Letter: BAR, Church should compromise

I did not attend the last Blythewood BAR mtg, so all I know is what I read can read in the mtg minutes and in the newspaper.

From what I can see, the Church’s Lawyer/Member Representative says they also do not want any governmental entity interfering with the mission of the Church. Very few would argue with that, but it should be kept in mind that the BAR has a mission also, and one part of that mission is to maintain the historical integrity of the truly historic buildings in our community. These two missions should not be mutually exclusive. 

The Church’s Representative says that they do not want the govt (or I presume anybody else) looking at their financial records. That is understandable. If I was a Church with maybe 600 members, and I could not afford to paint the beautiful and historic Sanctuary which is a visible statement of past members’ faithfulness and sacrifice, I would not want anyone to see my books either.

And it is hard to believe that no public or philanthropic funds are available to properly maintain a beautiful and monumental bldg constructed in 1859.

But the answer here is for the two parties to stop talking past each other and reach some kind of compromise.

For instance, regarding the issue of the extent of restoration required, exemplified by the statement “We have some windows that used to be doors and walls that used to be doors. Where do we stop?” There may be a viable compromise such that no renovation that interferes with the current function of the building will be required.

There are many wonderful and spiritual people at Sandy Level who have done spectacular things for this community and for me. And the BAR is consists of reasonable and well-meaning folks who work hard to see that Blythewood maintains its high standard of living in terms of renovation and development.  Surely some kind of suitable compromise can be made here.

John Miles


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