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 "Burning our ship": From this moment on, the parishioners of All Saints', Waterloo can only move forward. The old structure is demolished, there is no turning back. Saying goodbye to the old church was a sad moment for many, but also a time to give thanks to God for all those that have come before and all that happened in this place and space. 

By Rev. Marty Levesque

In the year 1519, Hernán Cortés arrived on Turtle Island with 600 men, and upon arrival, made history by “burning his ships.” This sent a clear message to his men. There is no turning back!

Progress continues on All Saints Waterloo’s new church and community centre.

There have been many milestones along this journey. The vote to sell the building and property to fund the new build. The closing date and transfer of funds to complete the sale. The ground-breaking of the new facility. Moving to a temporary location. And of course, the continued construction and excitement we feel watching the new building take shape.

This month though it felt a little more real and a little different. Yes, we have moved out of the old church and said our collective goodbyes. But the demolition of the old church has begun to pave the way for a new housing development on the old site.

For some, this closed a chapter from when they first arrived at the Northfield site in 1981. For others, they have only known this place as church. And for those, like me who are relatively new to the community, it represented a time to give thanks to God for all those that have come before and all that happened in this place and space.

In this building, the sacraments were celebrated, and new Christians were joined to the body of Christ. Youth came to faith. Marriages were blessed. And we said goodbye to family and friends who have gone to be with our Lord. 
But this is not the end, rather is a turning of the page. And we have great hope and excitement for our new space when complete, but today we give thanks for a space where so many came into a deeper relationship with our Lord, where tears were shed, and laughter roared. This space was sacred to us and even as we go forward to something new, we still grieve what was.

Well done, good and faithful servant. Thank you for being a place where so many met the Risen Lord.

Rev. Marty Levesque is the rector of All Saints', Waterloo.