Brighouse United Church Closed!

After almost 100 years of love and care, Brighouse United Church in Richmond, BC voted to disband as of the end of June 2023. It's a complicated story, and the saddest part is that it didn't have to happen.

About Brighouse United Church

Brighouse United Church in Richmond was officially constituted as a congregation in January of 1926, when they met in the Richmond Municipal Hall for services. Brighouse has been an active congregation which has had an impact on the lives of many people over the decades.

Brighouse United Church followed an orthodox interpretation of the historic Christian faith, building on a foundation of laid down earlier by Methodists and Presbyterians.

What the early adherents accomplished was stupendous! They created spaces, to accommodate every one of their needs: a sanctuary with priceless stained-glass windows:


There was a basketball-size auditorium and movie theatre that doubled as a day-care:

Generations were hatched here! Members were married, raised families, and said their sad farewells. During WW2, members signed up and joined the fight against the Nazis. On Canada Day, the members by the dozens joined the Steveston parade:

At Christmas there were Candlelight Services and concerts: Every summer there were summer camps for the youth: There were Mother's Day events and Father Day events, and Leadership events.

Unfortunately, the members lost the ability to take care of such a tremendous gift from their ancestors, especially of their parents and grand-parents. Granted we're now crying over spilled milk, but the story of the collapse of Brighouse may serve as an example to other congregation of what not to do when the sanctuary roof springs a leak.

Utterly defeated by their inability to manage such a splendid inheritance, the Brighouse board decided to walk away penniless, turning the property over to new owners, a real estate development firm.  The act of walking away penniless from this substantial property, the Board called "leaving well”.

The new owners of the Brighouse property will take possession on July 17.  They have made arrangements with  the Junior Kindergarten and the Daycare to continue operations for a time until the buildings can be demolished and the property redeveloped.  It will eventually be a substantial redevelopment because the restrictive townhouse zoning has been broken and Richmond has given approval for a high-rise development.

Stay tuned, and we'll bring you more stories of the last days of Brighouse United Church. It's a wonderful story that shouldn't have ended.