Created in 1875 by blue-collar families of Inglewood, The Lantern Community Church, also known as The Lantern, is a place of worship, a Christian community, a music and art school, and a charming venue, all in one! Besides its weekly sermons and weddings, the Lantern is home to a number of music and art programmes and events, including The Fringe Festival and Candlelight concerts.
Located in the vibrant neighbourhood of Inglewood, the church is only a six-minute drive from Downtown Calgary if you wish to pay a visit. If you prefer travelling by public transport, the 1, 101 and 302 buses all have routes that pass nearby. The Wb 9 Av at 12 St SE bus stop is a convenient two-minute walk to the church.
Facts, Curiosities and Interesting Things about The Lantern Community Church
1. The church was created in 1875, but the red brick structure was built in 1912.
In the late 19th century, Calgary became a popular destination for immigrants in search of better conditions and prospects, a lot of whom settled in what is now known as Inglewood at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow rivers. Historically, Inglewood has been a working class neighbourhood, a characteristic that is noticeable in the way The Lantern was created. Back in 1875, blue-collar families started to put aside money from their humble wages to create a church that would be welcoming to all neighbours. The building we see today was constructed in 1912.
2. During the Great War, the church helped single mothers and women find work to support their families.
As many men signed up for the military in Canada shortly after the UK entered the First World War, women and single mothers were left to provide for themselves. Since it was difficult at the time for women and particularly single mothers to become self-sufficient, church members took it on themselves to help these women find work to support their families, a lot of which became fatherless.
3. The stage of the church’s nave was renovated in 2009.
To accommodate the wide range of cultural events taking place weekly at the Lantern Community Church, the church underwent a renovation in 2009. It now has an updated sound system, a center staircase, two side staircases, and a new dark hardwood floor, making it an ideal performing space for artists and audiences alike. However, the majestic pipe organ and crucifix that immediately grab the eye are original to the space.
Candlelight concerts at The Lantern Community Church
The popular Candlelight concert series has chosen the LCC as one of its venues this season, set to host a range of tributes to familiar tunes. As the heavenly venue is filled with the light of thousands of flickering candles, talented and classically trained musicians will recreate popular songs by iconic artists in the likes of Coldplay and ABBA. What’s more, this holiday season, you can listen to a medley of festive Christmas songs like Hark The Herald Sings, O Holy Night, Deck The Halls and The Nutcracker.
What else can you do at The Lantern Community Church?
Besides these enchanting concerts by candlelight, the LCC is a sought-after space for musicians and in fact, great artists in the likes of Sophie Armstrong have also performed at the stunning church. The Lantern Community Church has always been a popular neighbourhood meeting spot, where events and workshops are continuously held on societal issues, but what the church is most known for is its wide range of programmes for children and adults alike, such as Music School, Back Porch Stories, Mobile Feet and Art School, where around 500 adults and kids have signed up.
If you’re interested in topics like organic food and sustainability, tag along a Growing From the Ground Up meeting, a membership club where farmers, producers, and local businesses get to connect with Calgary community members. Lastly, don’t forget about Calgary Fringe, an annual ‘open access’ theatre festival in Calgary, where emerging and established artists tell their stories on stage.
From Calgary Fringe to Candlelight concerts, the historic Lantern Community Church is a cultural pillar in Inglewood that is definitely worth discovering. If these intimate concerts by candlelight have sparked your interest, there are several other venues in Calgary also set to host these magical concerts, so make sure to check them out.