The proceeds from the sale of a local church are helping other United Church organizations and some groups in the local community.
The final service at Riceville United Church was held on October 27, 2019 and the property has been sold to an individual who is turning it into a private residence.
The church was part of the Genesis Cooperative, a local partnership of United Church congregations in Prescott-Russell and North Glengarry. Genesis Cooperative Minister, the Reverend Phyllis Dietrich would not disclose the amount of the proceeds from the sale of the Riceville property but explained that the proceeds were distributed among eight different organizations within the United Church of Canada and the local community.
The United Church has recently restructured and merged its previous conferences and presbyteries into new regional councils. According to the procedure for the closure of churches, 30 per cent of the proceeds from the sale of the Riceville building and land went to the new regional council. Out of the remaining proceeds, the congregation decided to give 10 per cent each to other organizations and projects. They are a United Church-supported school project in Madagascar, Prescott County 4-H, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, Maxville Manor, United Church of Canada Missions and Service, and the Franklin Corners Cemetery.
The cemetery, located at the corner of County Roads 9 and 16 is where many of the former parishioners from the Riceville church and community are buried, according to Rev. Dietrich. The financial contribution is to assist with the maintenance of the cemetery.
“I was really pleased to see what they had decided on for where this money was to go,” said Rev. Dietrich.
The Riceville United Church had a history going back to 1835. The church closed in 2019 due to declining attendance and difficulty meeting financial obligations.