UPDATE: A 144-year-old church in Morpeth will be demolished



The owner of a former church in Morpeth over a century old says the building is in its final days.

On Monday, council approved the removal of the property at 19062 Hill Road from the municipal heritage register, which will allow the demolition of the church structure to proceed.

The property in question is located on the west side of Hill Road, south of Talbot Trail and contains the former Anglican Church of Morpeth, which was built around 1877.

According to the staff report presented to council, the church was one of the first places of worship in the community and is surrounded by some of the oldest properties in Morpeth.

The property was added to the Municipal Heritage Register in 2010 due to its cultural value or significance to Chatham-Kent.

However, in August 2021, the municipality received a request for a demolition permit from the property owner to demolish the existing church structure. Under the Ontario Heritage Act, owners of properties listed on the Municipal Heritage Register must provide 60 days notice of their intention to remove or demolish any building.

According to a letter sent to the municipality, the structure is beyond repair.

“The steeple is collapsing and sinking,” the letter read. “The floor only has a crawl space…It has a lot of dry rot and needs to be replaced. The brick outside is soft, much of it needs replacing. The foundation is crumbling and not meeting today’s building code.

The owner notes that if the building is demolished, he would like to erect a monument in its place.

According to the report, the municipal heritage committee was consulted on the removal of the property from the register.

“This Municipal Heritage Committee supports the removal of 19062 Hill Road, Morpeth from the Municipal Heritage Register,” the report read. “The Municipal Heritage Committee also recommends that any items that could be retained should be removed and reused.”

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