The St. John Anglican Church in Kinngait before it caught fire on the morning of Jan. 9. South Baffin MLA David Joanasie told Nunatsiaq News that from what he understands, the damage sustained from the fire makes the church building a “total write-off.” (Photo courtesy of the Anglican Church’s Diocese of the Arctic)

No word from RCMP on whether Kinngait church fires are connected

Living Water Church believed to be repairable; MLA says Anglican church a ‘total write-off’

By David Lochead

RCMP are not yet saying whether they believe two recent back-to-back church fires in Kinngait are related, or suspicious in nature.

The Living Water Church burned on Jan. 6, while St. John Anglican Church went up in flames three days later, on Monday.

Now only one church — the Full Gospel Church — remains in the community.

RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Pauline Melanson said Tuesday that each fire is its own investigation, and didn’t provide any other updates.

As for the extent of the damage, South Baffin MLA David Joanasie told Nunatsiaq News he’s heard the Living Water Church is repairable, while the Anglican Church is a “total write-off.”

Joanasie, whose riding includes Kinngait, said he also hasn’t been given word on whether the fires are suspicious, but said if they were, it would be “totally unacceptable.”

He said the hamlet is going to place a person in the community on a night watch and the Full Gospel Church has also offered its space to the other church congregations.

Rev. David Parsons, the Anglican bishop for the Diocese of the Arctic, said the loss is terrible for the community and for the diocese.

“We’re just wondering what we can do now,” Parsons said.

He told Nunatsiaq News the church is already challenged to provide funding and services to the 49 communities in the North that it serves.

Any funding the diocese receives comes from the communities and it was already struggling with funding, with approximately $175,000 of debt in one of its bank accounts.

Parsons expressed that in a place of worship, every piece of the building matters.

“The very dust on the wall was significant,” he said.

The next steps for the church is for a representative from its insurance company to inspect the damage of the church.

“We’ll go from there,” Parsons said.

“There continues to be hope … and I believe there are better days ahead.”

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(5) Comments:

  1. Posted by Northern Inuit on

    Um, they going to wait til the 3rd church is set on fire before connecting the dots?

  2. Posted by Shawn on

    Don’t worry because they built more than they need and no one lives there.

  3. Posted by Shawn on

    Don’t worry because they build more than they need when no one lives there 🙂

  4. Posted by 867 on

    “if you build it, they will burn”

  5. Posted by Seems Pretty Clear on

    Hmmm, either they’re related or it is a hell of a big coincidence. What are we waiting for, a third one just to prove the old saying “Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action.”

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