The old church, St. Mary’s Roman Catholic,
has stood in this location, overlooking the rolling countryside, since 1902.
It was designed by William C. Harris, a Canadian architect, known for the acoustics of the buildings he designed. The material and labour were provided by local people, both parishioners and non parishioners.
The church was debt free when completed.
Over the last century, the church needed repairs as the number of parishioners declined. It could have been demolished. However, a fund-raising effort helped restore it and later, the Indian River Festival Association formed to offer musical performances in the church. The arrangement keeps the building maintained and used. Sunday services are held there in the summer.
The acoustics of the church are incredible, said to be among the ten best performance venues in the world.
Sitting in the pew, one is wrapped in sound, one with the music, as the performers sing and play in the sanctuary. The festival hosts classical, contemporary, choral and folk music to name a few. There is something for everyone over the summer months. My husband and I have tickets for traditional and folk music in August.
This church is a testament to the ingenuity and hard work of those who built it and those who work to maintain it.
One impression that I have of my brief time on the island is small white churches. It's interesting to see a big white one.
It's a beautiful church indeed! So many churches with good acoustics now have a second life as performance venues. It's good to see.
Isn't that absolutely lovely.
A testament to the human spirit.
Beautiful church. I can't imagine building that! Andrea
That is a gorgeous old church. I hope you and your husband enjoy the shows in August.
It looks truly lovely - and how nice to learn that it is still used. A fine tribute to the architect, the builders, the maintainers...
What a beautiful church, glad it still serves the people with some wonderful performances throughout the year. Such a great story, thanks Marie.
Well that's weird! Last night when I tried to make a comment here using my Lenovo pad it wouldn't let me unless I signed into Google Plus but today on my desk top it's all good.. thank goodness :) Looooove your new header shot Marie, gorgeous shades of lilac and purple, my granddaughter's favourite. The old church is incredible, that ceiling, oh la I can just imagine the acoustics, I have been to a concert in our cathedral in the city, it was out of this world!
That is simply wonderful, Marie. And I LOVE your new header picture. My favorite color. :-)
Nice looking building - I like the wood ceiling the best.
Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne
A breathtaking beauty!
Wow, that is one beautiful church - inside and out!!
I may have lost some of your comments this week. I had problems with the comments section on Blogger and lost some comments in the process. Sorry about that!
AC, one of my favourite looking churches here I call the bumblebee church for obvious reasons.
It is Debra. There are always decommissioned churches here for sale.
The sound is incredible Linda.
It is indeed Joanne.
The local people all worked together Andrea.
We will for sure Danielle.
The spirit of the people who built and maintain it is quite something EC.
You’re welcome Bill.
I had trouble with the comments part of Blogger PDP.
I love the purples too. It was always my daughter’s favourite as a child.
The lupins here are wonderful this year Jan.
I can imagine every piece of that ceiling being placed by a local fisherman or farmer Stewart.
What a beautiful, soaring ceiling!
I like this church very much.
The ceiling is spectacular.
I am amazed at how the local people did it Jenny!
And the sound is too Catarina.
I so agree Jenn. You would love it!
This building is truly beautiful. I would love to hear music there. And I'll bet a sermon could sound really impressive too.
I’d say so too Barbara.
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