Grant saves church steeple
Morinville's main church gets $250,000 to fix crumbling steeple
By: Kevin Ma
| Posted: Wednesday, Mar 13, 2013 05:00 pm
Morinville residents are praising the Lord this week after a local MP dropped by with $250,000 to help fix the town’s most prominent church.
Westlock–St. Paul MP Brian Storseth came to Morinville’s St. Jean Baptiste Church Tuesday afternoon with a $250,000 federal grant to help fix the church’s steeple. The grant came from Western Economic Diversification.
St. Jean Baptiste Church is the central landmark of Morinville and a recognized provincial historical resource. Last year, parish members learned that the steeple needed about $500,000 in repairs due to water rot.
Parish members aimed to raise $250,000 to apply for a matching federal grant, but had to do so in just six weeks. The resulting People for the Steeple Campaign collected about $343,540 by the Nov. 15, 2012 deadline.
“The Paroisse St. Jean Baptiste Parish has been a community treasure since 1907 and it continues to attract visitors to Morinville while serving as an important focal (point) for the local community,” Storseth said in a press release.
This grant will help improve the church’s corner towers, roof and brickwork, ensuring its longevity for decades to come, he added.
Mayor Paul Krauskopf praised town residents for their efforts to preserve this icon of the community.
“The community came together and was able to raise the money in six weeks,” he said. “The feds kind of said ‘oh my goodness, I guess we’d better look at this seriously.’ They didn’t think we’d be able to do it.”
Work on the church is expected to start this April.