Members of Trinity Anglican + Lutheran Church in Port Alberni live by the motto, “All are welcome.”
The church and community hall, located at the corner of Angus Street and Fifth Avenue, is breaking down barriers by making the gathering place fully accessible.
Port Alberni Mayor Sharie Minions and Reverend Brenda Nestegaard Paul turned the sod on Thursday, July 4 in anticipation of upcoming renovations at Trinity Church. The renovations will include the addition of two universal, accessible washrooms, as well as an improved ramp and wheelchair accessible door at the rear of the hall. The washrooms will also include showers, which now makes Trinity a designated emergency reception centre in South Port.
Trinity Church is used for worship, but the space is also home to various community groups, including Timbre! Choir, Tai Chi and Zumba.
Nestegaard Paul said on Thursday that she hopes that everyone who is drawn to Trinity Church will feel welcome—whether it’s to participate in community programming or to seek sanctuary in the event of an emergency.
“It’s when we look after those details that we ensure that no matter what a person’s physical ability might be, that they are moved to be able to participate in this place and all that it offers,” she said. “That’s what this is about. That no one’s left out.”
The renovations will be completed by local tradespeople, including Paul Davis Central Vancouver Island. Funding for the renovations was provided by the Diocese of BC, as well as grants from the Rick Hanson Foundation and the Alberni Valley Community Foundation.
Minions said on Thursday that the announcement was an exciting one.
“It’s just so wonderful from our perspective at the city to see a place that is so welcome to all, and really lives and breathes that in every step and every decision they make,” she said.