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  • Keith in Brampton
    August 13, 2010 - 14:59

    A well-written article. Your conclusions 100% match my own: if the public and town want to keep it, they must assume 100% responsibility for the maintenance, and any usage should be in keeping with the location (it should be noted that, as it sits in the middle of Church property, the church would have the right to control access by the simple expedient of retaining all easement rights and granting restricted access on an application basis; this would be necessary to prevent interference with the church's normal use of its own property, such as its privately owned parking lot during services - including weddings and funerals). As for your WWJD question: Jesus would certainly frown on the actions of those who have been obstructing the desire of the church to pull down the old building. This focus on materialism and a building instead of on spirit and faith is in direct opposition to many of his teachings, and the strife this has caused is without doubt a serious breach of his commandment to "love thy neighbour as thyself". Likewise, the church pursuing legal action against those who tore down the steeple would have gone against Jesus' teachings about love and forgiveness - and would have been the heights of hypocrisy given that those who caused the damage were in fact doing exactly what the church itself wants to do. The town abused its powers in rushing through the heritage designation the way it did. There are those that claim they now have the court's backing; not so. The Board who heard the appeal said they did not have jurisdiction; they made no ruling on the merits. Unfortunately, the enabling statute is not at all clear as to where the right of appeal lies (one of many flaws in a poorly written piece of legislation). But if the town is going to push forward with its claim of heritage status, then it is their moral (and possibly legal) obligation to find the funds to preserve the church. Forcing the parish to find the funds is not an option: doing so would be tantamount to religious persecution and therefore likely a breach of the Charter.