After more than three years of fundraising and construction, the rebuilt Murray Church was opened to the community in a dedication ceremony on Saturday, October 1. Throughout the afternoon’s ceremonial proceedings and open house of the newly constructed church, people from across the province and the country gathered to witness the church bell ring again.
The original church, built in 1877 and named after a local Presbyterian minister, was used actively as a church for 143 years, until it was destroyed in an arson fire in January 2019. The only thing left was the chimney, the bricks of which were included in the rebuilt church. The church was used by Trinity United for special occasions and services, as well as community events and as a tourism attraction. This will remain the case as the church has risen from the ashes.
An online fundraising campaign raised $105,579 towards the rebuild project. This, along with over $80,000 in community raised funds, allowed the church to be rebuilt in its original location. It was a lengthy process, beginning in 2021, with 23 contractors and service providers contributing to the project. The project was spearheaded by the Trinity United Church’s congregation, which owned the original church, and managed by David Laird.
“The congregation of Trinity United and Murray Churches are extremely thankful for the overwhelming support. We are sincerely grateful for the excellent leadership of David Laird, project construction manager,” said Richie Gage with Trinity United.
A Thanksgiving Service will be held at the Murray Church, located on Highway 5A at Nicola Ranch, on October 9 at 2pm. Regular church service is held at the Murray Church on the 5th Sunday of a month. For more information, call the Trinity United Church at 250-378-5735.
Murray Church by Marius Auer