The old Sporting and Clothing building on 5th avenue is getting a new life, as the Valemount Community Church tries it out.

The Church has been vying for a spot on 5th avenue for several years. Pastor Conrad Broersma says the landlord offered them a good deal on rent on a trial basis to see if the space would work out.

“There’s a lot of empty buildings on the main street – to get some life in one and even keep it cleaned up makes things look a little nicer,” he says.

Last week, members of the congregation were out wiping windows and cutting overgrown grass. The space has been empty since the closure of Sporting and Clothing two years ago.

The building is still technically for sale and Broersma says they are considering it as a permanent location, but “hold everything with open hand.”

“If it works that’s great; if it doesn’t, then we’ll try something different.”

They church held its first service last Sunday and plan to hold bi-weekly services. Broersma says everyone is welcome. This Saturday they will be getting out with rakes and garbage bags to clean up leaves around town and then share a meal. He says the activity is church-related but open to anyone who wants to help. They will be helping any homeowner, especially ones who need a little extra help.

Broersma and his wife Anita and three children moved to Valemount from Foremost, Alta, in July. The Valemount community church is part of the Evangelical Free Church of Canada.

Broersma adds that beyond having holding church services, the church’s goal is to reach out to and serve the community in whatever way they can. He says they were recently were given a moose and a deer from the conservation officer. The church paid for the butchering cost and gave away the meat to families in town that could use extra food.

He says they are also working on a community woodpile for families that need wood to get through a couple of weeks, but not taking away from local wood vendors.