The congregation of Rakvere's Karmel Church is planning to replace its current building with a new one, to include a gym, a cafe, and a sauna.
According to the congregation's pastor, Gunnar Kotiesen, they are building a new church because the current one dating back to 1933 is in bad condition, and also too small.
The congregation currently has 196 members, but its events are regularly attended by hundreds more every month, which is why its facilities are no longer sufficient. Founded more than 120 years ago, the community is an integral part of Rakvere's social life.
The project of a new church has attracted a lot of interest, plenty of which can be attested to the planned inclusion of a gym and sauna. But due to its location, the new building will also have to fit in with the overall look of the city center, as it is located in Koidula St. close to the wooden buildings of the Kaurikool cultural center, the coming Arvo Pärt Concert Hall, and a potential state secondary school to be built in the area.
According to the project's initial budget, the new church will cost some €1.1 million to build. As Kotiesen confirms, the congregation has some €600,000 already available.
The most optimistic scenario sees the congregation move into its new premises for Christmas next year, while a more realistic estimate puts the completion date somewhere close to the end of 2019.
Rakvere's Karmel Church congregation is part of the Union of Free Evangelical and Baptist Churches of Estonia, which has more than 6,000 members.
Editor: Dario Cavegn