St. Thomas Restoration Vision and Committee

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Our Vision:

The Save the St. Thomas Church Committee of the Moose Factory Heritage and Hospitality Association is working to restore the historic St. Thomas Church. This building and site have been made sacred by generations who have been welcomed, married, and buried here. We want to reopen it in ways that allow for historic uses as well as new purposes and activities, especially those that serve our communities by strengthening families and culture.  

View St. Thomas church in "Moose Factory Heritage" Documentary Film

Supporters and Partners:

This restoration initiative has received funding through the co-founding jurisdictional members of the MRHHA (Moose Cree First Nation, MoCreebec Eeyoud Council and the Town of Moosonee), from Wakenagun Community Futures Development Corporation and from the Ontario First Nation Limited Partnership. This initiative is also championed nationally by the National Trust for Canada. The Synod of the Diocese of Moosonee, as the owner of the building, is partnering in the restoration of this deconsecrated church as a heritage venue for the community, as a way of restoring relationships. A long-term co-management agreement with the MRHHA is in preparation, and will give community members a primary voice in the future vision and use of the building. 

Restoration Process:

Stage One: Emergency works to stabilize and protect the building

Completed in fall by Innes Construction, with support from Wakenagun Community Futures Development Corporation, the Ontario First Nations Limited Partnership, and the MRHHA’s co-founding jurisdictional members: Moose Cree First Nation, MoCreebec Eeyoud Council and the Town of Moosonee.

Stage Two: Planning, investigation, project development & major fundraising

This stage includes building and site surveys and detailed drawings, soil samples, archeological investigations of foundations, timber investigations, structural engineering work, architectural design, etc. It will lead to the production of detailed restoration specifications that can be used for fundraising and tendering. It also includes the community consultation process to create a vision for the restored church, as well as the development of a co-management agreement with the Synod of the Diocese of Moosonee. 

Stage Three: Full Restoration Work

We hope to be able to start the final stage of major restoration work by summer 2023.

Committee Members and Meetings:

In additional to our public community sessions, most of our regular committee meetings are also open to the public. New volunteers and committee members are welcome!

  • Chair: Robert Faries

  • MRHHA rep: Cecil Chabot, MRHHA Executive Director

  • Project Manager: Doug Evans, MRHHA Heritage Conservation Lead

  • Assistant Project Coordinator: Devin Rickard, MRHHA Heritage Conservation Apprentice

  • Local Fundraising Lead: Jennifer Valerie Carey-Cool

  • External Fundraising Co-Leads: Jane Scanlon & Daniel Berg

  • Legal advisor: Derek Chum

  • Heritage lead: Emily Turner

  • Secretaries: Doris Thomas, Wendy Kirk

  • Community Coordinator: Laurie Sutherland, MRHHA Community Coordinator

  • Select Vestry reps: Grace Delaney (restoration) & Marion Maybee (fundraising & communications)

  • ACW rep: Frances Sutherland

  • Anglican Diocese of Moosonee rep: Canon Patricia Dorland

  • Volunteer Coordinator: Rachel Burrows

  • Volunteers/members: Bill Louttit, Trudy Sailors, Melissa Cheechoo, Abel Wapachee, Joe Monture, Michael Wesley, Edward Hardisty, Debora Fleming, Kim Cheechoo, Ann Wesley

The Committee is grateful to our past Co-Chair, Norm Wesley, who served for a year and half at the critical start-up phase of this initiative. 

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