Q: WHO IS CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL?
A: Christ Church Cathedral is the Cathedral for the Anglican Diocese of Montreal. As such, it is the “mother church” of all Anglicans in the region, as well as serving its own growing congregation. Situated in the heart of city, it keeps its doors open 7 days a week, providing shelter to the homeless and spiritual guidance for all in need. The building is also the meeting place of many community-based organizations and an active participant in social causes. In keeping with its rich musical tradition, it is a popular concert destination, showcasing emerging artists.
Q: WHAT IS THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THE CATHEDRAL?
A: Christ Church Cathedral is a federal heritage site listed among the top ten tourist attractions in Montreal. Thousands of tourists visit the Cathedral annually, spending money in neighbouring shops and restaurants.
The Cathedral is also a place of sanctuary to visitors, whether busy businesspeople seeking a peaceful moment, troubled people looking for an attentive, non-judgemental ear, or homeless people needing a safe space. Operating a drop-in centre like this would be costly for the government.
In addition, the Cathedral offers pay-what-you-can concerts, providing opportunities for talented, rising musicians. It actively participates in city events including “les Journées de la culture” and “Nuit blanche” which attract more than three thousand people yearly.
Q: WHY DOES CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL NEED A MAJOR FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN?
A: The spire is corroding from the inside and is at risk of falling down. At the same time, there has been damage to the historic building, both inside and outside. The cost of these repairs cannot be covered completely by government grants and far exceeds our regular income. Additionally, funding is needed to maintain growing social service outreach, cultural and musical programs.
Q: HOW MUCH SUPPORT IS BEING PROVIDED BY VARIOUS LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT?
A: Government support is available only for a limited number of urgent structural needs. Nonetheless, the Quebec government, through its Conseil du patrimoine religieux, has been very supportive of architectural heritage needs, and we anticipate that they will fund some of the urgent repairs. We also will be requesting grants from other levels of government.
Q: CAN THE CATHEDRAL’S CONGREGATION SUPPORT ITS OPERATING EXPENSES?
A: Yes, the Cathedral does meet the costs for regular operations, through rentals, congregation donations and endowments. We are not asking for help with day-to-day operational costs. This campaign is a one-time request for urgent and extraordinary repairs.
Q: CHURCHES ARE CLOSING DOWN ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. IS CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL NEXT?
A: By no means. Christ Church Cathedral’s congregation is lively and growing. In addition, the Cathedral plays a vital role in the life of Montreal, with its architectural heritage, by providing an oasis of peace for all in the centre of the city, by attracting tourists, and through its rich and numerous musical offerings.
Q: WILL YOU BE STARTING ANOTHER MAJOR CAMPAIGN IN ANOTHER FIVE YEARS?
A: No. This campaign is a one-time event, which was made necessary by the urgency of the repairs to the spire and the building.
Q: DO THE RENTAL FEES FROM THE PROMENADES CATHÉDRALE SHOPPING MALL NOT PROVIDE ADEQUATE FUNDING FOR THE CATHEDRAL’S RENOVATIONS?
A: The Cathedral’s operating costs are $800,000 per year. The revenues are $450,000 in ground rent from the shopping mall and the office tower, $170,000 from our congregation, $150,000 from our investments, and $30,000 in other revenue (e.g., hall rental). The rental income is in constant dollars and does not increase, unlike our costs. Most important, it does not provide enough to restore the spire and repairs; that requires a major, one-time fundraising campaign.
Q: WHY DOESN’T THE DIOCESE HELP? THEY HAVE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS’ WORTH OF REAL ESTATE.
A: The diocese is contributing to the campaign. However, the Cathedral is not the only church in the diocese that needs help right now. Others have equally old and beautiful buildings to repair and maintain, but because they are not in the heart of downtown and are not the flagship of the diocese, they have less opportunity than the Cathedral does to conduct a major campaign on their own.
Q: WE DON’T USUALLY GIVE TO CHURCHES. IF WE GIVE TO THIS ONE, WE’D HAVE TO GIVE TO ALL OF THEM.
A: We are more than just a church. This campaign is about the significance of the building to the wider community. It is one of only four churches in Montreal that are designated heritage sites by Parks Canada. It is one of only 10 granted the highest heritage designation by the Quebec government. Its social services and music program contribute substantially to the social and cultural fabric of Montreal.
Q: ARE DONATIONS TO THE FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN TAX DEDUCTIBLE?
A: Yes, they are.