Renewal Project Highlights Historic Ties Between Huntington University and St. Andrew's United Church

A small chapel located on the 2nd floor of St. Andrew’s United Church is set to open with many new upgrades, thanks to a renewal project that also highlights the longstanding history and future of St. Andrew’s United Church and Huntington University. 

Huntington University, as part of its 60th anniversary year celebrations in 2020-2021, donated funds in support of improvements to the space including much-needed upgrades to the heating, ventilation, lighting and electrical systems. With work now completed, the chapel can reopen as a multi-purpose, non-denominational space available for personal meditation, small group use, meetings and more. The architectural door leading to the chapel, sculpted by artist Jordi Bonet, features the word ‘peace' in 12 languages.

On October 17th, as part of Sunday worship at St. Andrew’s United Church, Rev. Dave Le Grand declared it Huntington Sunday and invited Huntington University’s President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Kevin McCormick, to address the congregation.  A new plaque was also unveiled to commemorate the rededication of the chapel which has been renamed the Huntington University Peace Chapel.   

“The chapel has been renamed the Huntington University Peace Chapel in recognition of the university’s role in this renewal project, as well as to symbolize the renewal of the longstanding partnership that endures between St. Andrew’s United Church and Huntington University,” said Dr. Kevin McCormick, President and Vice-Chancellor of Huntington University. “This investment is a legacy project for us; one that highlights our past while celebrating those same core values which were held in our early days, such as dedication to community.”

“More than 60 years ago, it was the congregation of St. Andrew’s United Church, together with members of other United Churches from across Northern Ontario, who rallied to raise the funds and the support needed to create Huntington University,” said Mary-Liz Warwick, Huntington University Board Chair.  “We remain proud of our historic affiliation with St. Andrew’s and the United Church.  That’s why it is also so special to see that this space will continue to house the artifacts retained from the old St. Andrew’s United Church, including the communion table commissioned in the 1970’s which has historic ties to Huntington University and its first president, Rev. Dr. Earl Lautenslager.”

 “Every fall St. Andrew’s hosts Huntington Sunday, and today I’m am proud to be a part of this annual tradition so that we may celebrate 60 years of collegiality between our two organizations with this rededication and renaming ceremony,” said Dr. Scott Darling, St. Andrew’s Place Board President and Vice-Chair of the Huntington University Board of Regents.  “As we look to the future, the Huntington University Peace Chapel will remain a testament to the inextricable link that exists between St. Andrew’s United Church and Huntington University, which opened in 1960 as one of the first institutions of higher learning in Northern Ontario.”

“What an honour, as Chancellor, to celebrate this momentous occasion.  Both institutions are linked by their past, and although the relationship has evolved over the years to see Huntington operate as an autonomous institution independent of the United Church of Canada, it’s an affiliation we fondly reminisce upon with great pride,” said Bela Ravi, Huntington University Chancellor.  “60 years ago St. Andrew’s United Church was there for Huntington, today we are proud to be able to give back in honour of this everlasting and enduring partnership.”

A recording of the service, including the rededication and renaming ceremony, can also be viewed on the St. Andrew’s United Church YouTube Channel.

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