Sometimes it’s good to stop at places you’ve driven by hundreds of times and actually explore them. Such was the case with my visit to the Union Point Church south of St. Agathe in southern Manitoba.
The church is situated between the north and south-bound lanes of highway 75, the road that connects Winnipeg to southern Manitoba and North Dakota. It’s a fairly important road, so thousands of people drive by the church every day but I suspect hardly anyone ever stops for a visit.
Union Point church was originally built in 1887, destroyed by fire in 1939, and rebuilt in 1940. There’s a small cemetery beside the church with tombstones dating to the late 19th century. There was once also a town called Union Point, where riverboat paddle-wheelers and stagecoaches stopped. The town had a school, store, even a townhall, but it has long since disappeared. This church is the last remnant of that community and it has been closed to regular services since 1960. The church is still used for one or two weddings a year, and a United Church congregation holds a service there every June.
When you enter, the small sanctuary is very quite and peaceful — lovely in its simplicity. Apparently the walls are lined by sound-absorbing cork paneling. There is sitting room for up to 80 people. There is no electricity or running water.
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