Church holds final service Sunday

Published on September 23, 2011
The Union Corner United Church will be decommissioned this Sunday after more than 130 years of service. The small church's pastor says declining numbers and lack of funding has forced the congregation to amalgamate with the nearby Wellington United.
Stephen Brun/Journal Pioneer

By Stephen Brun

UNION CORNER - After more than 130 years, the Union Corner United Church will open its doors for the final time this weekend.

The historic church will be decommissioned on Sunday, and its small congregation will amalgamate with Wellington United Church.

Gerald Blaquiere, Union Corner's pastor for the last three years, said declining numbers over the years have made maintaining the tiny church impractical.

"Churches across the country are closing at an increasing rate, and we're just falling victim to the same challenges other churches are facing - lack of congregation, lack of funding," said Blaquiere.

"It's sort of sad in a way, but we're thinking 'Let's celebrate the life of the church as it was.' It's got a long and rich history, and it's just a cute little church."

Union Corner United has only seen between four and six regular members, and hasn't held a service, over the past three years.

The pastoral charge also includes the Wellington church and Victoria West United, meaning it will now become a two-point charge.

The Methodists completed the church at Union Corner, then called Fifteen Point, in 1878. Twenty years later, the name was changed to the Union Corner Methodist Church.

Union Corner, Wellington and Victoria West became the Wellington Pastoral Charge in 1926. 

To honour the long history, said Blaquiere, the building will be taken down rather than recommissioned for another purpose.

"We're looking for somebody who would like the lumber for the church to come and disassemble it, because we don't want the church to be used as a barn or a garage," he said. "We felt (the history) was too strong to allow something like that to happen."

The cemetery beside Union Corner United will be maintained by the Wellington congregation, which numbers about 50 regular members.

Blaquiere said the charge hopes to erect a plaque at the site after the church is taken down.

The decommissioning service will take place this Sunday at 3 p.m. at Union Corner United, or at Wellington United if the weather is inclement.

Those attending are asked to bring lawn chairs, since the service will be held outside the church.