Latest updates: national coverage and over 2,100 signatures on the petition to #SaveStGiles

It’s been an eventful couple of weeks in the community-led effort to #SaveStGiles.

St. Giles is Broadview.org’s top story this Sunday. And a hearfelt thank you to everyone who signed the petition to keep St. Giles standing for future generations of Canadians: the petition now has over 2,100 signatures!

In the latest media updates about the historic St. Giles Church:

How you can help #SaveStGiles
  • You can sign the petition to #SaveStGiles here
  • Write to your councillor and let them know you support adaptive re-use of St. Giles Church, and want to save the 1912 building from demolition
Broadview Magazine

I spoke with Broadview’s Emma Prestwich for her story about the former St. Giles United Church in east-central Hamilton.

Broadview: Ethical Living | Religion. Inside the tug of war over St. Giles. Too expensive to fix. Too valuable to tear down. What's to be done with this former Hamilton United Church? By Emma Prestwich

Online: “Inside the tug of war over St. Giles” (Apr. 23, 2021)

The current issue of Broadview Magazine includes an interview with Jordana Wright, the founder of Activate Space, a social enterprise that helps churches keep their buildings by formalizing and expanding their role as community hubs (Julie McGonegal, April/May 2021 issue).

“The first key service of Activate Space is to help churches partner with local changemakers, and transform their relationships with community groups that already casually use their space into more meaningful holistic partnerships. The second service is to secure alternative financing opportunities through partnerships with municipalities or local anchor institutions.”

You can read Broadview’s story about UPRC online here (Noelle Boughton, December 2020 issue).

The Hamilton Spectator & global news

Thanks to the Spec’s Matthew Van Dongen and Global News’ Ken Mann for their stories about Council’s decision on St. Giles — Stewart & Witton’s only church. (Spec | Global)

Members of the Friends of St. Giles met virtually with Ward 3 councillor Nrinder Nann the Monday before the April 14th council meeting. During our meeting with Coun. Nann, we emphasized our support for affordable housing in Ward 3, our continued support of adaptive re-use as the greenest & most community-oriented solution, and the need to formalize protection of St. Giles as a much-needed gesture of good faith from the owner. (Read Teviah Moro’s earlier story.) Van Dongen’s story appeared in the Spec‘s Local section on Thursday, April 15th, 2021.

Spectator print edition: “No designation for endangered St. Giles — yet” (Apr. 15, 2021, A4) | online: “New proposals, but no heritage designation for endangered St. Giles Church — yet” (Apr. 14, 2021) | Global News: “Future of former Hamilton church property pits heritage against housing crisis” (Apr. 14, 2021)

No designation for endangered St. Giles – yet: Owners of vacant church will bring new redevelopment options to community. By Matthew Van Dongen
Hamilton City council Meeting (April 14, 2021)

You can watch councillors debate protecting St. Giles in the video of Wednesday’s meeting of Hamilton City Council on YouTube.

The Hamilton Spectator, Part 2

Read the Friends of St. Giles’ letter to the editor in this weekend’s edition of the Hamilton Spectator.

We need adaptive reuse of St. Giles – The Friends of St. Giles are a group of neighbours and volunteers. We are retirees and artists, health care workers and former congregants of St. Giles; we are all proud to call Hamilton home. We support Coun. Nann’s commitment to increasing affordable housing in Ward 3. We are equally mindful of the grave impacts of demolition, to mental health and to the environment. The Friends of St. Giles are committed to collaboratively exploring creative solutions with all parties that avoid demolition of this irreplaceable gem. We know that affordable housing can be built without pitting ward against ward, or destroying important works of architecture, like St. Giles — which is very important to the local community, and to Hamilton. St. Giles is a World War 1 church. One of its architects died at Vimy Ridge; its first pastor became a war hero at that same battle. St. Giles is architecturally significant: it’s the only church, anywhere, built new by Hamilton architects Stewart & Witton. St. Giles’ connections with Hamilton institutions show it held a central place in civic life: links with the Hon. Lincoln Alexander, who raised his family nearby and often spoke at St. Giles, and to the Hamilton Public Library. We continue to support adaptive reuse of St. Giles Church as the greenest, most community-oriented option for this important church and its beautiful, century-old trees. Adaptive reuse is sensitive to the past while providing good stewardship for the future. We invite you to learn more at FriendsofStGiles.ca. Sarah Sheehan on behalf of The Friends of St. Giles, Hamilton

Readers Write: “We need adaptive reuse of St. Giles” (Apr. 24, 2021, A18)

Publication Notes & Links

Broadview Magazine (est. 1829) is the oldest continuously published magazine in North America, and is published by Observer Publications, an independent non-profit affiliated with the United Church of Canada. The Hamilton Spectator (est. 1846) is published by Metroland Media Group, a division of Torstar. Global News (est. 1994) is a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Photo: Broadview.org / Google Maps

Hamilton Spectator front page, Thursday, April 15, 2021

Broadview online | Spectator online | in print