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St. Andrew's church raising funds for some much-needed TLC

Water damage, a new roof among the things needed for 159-year-old building

St. Andrew's Church is looking pretty good for being 159 years old, but she could use a little sprucing up.

The Presbyterian church located at 161 Norfolk St. just north of Downtown Guelph is in the midst of a fundraising campaign to raise money for some much-needed repairs.

The goal is to raise $190,000, said Rev. John Borthwick. Roughly half that amount has been raised so far and the church hopes to have renovations completed by next year, when it celebrates its 190th anniversary.

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"Like a lot of churches, it's been held together over the years with duct tape and chewing gum but now we need to make some repairs," Borthwick said.

The church's original slate roof was the first job, and that was done just before last winter. Unfortunately, replacing a slate roof would have cost "hundreds of thousands" of dollars," Borthwick said.

There are repairs needed to damage caused by ice and water inside the main sanctuary, the steeple needs work,the carpeting is close to becoming a trip hazard and the sound system needs improving.

The church's congregation consists of roughly 100 people, said Borthwick, who has been at the church for 14 years.

"We're pretty frugal in what we want to do, but these are things that are needed, not just wanted," he said.

St. Andrew's was started in 1828 by Scottish immigrants, with services held where the Guelph Farmer's Market now stands. The first church building was located where old City Hall is currently located.

St. Andrew's gave up that property to the city and a new church was completed at the current location in 1858.

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