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"My Neighbour's House"

My Neighbour’s House was built in 2009!
Together with other faith communities, we met our goal
and built the house that faith built!

The dedication ceremony for the house - the home - on Johnston Street, Guelph,
was held on Saturday, December 12, 2009 and the family has moved in.
St. Andrew's members and friends have shown what it means
to be
"a place to call home".

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, one of the founding faith communities of the city of Guelph, celebrates its 180th Anniversary with an invitation to all faith communities to build "My Neighbour’s House" in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Wellington County (

"My Neighbour’s House" will be the first ever Multi-Faith Habitat Build in Wellington County. In the summer of 2009, we hope approximately 150 people will join with us as we construct this new home for sale to a local low income family.

Click here to view Johnston Street (2009 Build) Photo Album

Through the media coverage about the project, St. Andrew’s has become known in Guelph as a church with a heart for the community.  We have developed partnerships with Habitat for Humanity and several church communities and continue to build bridges with other faith groups in our city as a result of our commitment to My Neighbour’s House. So let’s celebrate. 

There are still opportunities to help with the Build.  Perhaps you would like to prepare snacks or treats for the volunteers for a day or two over the summer.  Financial donations can still be made to My Neighbour’s House and would be greatly appreciated, as our goal is to raise $200,000. 


LAND HO!  "My Neighbour’s House" has a site
We have an official site for "My Neighbour’s House"
on Johnston Street, Guelph.
Pictured in front of the new sign (L to R):
Diane Nelson, Executive Director for HFHWC and Rev. John Borthwick of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Guelph, which initiated the 2009 Faith Groups of Guelph Build

credit  Robert White/Quail Communications
Groundbreaking ceremony was held on Saturday, June 6, 2009
#3 Johnston Street will be "My Neighbour's House"
while Delta Hotel is corporate sponsor for #5 Johnston Street
Left to right: Front row: Kevin Bothwell and John Dennis (St. James Anglican Church), Frank Valeriote MP, and John Borthwick (St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church).
Background far left: Pastor Dave Ralph (Lakeside Bible Church).
Background center: Lloyd Longfield. CEO of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce.

Photo credits:
Maureen (MO Design)

Right: Rev. John Borthwick


Below - Left to right: Pastor Dave Ralph; John Borthwick; Dave Fair, HFHWC Site Supervisor; Frank Valeriote; and Kathleen Farrelly, Ward I Councillor; plus members of the various churches helping with the multi-faith build.

John Bortwick
Groundbreaking Group

It is on the end of Johnston Street beside the railway tracks in ‘the Ward’.  The plan is to build a duplex home with one side of the house being ‘My Neighbour’s House’ and the other being build by corporate sponsors.  This is an exciting step forward!

September, 2009
It's All Coming Together!!!
Over the summer, volunteers have been out to the Johnston Street site and now My Neighbour’s House is taking shape. Unfortunately, there were several delays with the start of construction which means that the house will not likley be complete until around December. Habitat is still interested in volunteers (call Habitat directly at 519.767.9752) and we would still appreciate your donations (third line of your offering envelope noting My Neighbour’s House).
I was out on the site recently and had an opportunity to meet the two families who will be moving into the houses. They really appreciate the commitment of the church communities that have made this fresh start possible for them. So thank you.
And special note of thanks to the Brays for suggesting that guests of their 50th Wedding Annversary celebration make donations to Habitat.
By John Borthwick

Click here to view Johnston Street (2009 Build) Photo Album

My Neighbour’s House CHALLENGE!
We now have a committee of dedicated supporters of My Neighbour’s House (MNH).  Focusing on organizing a Celebration Dinner and Auction: "Building a Dream" in November 2009, the members are:  John Borthwick, Pauline Sanderson, Nicki Groenewegen, Nora and Neal Stoskopf, Mary Visser Kerr, and Don Grainger.  And this committee is working closely with Alan and Lynn, management and staff of the Delta, along with Diane Nelson of HFHWC, to plan this special event.
If you have any ideas for how we might provide more support to MNH, please feel free to contact anyone of the committee to offer your suggestions.
The committee would like to issue you with a personal challenge…
Can you think of a way that you personally could raise awareness and funds for MNH?  Some of our most exciting fundraisers over the past year have been around personal celebrations like anniversaries and birthdays.  Could you invite some friends over for a dinner party and ask them to give a donation to MNH?  Or perhaps for tea?  What about asking for donations to MNH in lieu of gifts at one of your personal celebrations this year?
Together we can meet our goal and build the house that faith built!

All interested faith groups and individuals in the city are welcome to accept the invitation by contacting

Rev. John Borthwick
Rev. John Borthwick
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church
at St. Andrew's office telephone: 519.822.4772
or via Rev. Borthwick's email:
or through St. Andrew's website:
Photo credit:
Guelph Mercury / March 25, 2008 article

To join John at his Habitat for Humanity event and lend your support,
please click on the link below.
If you can't join John, you can still help by sponsoring his and St. Andrew's
participation in this event by scrolling down the page and clicking on "Search for an Event". Next, search for "Borthwick, John" (last name, first name fields) or "My Neighbour's House" (event field).
Alternatively, to sponsor by making a secure donation online, click the link below:
You should open a page entitled "Habitat for Humanity Canada - My Neighbour's House"
If you are having trouble viewing the above web addresses, copy & paste the
entire URL into the address bar of your browser.

Press Releases / Published Articles
• January 6, 2009 Article in Guelph Mercury "Churches determined to build 'My Neighbour's House' project"
• June 27, 2008 special insert in Guelph Mercury "40 Under 40" featuring award-winner Rev. John Borthwick and highlighting the 2009 Habitat for Humanity "Faith Build"
• April 4, 2008 Letter in Guelph Mercury "My Neighbour's House story appreciated"
• March 26, 2008 Editorial in Guelph Mercury "Building more than a home"
• March 25, 2008 Article in Guelph Mercury "Church issues call to wallets"
• March 18, 2008
Press Release

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