Church in Quebec City forced to close over structural issues
Published Friday, July 26, 2019 12:52PM EDT
A church in Quebec City has been forced to close until further notice because it's at risk of collapsing and could pose a danger to parishioners.
A nearly century-old building on Chemin Ste-Foy, Très-Saint-Sacrement Church looks solid and imposing but has serious structural issues.
Worshippers are deeply saddened the church has had to lock its doors.
"We want to offer our solidarity to the grieving community. It's a hard moment to go through," said Valerie Roberge-Dion, director of communications for the Archdiocese of Quebec.
Built in 1923, parts of the church, including the bells, chimney and windows, have deteriorated over time.
The extent of the risk wasn't confirmed until experts were called in and concluded pieces of the church could start falling at any time.
A perimeter now stretches as far as the parking lot as a precaution.
"We got a report that raised a lot of issues," said Georges Michel Parent, administrative director of Bienheureuse-Dina-Belanger Parish. "There was no question of leaving the church open."
It's unclear what happens next for the church. It's up for sale and before the recent closure, was already due for roughly $3 million worth of repairs, an amount the parish can't afford to pay.
"For buildings like this, the costs are always enormous," said Parent. "I can't even put a figure on it."
Parent says it will be another two weeks before the parish makes any further decisions, but the church is offering parishioners other options.
"They can go to other churches nearby," said Roberge-Dion. "This church is made of stone, but our faith can still go on. I'm sure the community will continue to gather to share their faith in different ways."