Insinger Church is Ramping It Up!

Ramping It Up!

They didn’t ask for much. But they sure knew what they wanted.

The aging congregation at the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Sts. Peter and Paul in Insinger, Saskatchewan was finding entry to the church an increasing challenge. Most viewed those six concrete steps as daunting, especially when tightly grasping handbags and hymnbooks. Those in wheelchairs, unable to master the stairs without help, would often not attend.

A long-standing parishioner and aged grandmother declared, “I want only to be carried into my church twice:  once when christened and once in a box!” Offers of assistance from the more able members were often viewed as compromising.

“Our church members wanted their independence, and we wanted to abide by their wishes, so we decided a wheelchair ramp was in order.” says Mike Dwernichuk, Church president. “We get lots of visitors to our landmark church, as well, and this will help ensure visitors’ access, too.”

Last fall the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Sts. Peter and Paul received $484 from the Community Initiatives Fund (CIF) through its Community Vitality Program, precisely one-half of the cost to purchase and install a wheelchair ramp. The parishioners, ranging from 65 to 92 years of age, are matching* CIF’s grant by volunteering their time to help prepare for the ramp.

“We wanted to do some of the work ourselves, too. So we’ve volunteered to shovel sand and gravel, and paint the trim to finish it off. ” says Dwernichuk.

Plans are underway for the new wheelchair ramp with a host of volunteers ready to put it together. Visitors and members alike will then enjoy an extended welcome mat at Insinger’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Sts. Peter and Paul’s Sunday services!

Photo credit:  Mike Dwernichuk

Insinger is 57 km (35 mi) northwest of Yorkton, Saskatchewan.

*Matching funds through service-in-kind or cash must accompany CIF’s Community Vitality Program grant.

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