Church opposes Kimberley bridge removal

All Saints Anglican Church shares concerns about access for Food Bank users and suppliers.

As the Mark Creek Flume rebuild continues, concern about the removal of the St. Mary’s Avenue bridge continues as well.

The latest to voice their objections to the bridge removal is All Saints Anglican Church, which is located on Leadenhall Street, and also houses the Kimberley Food Bank.

Rev. Trevor Freeman, Priest’s Warden Gerry Lafault and People’s Warden Pat Prefontaine have signed a letter to Mayor and Council asking them to reconsider the current plan in favour of replacing the bridge.

Currently the City plans to take out the vehicle bridge at St. Mary’s Avenue and replace it with a foot bridge. A new vehicle bridge could potentially be put in further downstream although no final decision on that has been announced.

Residents were told at a public meeting at the end of August that replacing the bridge’s current location would be too costly given that the creek will be as much as three times wider in that spot once the creek project is completed.

The letter from All Saints states that they support the flume upgrade but worry about losing the bridge.

The removal of the bridge impacts the accessibility of the worship space, especially in inclement weather, says the letter. With limited parking, worshippers find exiting on St. Mary’s the best route.

However, the Church’s real concern is the Food Bank, which operates out of the All Saints Basement, and occasionally makes use of the Church Hall as well.

“We are proud and happy to share our space with the Food Bank. The work they do is crucial in the lives of many citizens of Kimberley and each and every food Bank volunteer works very hard to provide a needed service.”

The letter goes on to say that while the Church concerns are primarily for Sunday parking, the Food Bank concerns are greater.

“Their concerns are about every day the Food Bank is open. We are concerned about personal vehicles accessing our facility They are concerned about large commercial trucks which make needed deliveries. What is challenging for a personal vehicle, maneuvering up and down Leadenhall Street without St. Mary’s Avenue, becomes impossible for a large trailer or commercial truck.”

Council received the letter and sent it to operations, along with a commitment that they will continue to stay in touch with the community over this and other issues around the flume rebuild.