St. Stephen Anglican Church in Summerland has been facing financial difficulties this year, but the church will continue to provide services. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

St. Stephen Anglican Church in Summerland has been facing financial difficulties this year, but the church will continue to provide services. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Summerland church to lose priest due to financial challenges

St. Stephen Anglican Church will still offer services

A Summerland church is facing financial challenges but will keep its doors open.

“We’re in financial woes,” said Trish House, warden at St. Stephen Anglican Church in Summerland.

In March, the church eliminated the role of a paid secretary and at the end of November, the church will be without its priest.

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House said the decision to remove the priest was made by the Diocese of Kootenay. The priest had been working three-quarters of full time with the Summerland church and one-quarter of full time with the Anglican church in Okanagan Falls.

In early September, the bishop will meet with the church to discuss the future of the Summerland congregation.

House said two retired priests who attend St. Stephen Anglican Church have offered to provide their services at no cost. Another has also offered to assist the church for free.

The church has lost several active parishioners over the past year, as some couples have left the community. At present, the church has around 25 people attending on Sunday mornings.

The Anglican church has been a part of Summerland since the late 1800s and has had a church building in the community since 1898. The St. Stephen Anglican Church Building, on Prairie Valley Road, was constructed in 1909.

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