Pines Chapel in Chatham, Ontario, is an architectural marvel. Designed in 1961 by Joseph Storey for the Ursuline Sisters, this modernist chapel features a crown-like appearance and a stunning circular interior. After the Ursuline sisters gave up the building, it lay in disrepair for years until being acquired for $1 by Joshua Ministries, a church planting initiative led by CBOQ pastor Larry Forsyth and his wife Lorraine.
Last year, the Forsyths and a group of dedicated volunteers restored the rotunda-style sanctuary, garnering the Mayor’s Heritage Preservation Award for their work.
This past week, they opened a coffee shop called the Hub Café in the basement. Situated in a high foot-traffic location, the Hub is poised to be a natural meeting space for the immediate community. In addition to daily visitors, the Hub Café creates many opportunities to connect with neighbours such as local musicians who have volunteered to perform at the Café, Ursuline College students who can fulfill co-op placements as Café staff, and seniors from the adjacent Caleb Village Retirement Residence.
In time, the Forsyths hope to form a church community at Pines Chapel, in response to the gathering work of the Holy Spirit, who longs to fill the hopes and needs of those already coming through the doors.