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St. Thomas Update

Update on the Restoration of Old St Thomas August 5, 2023

Generous gifts and support have made it possible to do the necessary preliminary work on restoring and enhancing Old St. Thomas as a community gathering space and cultural centre.

Key accomplishments have taken place since the St. Thomas Committee was created in spring 2020:

  • Partnerships were developed with local, regional, provincial, and national organizations to support the restoration of Old St. Thomas, and one of these partners, the National Trust for Canada, recognized the St. Thomas Committee in fall 2022 with a national award for “exemplary cross-cultural cooperation in conservation and reconciliation.”

  • A Twelve Apostles Campaign – with twelve leaders focusing on local donors, friends, and their stories – was launched in December 2021, with a goal of $20,000, and due to great success in the first month, was extended till the end of the year when it hit the increased target of $34,000.

  • Community sessions and consultations were held in November 2021, May 2022, and March 2023, with support for the restoration of Old St. Thomas as a multipurpose community gathering space and cultural centre.

  • Preliminary emergency stabilization works were completed by Innes Construction in fall 2021, and further stabilization works and demolition of the dilapidated 1960s vestry addition were completed in July 2023 by Cree-ative Waste Management Systems Inc.

  • Our St. Thomas Committee has worked with the Diocese of Moosonee to develop a Šawelihcikewin Covenant for the Co-Management of Old St. Thomas, which will see a permanent committee with a majority of community members take on management and governance of the building and its future use, in service of our community, with ongoing contributions from the Diocese.

  • We have engaged a professional team including a heritage architect and structural engineer, an archaeologist, and a heritage wood specialist. The team has investigated the building and is preparing repair drawings and specifications. The team has also prepared an outline budget estimate for the project to renew Old St. Thomas.

  • We were able to use these estimates to apply for the Canadian Heritage Legacy Grant of $500,000, and we will use these estimates to apply for a large grant” that will match all the donations and other grants we received.

  • A generous memorial gift of $100,000 from the estate of The Very Reverend Sharon Murdoch was made for the restoration of St. Thomas with the request from her father and brother to match it.

  • Moose Cree First Nation (MCFN) responded to this request with a matching gift of $100,000 (in addition to previous contributions) and an offer to assist in seeking other donations from major corporations working in the Moose Cree Homeland.

Building on this momentum, we will be launching the Šawelihcikewin Campaign on May 5, 2024. As many of you may know, Šawelihcikewin translates into English as "receiving with gratitude with a desire to give back."  The goal of this financial campaign is to raise the rest of $3,200,000 required for the restoration and repurposing of Old St. Thomas."

Mîgwec! Thank you!                                              



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