Church Gym Becomes Microbrewery: April Fools or prophetic utterance

Or why you should attend the April 14 workshop on Regenerating Places of Faith

There is a rumour circulating In Calgary which started on April 1 from the pulpit of Hillhurst United Church and found momentum on the April 2 Monday CBC Morning Show.

Hillhurst United Church is going to turn it 1950 annex, attached to the 112-year-old historic church and including a gym, into a microbrewery.  John Pentland began his Easter / April Fool’s sermon with images of what the microbrewery might look like, a selection of possible names including Confession, as well names for beer such as Pastor’s Pilsner.   Whether this scenario is an April Fool’s joke, a non-traditional focus group or prophetic utterance remains to be seen.

What it does highlight are the lengths that faith communities are considering in order to support sustainable use of their real estate as well as make lively, relevant and helpful contributions to their members and neighbours.

Churches are struggling to pay the rent, find traction with generations under 60 and be a relevant participant in the challenges and opportunities of this century.

Join Rob Pajot, National Trust Canada and Kendra Fry, Faith and the Common Good at Regenerating Places of Faith: A Workshop for Calgary Communities on April 14 at Knox United Church 8:30am – 4:00 pm, If these challenges are of interest to you  They will  share stories from faith communities from Calgary and across Canada who are stepping into these challenges with vibrant, creative and sustainable solutions.

The following questions will guide the workshop:

  • How are issues facing places of faith across the country (aging congregation, decreasing revenues, increasing building costs) being played out in Calgary, and how is the local community responding?
  • How can congregations, broader community groups and heritage advocates work together to support each other’s objectives using the places of faith in Calgary that are currently underused?
  • How are other places of faith being creatively revitalized across the country
  • What are the best practices for a congregation to effectively share its building with several other groups?
  • What can a congregation do now to reduce the cost and environmental footprint of their building?

Regenerating Places of Faith

Workshop for Calgary Communities

April 14, 8:30 am – 4:00pm

Knox United Church, 506 4St SW Calgary

Cost:  $20.00.  Register at

For more information contact

or toll free 1-866-964-1066

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