For 53 years, Sunday services at Truro Alliance Church have been held at the same Phillip Street facility.
Yesterday was its last.
“We’ve outgrown the facility,” Pastor Scott Penner said.
“It’s been a great neighbourhood to be in, for sure. We’re all very thankful to the community around us. We’ll miss them.”
As of Feb. 18, the church will begin temporary services in the basement of McCarthy Hall, below the library at the NSCC Truro campus.
And if all goes well, construction on a new permanent church will begin within the next few months at 195 Truro Heights Road.
“We’re shooting for a spring startup. But it’s an intimidating thing,” Penner said, due to the final fundraising required to bring the project to fruition.
Plans to relocate have been in the works for 12 years when the Truro Heights property was purchased. That lot now is fully paid for and with proceeds from the sale of the current building, Penner said about one-third of the funding is in hand. “We definitely have to get a mortgage,” he said. “The payments on that mortgage will be challenging for us, for sure, so we might have to push back a little bit on the startup.”
Unlike some churches that have experienced declining congregations in recent years, Truro Alliance maintains a weekly average of between 70 and 90 parishioners. And Penner, who has been the church’s pastor for 26 years, said seating gets a tad tight during those services with the higher numbers.
The new church is to be about 8,000 sq. ft. with seating for 200.
“We help people to connect their faith in a living, active realistic, honest way,” he said, adding that “integrity, honesty and authenticity” in the church are the values they try to follow, while not making any boasts about themselves having it all together.
“We don’t. We struggle, we fail,” he said, indicating the church motto: “imperfect people learning to follow Jesus”
“We really want to contribute to the community,” Penner said. “And we help young families to raise healthy children.”