article and photographs by The Ven. Terry Caines
The Consecration of a Church, as our primate reminded us in his dinner address to the congregation and guests of the Church of the Holy Spirit the weekend of May 5th, 2019, is only possible when the efforts, sacrifice and commitment of the people of God has already happened. The weekend celebration began with a Parish Banquet on Friday night with Archbishop Fred Hiltz. On Saturday morning the parish hosted a congregational breakfast, and Saturday evening was a time of fellowship with a rousing Newfoundland kitchen party at the parish hall. On Sunday morning the Church of the Holy Spirit was consecrated by the Rt. Rev’d John Watton, and the mortgage was burned at the end of the service.
Bishop John referred to how what has happened in this parish is a gift of inspiration to our Dioceses Central Newfoundland. He mentioned the importance of our ongoin
g work as outlined in our Policy on Sustainable and Intentionally Missional Ministry. The Bishop then referred to this process as a prophetic example of what we can do when we are willing to seek God’s will for the Church of our time.
In May of 2007, the church families of Stag Harbour, Seldom, Island Harbour, Shoal Bay, and Joe Batts Arm came together. At that time, 99% of registered parish members voted in favour of this amalgamation. The process moved forward when the Rev’d David Hewitt raised the first $1.00 by walking from Stag Harbour to the new location in the centre of the Fogo Island.
Many items, such as the processional crosses, font, pulpit, lectern, vessels, and vestments were brought from the five churches to their new location. One parishioner said, “We were bringing our history with us so we would be reminded of where we came from.”
The three ACW (Anglican Church Women) groups began meeting and fellowshipping together in one location as
one larger group. A new parish hall was established and an addition added unto the church for youth ministry.
The parish has had three clergy through the process. The Rev’d David Hewitt from 2004 – 2009, The Rev’d Terry Caines from 2009 – 2012. The Rev’d Gail Thoms Williams from 2012 – 2018. The parish now awaits their new incumbent, Mr. Charlie Cox, soon to be ordained a deacon, who will begin in the parish on July 1st, 2019.
The first person buried from the new church was Mr. George Collins, senior, the first of
many supporters who have entered our Lord’s greater presence since the foundation of this new parish. The parish treasurer, Mr. Gary Dawe, stated: “I would think that they would be very pleased today of the Consecration of Church five years ahead of time.”
It is a joy for us to share congratulations, love and a huge heartfelt thank you to all who made this weekend such a huge success, and provide a vision of hope for the future in our Diocese!