"It just clicked one day,' he said, gesturing at the over 150 photographic portraits in the church's main meeting hall, "wouldn't it be awesome to have all these faces in this one space set aside for community, in a world where community is hard to find."
A sea of black & white faces candidly portraying members of the community line the walls as part of the 'Faces we Love' exhibition captured by Pointe Claire photographer Lauren du Preez.
"I wanted (the subjects) to not know that I was there," said du Preez, describing her efforts to remain inconspicuous over the four-day shoot. "I wanted to get their essence in each photo."
Still fairly new to the area, du Preez arrived with her husband from South Africa in 2010 and jumped at the recent opportunity to take part in her church's project, shooting 700 pictures over four days before settling on the final 150-photo portfolio.
Councillor Wade Staddon officiated at the exhibit's Feb. 7 ribbon-cutting ceremony by declaring, "This congregation is one of the most impressive in terms of its outreach to the community and the variety of its activities," he said. "I'm very proud to be here."
Having celebrated its bicentennial in 2010, the church minister Davidson is a relative newcomer having only stepped into the role three years ago. "What I noticed when I first came is how well this congregation seems to share its space with the community," he said of NOVA, Helping Hands, and Scouts, a few of the many groups that share the Beaconsfield Boulevard location's common space.
Church attendants include the full age spectrum from infants and teenagers to senior citizens.
"I think there's a place for strong faith communities in post-modern Canada," said Davidson. "With Briarwood, there's a connection between the community and their faith... and the world."
The photographic display continues through Feb. 12 with plans in the works for a longer term installation. For more information, please consult www.briarwoodpresbyterianchurch.ca