A North Dumfries church damaged when an SUV crashed into it, killing the woman driving the vehicle, will see its sanctuary demolished and rebuilt.

Roseville United Brethren Church on Fischer-Hallman Road was hit by a vehicle on Dec. 8.

Lead pastor Randy Magnus says inspections revealed that at least 75 per cent of the church sanctuary was unrepairable.

“They told us that because of the severe structural damage, we’d have to take it down to the studs,” he says.

Instead of carrying through with that, the church decided to tear down the 136-year-old sanctuary and rebuild it from scratch. An addition which went up in 1974 will remain.

While the church members are saddened by the loss of the sanctuary – especially given that a $10,000 renovation had just been nearing completion – they’re also excited by the thoughts of what’s to come.

“Now there’s a chance to say ‘OK, if we could do anything, what would we do?’” Magnus says.

They’re also aware that the collision left some people with a loss much greater than the loss of a building.

“Our hearts are breaking for … the family,” Magnus says.

Relatives of the 62-year-old Kitchener woman killed in the crash have told Magnus that she was on her way to Brantford to visit her mother, who lives in a nursing home.

They have said the coroner told them she blacked out before the crash, and was killed by the impact of the collision. Magnus has been asked to lead a celebration of life service, which will take place on Saturday.

The church hopes to have its new sanctuary ready by Christmas 2018. Until then, services will be held in smaller rooms in the remaining part of the building.

With reporting by Maleeha Sheikh