Historic Murray Church gets a facelift ahead of Thanksgiving Day

By on October 2, 2017
A replacement pane of stained glass was also installed at the Murray Church. (Photo courtesy of Linda Baird).


One of the Nicola Valley’s oldest landmarks recently got a facelift, after the Trinity United Church successfully applied for a grant to refurbish the Murray Church on Highway 5A.

Back in April, the Trinity United Church in Merritt received $18,000 through the BC Museums Association’s Canada 150 grant program to repaint and repair the Murray Church, which was originally built in 1876.

Since the grant was announced, a team of about a dozen volunteers have been spending weekends working on the historic church at the base of Nicola Lake, about 10 kilometres northeast of Merritt, said Linda Baird, a member of the Trinity United Church.

A new granite plaque bearing the names of those buried in an adjoining cemetery has been added to the grounds near the Murray Church. (Photo courtesy of Mavis Polmans).

Part of the upgrades also included the placement of a new granite plaque, bearing the names of those buried in unmarked graves in the church’s graveyard. Where the church’s historic features could not be repaired, new pieces were added — such as a brand new pane of stained glass, which was created and donated by a pair of local stained glass artists, Susan and Glenn Parkinson.

“Many volunteer hours have allowed this project to be so successful,” said Baird. “We want to preserve the local heritage and honour the pioneers of this area.”

Those interested in learning more about the church’s origin and the pioneers of the Nicola Valley are invited to drop by the Murray Church on Oct. 7 and 8, as there will be a a variety of historic and antique quilts on display. The exhibition will be open between noon and 5 p.m. on Saturday, and noon and 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Volunteers helped to fix up the church, and install the plaque throughout the summer. (Photo courtesy of Mavis Polmans).

While some work is still ongoing, the bulk of the repairs have now been completed. To mark the occasion the Murray Church will play host to a Thanksgiving/Dedication Service on Sunday, Oct. 8 at 2 p.m.

Anyone still interested in volunteering some hours to work on the church can call Trinity United at 250-378-5735.

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