It’s hard to believe that it has already been over 20 years since Lake Cowichan’s old United Church was gutted by flames.
“It feels like yesterday,” church member Audrey Towle said. “It was just a traumatic time. There’s such a loss with fire.”
“The acoustics were wonderful in that church, and the wood!” church member Lilien Kerr said.
Another unique thing about the old church was with its seats, which were old theatre seats from Youbou’s shut-down Woodland Theatre.
But, a reason to celebrate followed the blaze, with the community banding together to construct a new church, which opened Sunday, September 8, 1991.
Now, 20 years later, the church is celebrating this monumental day with a special service and potluck dinner, Sunday, September 11.
The service will begin at 10:30 a.m., followed by the dinner.
“Everyone is invited to go to the service and the potluck. We always have more than enough food for everyone,” reverend Greg Darjes said.
“We still see our church as a community church,” Mikki Welsh said.
A unique sight during the 20th anniversary celebration will be the unveiling of four brand new stained glass windows, created by Lake Cowichan artist Michaela Davidson.
Although the church isn’t exactly in the nicest financial shape, they’ve been able to purchase three of the windows, thanks to money being willed to them from the Don and Anna Patrick estate.
“She was very supportive of the church,” Welsh said of Anna.
The funds have been designated for the stained glass window project.
The fourth window is being donated by Davidson.
All four windows don crosses.
The Lake Cowichan United Church typically sees about 30 faces come in the door Sunday mornings.
“It’s very upbeat,” Kerr said.
Unlike some past summers, when the church closed in July, it has stayed open with more casual services during the summer.
Now, they’re trying to fill the church for the Sunday, September 11, 20th anniversary event.
“Do you know why churches have double doors? To open wide, and to welcome you,” Towle said.