Saint Mary’s looking to sell Parish Hall
By Nick Zacharias
PHOTO BY NICK ZACHARIAS
The leadership of Saint-Mary’s Church will meet February 28 to make a final decision on putting their Parish Hall on Main Road in Hudson (in the historic area of Como) up for sale.
This coming Sunday, February 28, at their annual vestry meeting, the leaders of the Anglican Parish of Vaudreuil comprised of Saint-Mary’s and Saint-James’ churches in Hudson will be making some important decisions, prime among which will be the final decision by Saint-Mary’s on whether to put their Parish Hall up for sale. The hall is a stand-alone building just a stone’s throw along Main Road from the historic, 150-year-old church; it was first built towards the end of the nineteenth century to house Sunday school, and was completely replaced after a devastating fire in 1988.
“So much has changed in the last year as we continue to come to grips with all of the implications of the pandemic,” says Reverend Sophie Rolland, who serves as priest for the parish at both Saint-Mary’s in Como and Saint-James’ in Hudson Heights. “We are continuing to meet and worship digitally on YouTube and Zoom, but apart from a few socially-distanced services in the fall, we have not met in person at Saint-Mary’s or at Saint-James’ churches. Although we are still meeting and are so very grateful for all of the support from our members, some of the challenges that we were already facing have come to a head.”
The two churches have always been connected. Saint-Mary’s was built as an offshoot of Saint-James’ in the 1860s, to serve the growing community of Como that was evidently too far of a bumpy wagon ride away to make trekking to Hudson Heights practical. They are now looking at formalizing a re-merger of church leadership, and selling the hall. Says Rolland, “With Saint-Mary’s Church, the Parish Hall, and the whole campus at Saint-James’ with two halls on the other side of Hudson, it just seems like a lot of real estate.”
While Rolland says they are encouraged by the interest shown by another Christian group based out of Laval to make use of the Saint-Mary’s Church facilities once public gathering is safer (at different times from current services), it is still clear that a reduction in land holdings is in order. “We just want to lighten the administrative load, so we’ll be better able to focus looking forward.”
Existing churches will remain
While they have at different times explored the idea of selling Saint-Mary’s church, that doesn’t appear to be happening. Rolland says that aside from the emotional or spiritual challenges that would come with such a move, there are legal obstacles as well: the church has a cemetery connected to it, which they cannot sell and would not be allowed to sever from the church property.
“This is a positive thing for us, looking forward,” says Rolland. “It’s important to understand that nothing is shutting down, nothing is going away, we’re just looking to simplify. It will mean letting go of what no longer serves us and looking ahead – and we’re eager to do that.”
Anyone with questions or comments is invited to contact Reverend Sophie directly at (450) 458-5897 or firstname.lastname@example.org.