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Saturday April 18th, 2015

Posted at 6:40pm

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Closed Assumption Church in West Windsor will not be reopening after a glimmer of hope — a multimillion dollar donation — fell through.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of London announced the decision in a letter to parishioners at Saturday’s church service.

“The proposal to donate $10 million to repair and restore Assumption church, announced last September, has not materialized,” said Bishop Ronald Fabbro in the letter.

Fabbro said the proposal was made shortly after a decision in August to close the church for an indefinite amount of time, and relocate parishioners to the former Holy Name Of Mary church building on McEwan Street near Adie Knox arena.

“This was the largest single proposed donation in the history of the Diocese,” Fabbro wrote. “The potential donor was previously unknown to the Diocese in terms of such a large donation. It was clear that a due diligence process would be required to provide certainty to both the parish and the Diocese.”

Fabbro said both sides worked for several months to conclude the process but the potential donor did “not agree entirely with our due diligence process,” said Fabbro.

“With regret, we made the difficult decision that we could not proceed further without the due diligence being satisfied,” he said.

The Diocese has not elaborated on what a ‘due diligence process’ entails or why it couldn’t be agreed to. They also have not identified the potential donor.

Fabbro said in the letter that the church building will be preserved “in its present condition to the extent possible.”

“Every attempt to raise funds to repair and restore Assumption church has begun with promise, only to fail,” he said. “I believe that we have all done as much as can be asked of us and it is time for us to move forward.”

Assumption was founded first as a faith community, or ‘parish’, in 1728. The current church building — the fourth on the site — was constructed between 1842 and 1845.

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