KITCHENER -- It’s a new beginning for the Roseville United Brethren Church in North Dumfries.

The reconstruction has finally been completed more than two years after a fatal car crash left the building heavily damaged.

With more than $1.3 million of renovations complete, the congregation can now celebrate mass in the new sanctuary.

“The anticipation had been building as we got close and closer,” said Randy Magnus, pastor of Roseville Church. “We paid much of the cost to the contractor but a lot of it’s been about $150,000 in donated labour and materials from the congregation.”

A combination of savings, community donations, the insurance claim, and a government grant made the reconstruction possible.

“We all had full time jobs and yet these people are still coming in to help out,” said parishioner Mark Carmount. “It’s been a ton of effort.”

Members of the church also had to congregate in the basement in the two years of renovations.

Parishioners say that while the loss of the sanctuary was hard, the collision on Dec. 8 of 2017 left some people with a much greater sense of loss.

“Our hearts go out to the family who are missing a mother, grandmother, and sister,” said parishioner Elaine Eby. “We think about her.”

The driver of the vehicle, a 62-year-old Kitchener woman, was pronounced dead at the scene. It was later discovered she had an undiagnosed medical condition and blacked out.

Some of the congregation says they are trying to make the most of the unfortunate tragedy. The renovation expansion includes an elevator, a new fellowship hall, and more room for children to play.

“It’s the generations that will be after us,” said Carmount. “I think that’s what we were all thinking about when we built it.”

The church plans to have all renovations complete by April 4.