Church getting ready to see contents of mysterious box

The contents of a mysterious box imbedded in the cornerstone of St. Paul's United Church will soon be revealed.

The contents of a mysterious box imbedded in the cornerstone of St. Paul’s United Church will soon be revealed.

“We’re just waiting to hear from the church archivists and the museum before we open it,” said Shawna Banman, the church’s office administrator.

“We want to make sure the contents are protected.”

The brown metal box that’s about one-foot by one-foot in size, was soldered shut and placed behind the cornerstone of the church when it was built in 1957. It was removed when the first steps toward demolishing the building were taken at a ceremony held earlier this week.

“We had decided to take out the cornerstone, ahead of time to have it ready for when we had our big breaking brick ceremony,” said Banman.

“When they pulled the cornerstone out they found it in the back.”

The discovery was a complete to everyone closest to the church

“Even our longest term members don’t know anything about it,” she said.

The box will be brought to services this  Sunday, so everyone can get a look at it, but the date of the opening is sometime in the offing.

“I’m still waiting to find out when and where we can open it,” she said.

The demolition is scheduled to take place so the church can rebuild and expand.

The church owns a 1.6 acre property that fronts onto both Lakeshore Road and KLO Road. The proposed redevelopment is intended to capitalize on that location with a project that incorporates commerce, culture, and faith.

St. Paul’s website for the Sanctuary project says the redevelopment will see the  church transformed into a cultural hub similar to the downtown’s Rotary Centre for the Arts.

The redevelopment will include a new worship centre for St. Paul’s, with a 240-seat theatre, rooftop chapel, meeting rooms and a commercial kitchen available for rent, public space for performances by musicians, and an artists gallery.

There will also be traditional retail space on the ground floor, and offices on the second storey. On the third and fourth floors there will be space for private residences.