Rev. Father Mykhaylo Pozdyk stands underneath the domed ceiling at St. Mary’s Ukrainian-Greek Orthodox Church in North Surrey. The parish needs to raise between $120

Rev. Father Mykhaylo Pozdyk stands underneath the domed ceiling at St. Mary’s Ukrainian-Greek Orthodox Church in North Surrey. The parish needs to raise between $120

North Surrey church hoping for help on high

St. Mary’s Ukrainian-Greek Orthodox Church needs money to replace the roof on the 60-year-old landmark building.

It was last year when Katherine Miske noticed some of the bulbs were burning out on the huge chandelier at St. Mary’s Ukrainian-Greek Orthodox Church in North Surrey.

When she went to replace them, she noticed water had been leaking through the roof into the 320-kilogram (700-pound) light fixture, shorting it out.

Then, a month before last Christmas, Miske noticed the supporting beam holding the chandelier was crumbling, threatening to give way and allow the giant fixture to fall.

At that point, Miske, who is the parish president, discovered there was a much larger problem with the iconic landmark at 10765 135A Street in Whalley.

The roof on the heritage building was rotting.

A closer look at the domed roof indicated it needs replacing, or at the very least, required improved structural support.

The estimated cost to properly support the dome is about $120,000, while replacement would cost $300,000.

Outside of churchDiscussions ensued about what to do, and the notion of simply selling the property for development was considered.

But Miske said the church is still structurally sound, and said the parish is planning to raise funds and do the work through its own congregation.

She acknowledges they could use some help.

Rev. Father Mykhaylo Pozdyk said it’s fortunate they took the chandelier down before someone was hurt.

“I’m alive, so thank you God, I’m alive,” Pozdyk said, adding “we are collecting money (for the roof repairs) and any help would be helpful.”

The church was built between 1950 and 1955 with volunteer labour and is on the City of Surrey’s heritage register.

“St. Mary’s is valued for its traditional Greek-Orthodox architectural features, such as the cross gabled roof on a Greek cross plan, with an octagonal dome over the central interior space,” the City of Surrey’s website states. “The interior also features traditional elements such as a carved iconostasis screen. It remains a symbol of the Ukrainian community, and traditional Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox services are still held at St. Mary’s.”

Anyone wishing to help financially or with reconstruction can call 604-581-0313 or visit www.uocstmarysurrey.com

Surrey North Delta Leader

Pop-up banner image ×