men and 100 women and the multi-purpose centre will include a 300-person capacity community hall with a kitchen for special events. email@example.com@metroland.com