A Regina evangelical church had its plans to move to a new location to accommodate it’s growing congregation confounded by city red tape.
Regina Victory Church (RVC) purchased the Regina Austrian Canadian Edelweiss Club building last summer, but worshipers have still not moved in. Purchased for nearly $880,000, the church has spent eight months persuading the city to change the zoning from a light business to a church.
RVC associate pastor, Debra Beaudry, said the church had not realized the zoning consents would take so long. “In order to have a different kind of business in there (the Ross Industrial Park area), you had to prove that it would not cause problems in the zoning area.”
The congregation had hoped to be into the new building by the middle of March, since they are having trouble fitting everyone into the church’s current building, which has already been sold.
RVC first started looking for a new, larger building over eight years ago. The Church learned of the Austrian Club’s wish to sell its building in late summer of 2018. Pastor Terry Murphy, leader of RVC,addressed his congregation and explained the main reasons for the purchase was the extra space it would give to the church. “That place (the Austrian Club) adds about 50 per cent to what we have right now,” he said at the time.
Beaudry said that getting approval was an “arduous” process, “Initially, you have to go through three different tiers of government approval. So we had to go through all three of those levels and answer all their questions and put their minds at ease to all of the reasons why they thought we shouldn’t have a church in the area. And then it had to go through the final stages of voting in the city council, and we had to get the majority to agree with us. “
Some of the concerns brought up by the city included issues of parking, foot traffic and factory emissions. “We had to convince them that all of the issues that they thought were there, were not there.and that they would not ever be an issue so that they would go ahead and change the zoning for us.”
It took eight months before the Regina city council held a vote, and it was decided that the property that RVC planned to purchase would have it’s zoning changed.
Since then, RVC has been hard at work getting the building ready to be used. A number of different renovations have taken place including plumbing replacement, installation of new toilets – and the removal of the bar. The church will also have to move all of its musical and sound equipment as well as its video recording equipment, lights and chairs over into the new building.
“Our target date is March 17th for our first service and then we’ll have some more services in there, and then we’ll probably have a grand opening sometime in the spring. So we are excited about that.”