Current Work with Airdrie, Cardston, Renfrew & Living Spirit
Dean Salter, Chair of the Property & New Church Development Council (PNCDC), writes about the unique work of this United Church society in Alberta.
So what is PNCDC?
The Property and New Church Development Council (PNCDC) is a provincially incorporated United Church society and registered charity that has worked in Alberta for six decades. With the reorganization of The United Church of Canada in 2019, oversight for the Council and The United Church of Canada Alberta Land Trust was transferred to the aegis of Chinook Winds Region. The Council works with local Communities of Faith to help with new church development and church redevelopment. It is an organization that the wider church can use to hold property and the resources from the sale of property. Through PNCDC operations and the Alberta Land Trust, we work to maximize
resources to create effective United Church ministries in the province of Alberta.
Who Are We?
The PNCDC has a governing board that consists of United Church members and community representatives with a wide variety of expertise in areas such as business, finance, insurance, non-profit and for-profit property development, leasing and stewardship to name a few. Dean Salter serves as the current board chair. Joel Den Haan is contracted to the Council as Coordinating Consultant and Sally Woolnough is contracted to keep our books. Treena Duncan, Executive Minister for Chinook Winds Region, is an ex-officio member of our board.
What’s Happening in Airdrie?
PNCDC is working with the Airdrie United Church and key community partners as together they look at potential options for redevelopment on the Church site. The current out-moded building has significant structural and operational issues that seriously hinder the congregation’s ministry to a fast-growing city. Discussions with the local community and city administrators are ongoing. Input from our community partners is being integrated with architectural expertise to set the basis for a new facility which carries over some of the historic features of the current building into a new form. We are also aware of City of Airdrie studies on housing and downtown revitalization, seeking to work with civic representatives to find ways to address these priorities alongside revitalizing United Church work in the Airdrie Village. The Council’s Coordinating Consultant Joel Den Haan is working with the Airdrie Church and community partners.
What’s Happening in Cardston?
The PNCDC is working with St. Andrew’s United Church in Cardston to help the church develop a section of their property into moderately-priced special needs housing. Joel Den Haan, on behalf of our Council, has worked extensively with the church, the municipal government, the community, and potential developers to help move the project forward. Response has been encouraging from all sectors. This type of small-scale project has been highlighted in recent Province of Alberta studies on seniors’ and special needs housing, as an effective way to meet emerging needs in local communities at manageable cost. The dream of St. Andrew’s is moving ever closer to being realized.
What’s Happening with the Renfrew Church Property, Calgary?
With the ministry at Renfrew United Church in Calgary ended and the building in serious disrepair the PNCDC, with the support of Chinook Winds Region, has taken the building down. While waiting for permits, the vacant building endured significant vandalism and break-ins.
We are working through the Alberta Land Trust with the City of Calgary, the local community, architects and developers to identify the best way to make use of the site, including possible residential, community, and United Church usages. There is much work still to do with this project but we’re hopeful it will proceed.
What’s Happening with Living Spirit?
When Living Spirit United Church in Calgary ended its ministry the PNCDC was asked to hold and administer the building. The building has been rented by KidsKlub Before/ After School Care and Westwinds Music Society. More recently a collaborative arrangement was reached with the Kerby Centre for 55+ to pilot several program initiatives from the site. Hillhurst United Church has also been planning on how they can use the building for creative new ministries in a new City location, and we are happy to see these plans coming to fruition.
What Else is New with Us?
To deal with the delicate relationship between charitable organizations and business activities, PNCDC has deepened its organizational capacity as Trustee of The United Church of Canada Alberta Land Trust. Based on sound legal guidance since 2015, we have created a new body called Land Trust Missional Holdings Inc. as a corporation to engage in project business relationships. This will help segregate charitable from business activities, manage business risks, and enable a wider range of approaches to project ownership.
Questions? Feel free to contact Chairperson Dean Salter, or coordinating consultant Joel Den Haan to learn more.