News of the sudden closure of Thorold Community Theatre has made waves in the local community.
Earlier this week, the theatre company announced they were cancelling all shows after losing their venue at Trinity United Church on Pine St. S — But now the church is speaking out and saying they never evicted them.
“Nobody has been told to leave,” says the Chair of the Church’s Council, Carol Dueck, in an interview with ThoroldToday. “They decided to cancel the cabaret because the ticket sales were going real slow.”
Dueck does acknowledge that Trinity United Church has been going through some financial hardship.
“The church, like a lot of mainline churches, is experiencing some difficulty in recouping from COVID,” she says. “We have started to look at how we can redevelop to make sure we’re financially viable.”
Trinity United Church doubles as the home base of the Flying Dragons Air Cadets and Thorold Community Theatre so the church wanted to be transparent with those groups about their precarious situation.
“It was just a heads up that we’re a little shaky financially and we’re trying to be good stewards of the building,” Dueck says. “Just to say we’re looking and when we do decide what to do: ‘You get to stay,’ or ‘We will give you date when you have to go,’ but we are nowhere near that discussion.”
Part of the reason that the church is financially hurting is the upkeep of the building. Trinity United Church is a designated heritage site that was constructed back in 1849.
“It takes a lot of money for upkeep and repairs,” says Dueck. “It’s our building. We get to choose what we want to do with it. That’s why we’re going down this path, looking to see what’s feasible.”
There are many different options on the table for the church.
“We’re exploring how to do church differently,” Dueck says. “If we get to refinance and increase income and maybe partner with other people then we’re going to stay forever.”
So while the future of the church is uncertain, Dueck says there’s no need to worry as of yet.
“We will share it with the whole community once we know what we’re doing,” she says. “We’re exploring things and depending what falls on our table as far as offers or suggestions go, we just may be here for a couple more years or a long time, but there is no deadline as of yet.”