For the past 53 years, Sunday services at Truro Alliance Church have been held out of the same facility on Phillip Street.
This Sunday will be its last.
“We’ve outgrown the facility,” Pastor Scott Penner said.
“It’s been a great neighbourhood to be in, for sure,” he said. “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 is expected to begin within the next few months at 195 Truro Heights Rd.
“We’re shooting for a spring startup. But it’s an intimidating thing,” Penner said, because of the final fundraising required to bring the project to fruition.
Plans to relocate have been actively in the works for the past 12 years when the Truro Heights property was purchased. That lot now is fully paid for and with the 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 consist of about 8,000 sq. ft. with seating for 200 people.
“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, describing the church’s motto as “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.”