Westminster-St.Paul's Presbyterian Church

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WSP the Building


The Building

Choir at the front of the church Christmas 2005Westminster-St. Paulís distinctive, sloping, green metal roof was the design of the well-known local architect Pagani. The sanctuary was intended to symbolize a pair of praying hands and originally there was a row of skylights at the peak of the roof, so that the light would become more intense the higher in the building one looked.Due to leakage the skylights have been cemented over, but coloured light still suffuses the sanctuary on a sunny morning and provides a worship space which is both intimate and grand and which conveys a sense of the Holy.

The main sanctuary and downstairs fellowship hall were built in 1959 but a recent addition in 2003 made the facility ever-so-much more versatile and provided premium accommodation for much of the Christian education and nurture programming mentioned above.

The new additionís main level is comprised of the ministerís study and church administratorís office connected by a photocopy corridor and separated by a wheelchair-accessible washroom/changing room.The library/lounge is used by small groups of adults meeting for business (e.g. session and management), fellowship (womenís circles) or study (ministerís occasional study group).

The narthex is dominated by a large stained-glass Celtic cross set into a clear window which looks out onto the community.This window expresses the Churchís resolve to see the community beyond its walls, through the lens of the cross, as people and as structures so cared for by God, that Christ was sent into the world to heal what was broken, and to elicit praise for God from every quarter.The business of engaging the community begins at the end of the worship hour as the congregation gathers for coffee or tea (or a cold drink in summer) in the Narthex.

The Narthex also houses a guest book, a magazine table and a bulletin board.Under the main floor of the addition lies a beautiful nursery and a ďhanginí outĒ room for the youth of the congregation.Moving the nursery and the ministerís study into the space created by the addition has freed up some of the enclosed rooms in the church basement for use as Sunday School classrooms.

The main and under-ground levels of the addition are connected by a lift, making the whole church building fully accessible.The congregation held a special service in May of 2012 celebrating the complete retirement of its debt for the 2003 addition. With such a successful improvement now behind us, the visionaries of the congregation are fixing their sights on what might be done with the chancel and the kitchen.