Trinity closes its doors; moves to temporary location

BY MIKE TURCOTTE

It was a sad time for some, and an exciting time for others at the end of November, as the congregation of Trinity United Church in Kitchener bid their current location farewell, and moved into a temporary home rented from St. Matthews Lutheran Church, due to a struggle to maintain the aging building.

During an interview with The Record, Katherine Bitzer, chair of the church’s board, said, “This building has been a burden for our congregation for quite a number of years. We don’t want to spend our time talking about boilers and plumbing and roofs. We want to talk about mission and community and service.”

Trinity United Church has been a part of the downtown Kitchener community for over a century, being founded in 1906, and has played an important part in many people’s lives.

On top of the usual church proceedings, Trinity has also played host numerous times over the years to dinners for the less fortunate, usually around Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, such is not the case this year, with no Christmas dinner scheduled on their website calendar.

In the past, the church has also participated in the Out of the Cold program, in which multiple churches and other buildings in multiple locations across the region open their doors at night to the homeless, giving them a warm and safe place to sleep.

Dan Kelly, 28, is a Kitchener resident who was saddened to hear about the church’s decision to sell and move. When asked what his thoughts were on the move, Kelly seemed to lower in spirits, and said somberly, “It sucks, you know? I know to myself and quite a few other people, that place was like a second home. From the dinners to the Out of the Cold program, we really appreciated them.”

Kelly has struggled with housing, food and health concerns for years, and said he hopes the church will continue to play a major role in assisting the homeless and less fortunate in the future.
He added, with a tremble in his voice, “My memory isn’t very good at all, it’s really hard to remember many parts of my life … But I remember Trinity, and so I guess I’ll just cherish those memories until they are gone too.”

More information about Trinity United Church can be found at www.trinityunitedkw.ca