[ARCHIVE] What it’s like to live here

IMPORTANT: The Menno Simons Centre in West Point Grey is now closed, having served us well for many years.  Please stay tuned for exciting updates on the future of Menno Hall!


On this page you’ll find:

  1. General info
  2. Fall/Winter specifics
  3. Summer specifics
  4. Photos

General info


The Menno Simons Centre, formerly a Catholic convent, is a student residence located four kilometers from UBC and Regent College in the residential area of Point Grey. This residence is operated by a not-for-profit society founded on Anabaptist ideals and seeks to provide a supportive community for Christian university and college students.

Living in the Centre is defined by shared life together and the pursuit of Jesus Christ as a community.

Residents at the Centre are committed to pursuing spiritual growth as individuals and to encouraging others around them to grow as well. Shared life together includes meals, school studies, music, tears, laughter, play, struggle, learning, prayer, Bible studies, dialogue, and much more, including the gifts you have to bring. You can read what current and previous residents have to say about their experience on our testimonials page.

As with any healthy community, there are standards of living you should be aware of and be ready to put into practice. When living at the Centre, residents commit to more than a rent payment and receive in return more than a dorm where they lay their heads.

  • As a way to care for the facility and those we live with, residents share in the weekly tasks of cleaning and maintaining the Centre. You will be expected to contribute one hour of labour per week in this endeavour. (We call this “gratis”: your free act of service for the benefit of your fellow residents reciprocated by your fellow residents for your benefit.)
  • Further, the use of alcohol, tobacco, harmful drugs and involvement in behaviour detrimental to Christian community are not permitted on the MSC premises.

The Centre has small individual rooms furnished with a bed, desk, closet and bookshelf. Many also have a sink. There are two fully-furnished kitchens for student use.  In addition, there is a large dining room, a study lounge, a small chapel, a recreation lounge, coin-laundry facilities and a bike storage room (images below). An Internet connection is also provided. (We have set up a cable-modem based wireless 802.11g/n network for Internet access throughout the Centre and all student rooms. If you would prefer your own dedicated high-speed connection, you have the option of providing your own.)

A bus stop is located one block from the Centre and it takes about ten minutes to take the bus to UBC. Residents can also bike to campus in about fifteen minutes.

One final note about the building – the Centre is occasionally used for worship, workshops and recreation by non-residents. The Point Grey Inter-Mennonite Fellowship meets in the Centre’s chapel on Sunday mornings and warmly welcomes you to participate in their worship services and share in other community activities.


Fall/Winter specifics


  • It’s an expectation that residents will participate in sharing a common meal at 7pm every Wednesday evening (September -April).
  • Each resident is also expected to participate in a small group Bible study with fellow residents every other Monday night from 8pm-10pm.
  • At the beginning of both Fall and Winter terms, all residents participate in retreats hosted by MSC staff. (This year’s dates can be found on the application form.)
  • Each resident is expected to participate in monthly Sunday worship nights (“Menno vespers”), held from 9pm-10pm on the first Sunday of the following months: October, November, February, March, April.
  • All residents are committed to live and pay rent at the Centre for the entirety of the academic year, from September 1 to April 30.
  • Residents must commit to the following MSC community guidelines (which can easily be remembered as an acronym!):
    • To Mature: To commit to the pursuit of a personal relationship with God. To learn new things and to step out of my comfort zone and take appropriate risks which I can learn from.
    • To Share fully in the life of the community: To manage my time such that I can fully participate in…
      • Fall & Winter retreats
      • Common meals every Wednesday evening
      • Small groups every two weeks
      • Gratis every week
    • To Communicate: To give & receive honest feedback by listening to what others have to say to me and telling others what I am thinking and feeling too.

If the above details and expectations of community living are amenable and you can commit to them with integrity, then we welcome you to submit an application.


Summer specifics


During the summer, residents are not required to commit to a full four month term; we instead require a one month minimum stay. Although the majority of residents are long-term residents, we do see many different residents come and go over the course of the summer. During the summer, we also tend to have a mixture of students and non-students, a wider variety of ages, and a greater diversity of cultures represented.

Throughout the summer residents are invited to participate in sharing an optional potluck meal at 6:30pm every Wednesday evening.

There is an optional weekend summer retreat as well and we try to keep the cost around $100 per resident. (This year’s dates can be found on the application form.)

If the above details and expectations of community living are amenable and you can commit to them with integrity, then we welcome you to submit an application.