SvN Principal Drew Sinclair was featured in the Globe and Mail article, ‘Neighbourhood churches find a new mission‘, about our work in providing strategic advice to places of worship. Churches today face a similar problem of dwindling congregations and not being able to keep their doors open.
Church properties are an asset due to their prime locations and special tax-exempt status, and have myriad options to better serve their community and become financially stable. Even among churches that are thriving, rethinking and renovation allows churches to do more with what they already have.
SvN has been providing planning and architectural services to churches of all denominations to find new opportunities for places of worship, searching for unanticipated partners to help churches forge creative partnerships.
The Church of the Ascension in Hamilton found itself with only about 50 congregants for Sunday service in a space meant to accommodate 500. SvN renovated the main sanctuary into a convertible space for hosting dinner events and performances to gain revenue. “We assessed how each of those various spaces functioned, and then we designed what amounted to, I’ll call them, Swiss army knife insertions into their existing church sanctuary,” Drew Sinclair says. “It’s in a heritage designated building, so we had to be sensitive to the existing character.”