Building Our New Church

It’s not just about building a church, it’s building a faith community for generations to come.

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1. Have all options been explored re possibility of adding onto the existing church?
Yes, all options have been considered. It is not feasible for a number of reasons. As the land is in the Ontario Greenbelt, the institutional use cannot be expanded by taking land from the abutting agricultural land. More land would be needed for the church itself, a new septic system, a storm water retention area, parking, zoning setbacks, etc.

2. Will there be a basement with a hall, meeting rooms/classrooms, a kitchen, washrooms, and other facilities?
The basement will be roughed in for washrooms and an elevator shaft. It will be finished at a later date, hopefully with labour from Knights of Columbus and parishioners. Cost for finishing the basement is not included in the estimate.

3. When the new church is completed, will the present St. Helen’s be used for weekend masses?No. It is not economically feasible to operate two churches in the parish.

4. Will the low lying land be a problem?
No, it provides a pre-dug, fully accessible, functional basement with a walkout at the central arch and windows at ground level.

5. Could the columns in the basement be placed so as to increase the functional area?
The central nave is 60 ft. wide, with another 30 feet on either side, and the supporting columns extend into the basement. Columns were previously 20 ft. apart and are now 40 ft. apart.

6. Will there be votive candles, and a bell?
These items are not included in the plans but could be added when finances permit. One of the towers would accommodate a bell.

7. How big is the cross on the outside of the church, and could it be lighted at night?
The cross is 10 ft. high and it would be possible to have lights shining on it.

8. How much money must be raised before construction begins?
50% of the cost should be pledged before we build. (Fr. Philip pledged $100/month for 60 months, for a total of $6000).

9. What will happen to the old church?
To help raise the funds required, all surplus assets must be sold. The monetary value of the church has been estimated at $300,000 to $400,000. Sacrifice is needed to provide for the next generations, parishioners’ children and grandchildren.

10. Have demographics been taken into consideration?  (People who make pledges sometimes move away.)  
A fundraising campaign never gets 100% of pledges, however, since many Catholics in Lincoln now go to churches in Grimsby and St. Catharines, and realizing that Beamsville is a growing community, we can count on a net gain of parishioners. Mike Lostracco referred to the movie Field of Dreams. (Its theme was, “Build it, and they will come.”) He said that when they started Blessed Trinity High School there were only 77 students, and the addition under construction now will cost more than the original school.

11. What is the amount of the building fund, and have records been kept of the people who donated “in memoriam?”
Building fund is currently $84,000. Costs incurred to date have been paid. Extensive records have been kept at the church.

12. Can articles for the church be purchased and the names of the donors noted in a book of remembrance?
A list can be made of preselected items required for the church, e.g. stations of the cross, leaded windows, candles, etc. which parishioners could donate, and a more permanent than paper record would be made to show donors’ names.

13. Could parts of St. Helen’s Church be used in the new church, e.g. leaded glass windows?
The cost of removing windows and replacing them, combined with the difficulties of blending old leaded glass with new makes this unfeasible. The church must be kept intact to retain its highest value.

14. Does the Town have knowledge of this proposal?
In 2006 the Committee met twice with officials of the Town of Lincoln, the Region of Niagara. The Town and the Region gave tentative approval for the building of a church on the land in front of St. Mark School.

15. How will the fundraising be done?
Mike Lostracco will chair the fundraising committee. Chad Alderson, former Chair of the Catholic Charities for The Arch Diocese of Toronto will act as consultant at no cost to the parish. Some major donors have already been approached. A fundraising team will visit parishioners to request pledges.

16. Can all the windows be of stained glass?
Not right away, but the windows can be prepared for future installation of stained glass.

17. Do neighbours know about the future church?
They would probably be aware that the land is zoned for institutional uses that include a

18. When will construction begin?
Our goal is to start this coming spring. Once sufficient pledges are secured, site plan approval obtained; bids tendered, etc.

19. Has the Committee thoroughly considered other possible sites?
Yes, extensive searches were undertaken for all available parcels. Imposition of Ontario’s Greenbelt Plan narrowed the choices.

20. What is the cost of the land? Wasn’t it donated for the building of a new church?
Estimated cost is $500,000. A 10 ft. strip of land along the northern boundary was donated by a parishioner. A land title search revealed that the Diocese bought the balance of the land and later sold it to the school board.

21. Will there be problems with traffic flow?
Two roads are in existence and Public Works will have input on traffic patterns.

22. What is the capacity of the church?
418 people in the church; 596 in the basement; parking for 141 vehicles + 4 handicapped spaces; (55 spaces now).

23. What is “Design-Build” construction?
Traditional construction requires all architectural and full construction drawings before going to tender for construction. Design-Build requires only conceptual drawings that specify certain requirements, thereby saving on up-front costs. All conceptual drawings for the proposed church prepared by architect John Romanov cost less than $10,000. The design-builder pays fees to the Town, the architect, etc. and has to come within the cost he bid. He cannot ask for extras unless unforeseen problems arise. The overall quality of the church is dictated by the parish. A pre-engineered structure is most cost-effective.

24. How will the Diocese help?
Payment to the Diocese for the land becomes due in 10 years with no interest. Cathedraticum, i.e., the percentage on regular church collections that is normally paid to support the Diocese, will not be levied for ten years. No Cathedraticum will be levied on any donations to the Building Fund at any time. The Diocese will give a mortgage for part of the cost.

Notes: Construction loans are available. Governmental funding may be available to assist the church in being accessible, e.g. for the elevator.