A group advocating for the protection of a church in the community of Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s has produced a new calendar with 16 paintings of the 118-year-old structure.
The Church by the Sea 15-month calendar is now being sold through a number of stores in the community.
St. Philip’s Anglican Church was built in 1894, and its future has been a doubt for a number of years.
It had been vacant for several years when the local Anglican parish asked town council for permission to demolish the old church.
On March 30, 2010, council rejected that request.
The next day, its steeple was found on the ground, having been mysteriously cut down from the top of the church.
Steve Sharpe, president of The Church By The Sea Inc., said fellow parishioners were aware of a number of paintings in existence depicting the church, and following the success of the group’s 2012 calendar with photographs of the church, a 2013 calendar was considered a worthwhile endeavour.
“We started to work on the project, and next thing we had 16 different artists.”
Several local artists contributed to the project, as did some well- known painters such as French artist Jean Claude Roy and Julia Pickard.
“They were very much interested in allowing us to use their images of the church they had painted,” said Sharpe of the contributions from Roy and Pickard.
As for the fate of the St. Philip’s Anglican Church, Sharpe said his group is continuing to circulate a petition within the community demanding the church not be demolished.
The petition is set to be discussed at this Tuesday’s council meeting.
In March of this year, council declared the structure a historic property and ordered that it should be repaired by its owner, the Anglican parish of St. Philip’s.
Sharpe said the parish has appealed that decision, adding The Church By The Sea Inc. is willing to accept full responsibility for the church and pay for the necessary repairs.