EDMONTON — The Marketplace Chapel in West Edmonton Mall will remain open for at least another month.
The five-year lease for the chapel expires on Dec. 31, but enough donors have come forward to keep the doors open until the end of January.
For 30 years, the Marketplace Chapel has been nestled in the busy mall, across from the Fantasyland Hotel. The chapel offers respite and a place to pray, but unless donors step up it could soon be closed for business.
There is no congregation to draw from. And although the mall does give the chapel a break on rent, donations are desperately needed. It costs between $100,000 and $150,000 a year to run the chapel.
Marketplace lost three of its major donors and as the economy slumps and suicide rates climb in Alberta, Reverend David Noble says their services are needed more than ever.
The chaplains often make the rounds and reach out to people down and struggling. It’s not just frazzled shoppers trying to find the perfect gift, teens often hang out at the mall, some have nowhere else to go.
Noble recalls one young man who stopped in on his way out of the mall. They sat down and talked. Months later that young man sent Noble a note thanking him for his compassion.
Noble says there are 800 business in the mall and 27,500 employees. He says workers will often stop in on their break for some peace and quiet.
With 27-million visits to the mall every year, Marketplace Chapel has served people from all corners of the world.
Noble says the mall chapel has also spawned other ministries, a teen crisis hotline and service that reaches out to widows.
“Lord used this place as a birthing room to other ministries.”
The reverend is meeting with local churches and is now hoping to find monthly donors to keep the chapel open beyond January.
The chapel is accepting donations on its website.
*Editor’s note: This story was originally published on Friday, Dec. 18. It was updated on Dec. 31 to include information about the chapel being open for another month.