Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s — The Town of Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s will hold a referendum during its Sept. 24 municipal elections asking residents whether they want the old St. Philip’s Anglican Church to be demolished or preserved.
Council voted at its public meeting Tuesday night to hold the referendum.
The old church, built in 1894, has been a centre of controversy in the town for several years. The Anglican diocese wants to tear down the building, but the Town of Portugal Cove-
St. Philip’s has passed motions to have it preserved due to its heritage.
In March 2010, the issue made national headlines when an unknown person, or persons, sawed through the church’s steeple, sending it toppling to the ground, where it remains.
The preamble to the referendum, which will be on a separate ballot than the ballot for candidates, will state that the town council does not want to spend any more money on the issue, says Coun. Jane Tucker, adding that it is difficult for council members to gauge what residents’ views are on the issue.
“We’re going to put to the people whether they want the church demolished or not,” Tucker said.