Lacombe parishioners prepare to celebrate their new home

The people of St. Stephen's Parish in Lacombe will be celebrating a historic milestone on Saturday, January 6, as the newest church in the Archdiocese of Edmonton is officially dedicated by Bishop Gregory Bittman.

Parishioners knew back in 2014 that their old building, blessed on June 23, 1957, was badly in need of replacement, so they began a capital fundraising campaign.

The project took on new urgency after a 2015 hailstorm caused major damage to the roof.

They moved their Sunday Mass celebrations to the gym at Father Lacombe School.

In February 2016 the old church was demolished.

St. Stephen Lacombe was demolished in 2016

Thanks to a committed parish community, construction on a new $3.2-million structure began with groundbreaking on April 23, 2017 and was completed in December, allowing parishioners to celebrate their first Christmas season in their new home.

St. Stephen Parish, located at 5128 - 53 Street in Lacombe, is home to more than 450 families.

The new church is slightly bigger than the old one, providing seating for 313 in the nave and 300 in a hall equipped with a commercial kitchen.

The dedication ceremony begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

This article was corrected on January 8, 2018.