BEST CHURCHES IN CALGARY (2021) – 6 RELIGIOUS SPACES TO EXPERIENCE
If you’re from out of town, you may be wondering what the best churches in Calgary are. Are you a practicing Christian, a lifelong Buddhist, or generally new to living a faith-oriented lifestyle? With a population of over a million people, there’s sure to be a multitude of churches for you to choose from in the city. Studies show that nearly half of Calgarians are Christian, but the city also houses many other religions and cultures. In Calgary, you can find a space of worship that is tailored to your personal preferences. Regardless of your faith or religion, you are welcome to check out the places below. So, without further ado, here’s our list of the best churches in Calgary.
The first church on our list is the St Mary’s Cathedral. This Roman Catholic church was founded in 1889 and built along the Elbow River. The original Catholic mission was named Notre-Dame-de-la-Paix as it was incorporated into the French-speaking village of Rouleauville. The cathedral was eventually renamed St Mary’s Cathedral when Rouleauville was annexed by Calgary in 1907. Today, St Mary’s Cathedral is known for its peaceful and traditional ambience. Due to the building’s large size, the space has amazing natural acoustics which really enhances the choir and other musical performances.
St Mary’s Cathedral offers a variety of sermon times for those wishing to practice their faith. Weekly mass runs Monday to Friday both at 7:30 am and 5:00 pm. Also, multiple weekend sermons take place both in the mornings and evenings as well. In addition, St Mary’s Cathedral provides access to some unique services and experiences for young people specifically. For example, the church works alongside the St Francis Xavier Chaplaincy to grant post-secondary students an opportunity to expand their faith alongside their peers. St Mary’s Cathedral’s openness to all kinds of individuals definitely makes it one of the best churches in Calgary.
St Mary’s Cathedral Location:
219 – 18th Avenue SW Calgary, Alberta T2S 0C2
Next, we have the Calgary Buddhist Temple. This temple practices Shin Buddhism and provides weekly services to deliver Dharma to Buddhists in Calgary. The temple’s roots are traced back to when the Calgary Hoyu Kai (Friends of the Dharma) was formed in 1951. The group would continue to meet for services in members’ homes and eventually a community centre for about 20 years. In 1970, a survey determined whether or not there was support for a Jodo Shinshu minister. Consequently, the Calgary Buddhist Temple was officially created in 1972. The temple building itself was purchased from the previous Croatian Catholic Church and the inaugural service took place on October 8th of that year.
The mission of the Calgary Buddhist Temple is “to promote a way of living, learning, and teaching a life of joy and gratitude” through Jodo Shinshu Buddhism. The temple carries out its mission statement in a few ways, including celebrations, providing resources, and applying teachings in the community at large. For those interested in Buddhism or looking for a new religious avenue, the Calgary Buddhist Temple is one of the best churches in Calgary.
Calgary Buddhist Temple Location:
658 1 Ave NE, Calgary, Alberta T2E 3Y1
Centre Street Church is a wonderful Christian Evangelical church in the Calgary area. It is a multisite church, which means it practices a single mission across various locations. Centre Street Church is composed of 5 separate campuses (Central, NW, Bridgeland, South, and Airdrie). The variety of locations allows for the church’s mission to reach all sorts of communities throughout the city. Consequently, Centre Street Church has one of the largest congregations in Calgary.
Many know Centre Street Church for its nurturing and practical approach to faith. The church delivers sermons in a way that is understandable and applicable to everyday life. Centre Street Church also provides the opportunity to meet a diverse group of people practicing their faith. Due to the multiple church campuses, there is an endless stream of faith-oriented individuals who frequent the locations. If you’re looking to broaden your social experiences and meet new people, Centre Street Church may be the best church in Calgary for you.
Centre Street Church (Central Campus):
3900 2 St NE, Calgary, Alberta T2E 9C1
Next, we have the Hindu Society of Calgary on our list of the best churches in Calgary. Established in 1993, this religious space is ideal for those looking for worship and meditation in the city. In addition to being one of the best places of worship in Calgary, the Hindu Society also offers youth education. Yoga, Indian classical music, and Hindu language are just a few of the things taught through Hindu Vidyalaya at the institution.
The temple is open to all, which makes it quite an inclusive religious experience. From Hindus to visitors interested in learning about Hinduism, the Hindu Society of Calgary is an awesome place to visit.
Hindu Society of Calgary Location:
2225 24 Ave NE, Calgary, Alberta T2E 8M2
Another one of the best churches in Calgary is the Knox United Church. Created in 1912-1913, Knox United Church is situated in downtown Calgary. The church also happens to be the fourth home of the oldest Protestant congregation in Calgary. Furthermore, the church is one of Calgary’s largest historic churches and is notable for its impressive Gothic Revival style design.
Knox United Church cultivates a very open and inclusive religious experience. The church is one of the most transformative communities of faith in downtown Calgary. Knox United Church is a member of Affirming Ministries, which is a group of United Church congregations that state to be fully inclusive of people of all gender identities and sexual orientations. Knox United Church is a place where people can come to connect with God as well as their true selves.
At the time of this writing, they offer online mass services on Sunday at 10:30 am and on Wednesday at 12:15 pm. There are also 10 reservable spots for in-person attendance during the Wednesday service, which will change as lockdown restrictions alleviate. Knox United Church also offers facilities for social, business, education, culture, sports, and entertainment needs. Whether you’re interested in sermons or any of the other features, Knox United Church is a great option for Calgarians.
Knox United Church Location:
506 4 St SW Calgary, Alberta T2P 1S7
Finally, there is the Akram Jomaa Islamic Centre. As a part of the Muslim Council of Calgary, Akram Jomaa Islamic Centre is one of the best churches in Calgary. The religious space is open for Shahada, Nikkah, funeral, or counselling services. Akram Jomaa Islamic Centre is also one of nine available locations for Jumua in Calgary. The Friday prayer congregation is usually conducted at 1:30 pm. The mosque is a very peaceful place of worship in Calgary. For those practicing or interested in the Islamic faith, this place is great to check out.
Akram Jomaa Islamic Centre Location:
2624 37 Ave NE, Calgary, Alberta T1Y 5V7
No matter your religious background, there is a church in Calgary that will welcome you with open arms. Sometimes it can be intimidating to find a new space of worship. Still, there are plenty of worship inclusive and welcoming worship spaces for you to consider. Despite whatever religious experience you may or may not have, there’s bound to be a church that fits your needs. Calgary has you covered whether you desire a traditional sermon or a place of worship with all kinds of other amenities. All of these spaces offer different teachings but are always open to new people.
Are you moving to Alberta? Check out our article on what you should do before you arrive.