The venerable building we know as Christ Church Cathedral was constructed during the 1870’s, and became the mother church for the people of the Diocese of Ottawa when it was designated as its cathedral 120 years ago.
Its great grey walls have echoed to hundreds of services a year, decade after decade. They house ministries that enlighten many lives with the love and hope of God in Christ. They have welcomed individuals slipping in, families as they celebrate and mourn, the leaders of the nation, province and city, and those who come for the warmth of a diverse and vibrant community when facing hard times.
Now, those great grey walls are themselves facing hard times.
Although to the casual eye “the church on the bluff” looks as solid as a Laurentian cliff, closer inspection makes it clear that’s not the case. Take a look at the buttresses that line the garth on the west wall and you’ll immediately see the problem: the mortar in the joints has crumbled, cracks are appearing, and some unprotected stones are fracturing. Those buttresses are not for decoration —they hold up our massive roof. If they fail, the building fails. There are similar problems all over the building. Not far in the future, the gaps and cracking could well cause individual stones to fall, leading to the collapse of the walls.
We cannot delay taking action. We already have the engineering reports on what must be done. Now, we need your support to make the essential restoration of the Cathedral’s west wall possible—as part of a major restoration project in 2017 that will cost over $400,000. We are calling this project Restoration 120.
Your donation to Restoration 120 will have an immediate impact by directly funding $120,000 of urgent work that will be undertaken on the west wall of the Cathedral in 2017. And if we achieve that amount, your donation will directly fund other urgent restoration work in 2017, reducing our reliance on financing work by means of a mortgage or by depleting our endowment program.
2017 is the 120th anniversary of the designation of Christ Church as a Cathedral. Your donation will be used in this anniversary year to make the Cathedral’s walls safe, sound and lovely to behold.
I warmly encourage you to give generously to Restoration 120
Chair, Restoration 120
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