‘Neighbours Church’ To Take Over Barrhaven Movie Theatre On Sundays

By Charlie Senack, Barrhaven Independent

The Barrhaven Cineplex Theatre will now be open on Sunday mornings, but not for viewing movies. 

A new church is opening up in the community, which aims to inspire the faithful and bring a new lease on religion. 

‘Neighbours Church’ as it’s called, will run out of the Barrhaven Theatre located at 131 Riocan Avenue, every Sunday morning at 10:00 am. Offering weekly services, family programs, and a sense of community, lead pastor Chris Stevens said they want to contribute to Barrhaven’s success. 

‘We are a church where neighbours get to help neighbours while exploring a relationship with Jesus,” he said. “We are an intercultural and multi-ethnic, multi-generational church. It’d be an opportunity for people to rediscover their faith because, in many cases at least, the church in Canada has been in a decline for many years. We have seen that when we start a new church many people will  come out and check out a new way of doing things.”

Stevens says the church will be non denominational and chose Barrhaven because of how quickly the community is growing. 

“Barrhaven is going to be the centre of the city of Ottawa in the future, so geographically and population wise, we know that we will have a long reach into the city by starting the church in Barrhaven,” he said. 

The Sunday church services will be held in the Barrhaven Cineplex Theatre. (Charlie Senack Photo)

Stevens previously lived in Riverside South for about 10 years until 2014, when he and his family moved to Waterloo, Ontario. There he took over a 50 year old struggling church and gave it a rebirth. Stevens also launched a church in Ottawa in 2005. 

After deciding to be the founder of a new church in Barrhaven, Stevens moved to Chapman Mills with his wife Adrienne, and two daughters ages 14 and 16, in July 2021. The father of two said he loves the diversity Barrhaven brings, and wants that to be a crucial part of his congregation. 

“It’s been great to get to know our neighbours,” said Stevens. “ Barrhaven is so diverse and there are so many nations just on our street who we have gotten to know, and we have been able to share our story and they have been able to share theirs.”

The church plans to offer a variety of programs and workshops, including: a youth group, marriage course, divorce recovery course, and ALPHA workshops for those who aren’t fully aware of the Christian faith. 

On Halloween, the church collected canned goods for the Barrhaven Food cupboard from over 900 local homes. Many local high school students got on board to get their volunteer hours. 

The church has also partnered with a number of community organizations including Matthew House for refugees and the Ottawa Mission. Congregation members will help make food for these community-driven groups, and are also looking for other ways to help. 

Two Barrhaven families have already moved to South Africa to help a disadvantaged community, and others will be on the ground in Thailand to help with AIDS efforts. 

And after each church service, those in attendance will be able to gather at a persons home to share a meal, and meet their neighbours. 

“We will have small groups during the week and meals that will be in different people’s homes after the Sunday services,” said Stevens. “We have somebody who’s going to put a meal in a box for 25 people and send it home with somebody. It’s an opportunity for people to get connected with one another in the community and get to know their neighbours.”

Ten per cent of what the church brings in will go immediately back into the community, notes Stevens, saying they have big plans to help Barrhaven. 

Further details on Barrhaven’s newest church can be found here: