Brentwood Bay United Church building sold; congregation rebuilds its future

Parishioners merged with Shady Creek in September after church was closed.

Brentwood Bay United Church has been sold and will be handed over to a developer as of June 20.

June 20 will be the final farewell to Brentwood Bay United Church as its keys will be handed over to a developer.

The church operations were merged with Shady Creek United Church last September.

Minister of Brentwood Bay United Church David Drake said the decision to close came down to a sustainability issue.

“But the story’s not going to end there because a lot of churches and certainly this church configuration is under stress. They have to really kind of revitalize, reorganize their ministry,” he said.

The process for the selling of the church began a few months ago, with a bid on the property. The developer, who Drake declined to name, won the bid. He added the building will eventually be torn down.

“It’s been interesting because the church community obviously goes through a grief period but there comes a time of reality when it just can’t be sustained in the way that it has,” said Drake.

He said Shady Creek too is needing its own revitalization.

“What the future looks like for the church, we’re not clear but it’s going to be a joint effort trying to figure out what that future’s going to look like.”

He added the church has to look at not only its sustainability, but of what service it can be to the community at large.

“I would say this church like many others has enjoyed a rich and glorious past, but they have to this point, failed to kind of re-tool to deal with emerging needs in how church needs to be in culture.”

Drake said the goals going forward would be how to engage younger families, particularly with children and how to become more relevant in its connection with the community.

“So I think a lot of the leadership has to change, a lot of the way we look at the world has to change, and so it’s going to be a couple of years of exploration and experimenting and a lot of research,” he said.

Now operating as one, the council of the church has renamed the congregation to Shady Creek Brentwood Bay, to better reflect who they are now.

The money from the sale (also not disclosed) will be going to the presbytery, which oversees Unite churches throughout Greater Victoria to Duncan.

With over 60 years of operation at the West Saanich site, the community will have one last opportunity to bid farewell at a closing service held at Brentwood Bay United Church on June 10 at 7 p.m.