The First United Church received a $60,000 grand prize after winning the National Trust ‘This Place Matters’ online contest. The Truro church won in the big project category after receiving the most votes.
“For us, as members of the congregation, of course we love the space because it’s our spiritual home and we believe it’s an important part of the Town of Truro from a historical perspective, certainly for the character of the town. And it’s kind of nice to know that we’re not alone in that and that the community itself also understands the importance of this structure and the part that it plays,” Kingsbury said.
Kingsbury was on hand during a celebration at Truro’s civic square where the National Trust presented the church with its award. Members of the church’s This Place Matters committee were also present, along with Alison Faulknor, the director of new initiatives for the National Trust. Faulknor presented a banner to the church to mark the occasion.
The First United Church will use the funding for their Windows to the Future project and replace 14 large windows in the century-plus old church. About half of that money was already in hand and the revenue generated through the contest will go a long way toward meeting that final goal.
“They did such a super job,” Faulknor said of the Truro committee. “They were a great group to work with and they’re a real testament to when a community has a really big idea and a lot of heart, you can do really exciting things.”
The church restoration project, which also includes a restored steeple and roof replacement, is expected to be complete by December of 2018.
Twenty-five participating project groups from coast to coast competed from June 14 to July 20 for Canadians’ votes and donations during the online contest. Every group had the chance to win – and raise – much-needed funding for essential projects. The Canada-wide contest, which provided a total of $220,000 in cash prizes, was held as a way to breathe new life into historic places across Canada.
The Truro church received a total of 107,806 votes.
“It’s a really fun way of galvanizing the community behind places that matter, like the First United Church, and to not only direct funding to them, but to raise awareness of these great places and just showcase them to other communities across the country to realize it is really possible and these old places can serve a new purpose,” said Faulknor.