The synod of the Diocese of Niagara has granted approval for the development which, in spite of bearing a passing resemblance to soviet era flats, will by no means be low cost housing. Here is a conceptual rendering:
Ironically, at the same time the diocese is ploughing millions of dollars into its headquarters, the diocesan image is looking a trifle tattered in Guelph, where residents are planning a demonstration over the sale of St. Matthias for – you guessed it, millions of dollars.
GUELPH — Two community groups are planning a peaceful rally outside St. George’s Anglican Church Sunday to request a meeting with Bishop Michael Bird of the Anglican Diocese of Niagara about the tentative sale of St. Matthias Church property to HIP Developments.
Linda Davis, of the McElderry Community and Friends Group, said the group has made “repeated requests” to speak with Bird about the sale of the property, where HIP intends to build a six-storey, 81-unit student-geared residence called Solstice 3.
Davis said she believes it comes down to money for the diocese.
“They’ve tied their futures to that plan and they’re not willing to deviate from it regardless of what we say,” she said.
The bishop has defended the sale on the basis that:
our Diocese is in the business of nurturing and building spiritual communities in the Anglican tradition, not in the business of urban planning.
The cathedral development looks suspiciously like urban planning to me.
Selling cathedral land to developers to build apartments appears to be a trend. Here is the Diocese of Ottawa’s cathedral and diocesan offices sandwiching a large apartment block; the dwarfed cathedral is just visible. It seems to be a fitting metaphor for western Anglicanism: the church used to be surrounded by the secular, now the secular has been invited to dwell and flourish within the church: