Putting the finishing touches on the steeple

St. John the Baptist gets new coat in Fauquier

St. John the Baptist Catholic church in Fauquier received a long-awaited exterior paint renewal in August and now gleams like new.

St. John the Baptist Catholic church in Fauquier received a long-awaited exterior paint renewal in August and now gleams like new.

The church has been through many transformations and transportations over the years. Originally built in Burton with construction starting in 1925 and completed and consecrated for use in 1926, it was relocated to Fauquier during the Hydro flooding and townsite changes. St John the Baptist was one of three original Catholic churches in the area from Edgewood to Nakusp, and one of two that remain.

“We tend to refer to this church as being a heritage building, which it really is, although not officially designated as such,” Fauquier resident Pat Kula told the Arrow Lakes News. Procuring the designation was considered years ago, but the community let the idea go, realizing that they wouldn’t be able to make significant changes to the structure if it were an official heritage building.

“We put a small washroom addition on the back some years ago and it would have been difficult to impossible to do that,” commented Kula. “There are few benefits for our situation so we chose to retain autonomy and the ability to deal with anything and everything as needed.”

The new paint job on one of the town’s tourist draws was done this summer by Arrow Lakes Painting, who did a fine job, according to Kula.

“ALP did a terrific job, the old weatherboard siding has had so many different coatings on it through the decades it is quite a difficult surface to work with,” she said. “It is the only non-residential heritage building down here and so something of a show-piece, with tourists stopping to take pictures.”

The building is the pride of the community, and is taken care of by a small group of parishioner volunteers who maintain and repair the building as needed.

“We are quite proud of it,” affirmed Kula.