The Bralorne Community Church was built by Bralorne Mines in 1936. Initially, its “official” name was the Boultbee Memorial Church named after W.W. Boultbee, the Secretary-Treasurer of Bralorne Mines, who died in 1936.
The church was built by Bralorne Mines when the mining activity in the area began to have a degree of security and permanence, when it became apparent that Bralorne was not a gold rush town but a gold mining community. To this end, the Mines built the Bralorne Community Church, as well as the Community Hall (which also still stands), in an effort to provide a decent town for the miners and their families.
By April, 1967, no more regular services were scheduled for the church. As the Mines continued to shut down, plans were made to remove the stained glass windows of the church for safekeeping. At the present time their whereabouts are unknown.
In 1975, the Whiting family bought the entire town of Bralorne from the Mines with the dream of making it into a retirement community. The Whiting brothers did considerable restoration work on the church which was already falling into disrepair. They put a new roof on the church, re-wired it, sanded the floors, painted the outside and supported the collapsing basement walls, among other improvements.
But Bralorne never recovered from the closure of the mine, and as the population continued to decline even further, the church fell into disrepair again and was subject to vandalism and neglect over the years.
In 1999, the Bralorne-Bridge River Valley Community Church Society, in partnership with B.C. Heritage Trust, the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, Outward Bound, B.C. Hydro, Ainsworth Lumber, private donors and the Canada Millennium Partnership Program, restored the Bralorne Community Church.
The society has made the church more accessible to the public and has restored much of its past. As the only church in the gold mining community and surrounding area, the interfaith Bralorne Community Church served area residents for more than 60 years. The church held religious services and provided a social centre for community meetings and youth group activities.
The Bralorne-Bridge River Community Church Society dissolved in 2013. It recently came to light that as part of a subdivision plan submitted by the Whiting family, this property was designated as a community park. As a result, the SLRD was granted possession and control of the land and is responsible for the care of the property.
The SLRD, through Area A Select Funds retained a heritage consultant, Susan Medville, to inventory and conserve the historic documents and photographs found in the church, along with other historic items such as furniture, instruments and fixtures. View the final report.
A management plan for the church is also being developed.
Recently, the SLRD signed a one year management agreement with the Bridge River Valley Community Association to ensure there is a local caretaker organization to watch over the facility until the long term management plan has been developed.
Through a great deal of work by many volunteers, private and corporate donations, and the support of the whole valley, Bralorne Church is once again available as an interfaith centre of worship and community gathering place. Donations for the maintenance and upkeep of this historic building are greatly appreciated.
In 1999 volunteers from the Valley community worked with local government, private industry, and public donors to restore the Boultbee Memorial Church located in Bralorne. The Church is still sound but like all buildings it needs periodic maintenance to allow for its continued use by the community. This Fall it is planned to revamp the kitchens’ hot water system which is required whenever catered functions, like the Valley Reunion, take place. The Church has no funds available for this project, consequently the Valley Heritage Committee is proposing a funding drive aimed at this September long weekend when the Valley will have maximum occupancy. For those who wish to make a donation, you can do so by clicking on the Pay Pal link below.
Those of you with neighbours who are not connected would be doing a good turn for the maintenance of the church if you let them know about our request and let them know that if they would care to donate in person they can do so at the BRVCA office in Gold Bridge or they can mail it directly to: BRVCA, Community Resource Office, 104 Haylmore Avenue, Gold Bridge, BC V0K 1P0. Telephone 250-238-2534.
It is hoped that enough money can be raised to deal with the plumbing issues and provide a cash cushion should for further issues arise. It is worth noting that very often government and private funding agencies will match your contributions and BRVCA has a grant writer who can undertake this task. This is an opportunity for all of us to help preserve and maintain one of our major heritage buildings. Your donations are very much appreciated!
Donations to the Bralorne Community Church can be made securely through the Pay Pal Button below. You do not have to have a Pay Pal account to make a credit card donation. All Donations are greatly appreciated. Thank you for your support!