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St. John the Evangelist, Topsail

As a parish correspondent with Anglican Life, I am pleased to report that despite the many restrictions placed upon us during 2020, freedom to share our news through this medium has remained constant. The paper has continued to accept and publish monthly contributions for each of the twelve months of the turbulent year of 2020.

In January, we faced the reality, and indeed the acceptance, of same sex marriages in our churches.

In February, our thoughts quickly diverted to a major snow storm which created a state of emergency, when all activities ceased in both churches, schools, and businesses.

Also, early 2020 saw us coming to accept the new Mission approach; and other aspects of the church that have evolved in making church life more family friendly.

Since we had over abundance of seat capacity, Rev’d Jolene Peters arranged to have some of the pews removed from the back of the church. The added space was designed to accommodate a fully equipped play area to occupy young children while parents could now be more at ease to participate in worship. This new step was complimented with an invitation to arrive half an hour before service commences, to come together for a cup of tea or coffee.

However, by the middle of March, the coronavirus secured a passage across the Atlantic Ocean. This necessitated our place of worship to resort to a lockdown which lasted for six months.

From then until September 20th, Rev’d Jolene conducted services online through social media. But Anglican Life still remained constant, which enabled us to continue spreading our news to neighbouring parishes. More importantly, it enabled us to share our 160th anniversary in a new and different way.

With Dr. Fitzgerald’s strict, but kind guidance in this once in a lifetime occurrence, we felt a generous degree of control over the virus in our province. Thus permission was granted to return to church on September 20th, 2020. It was granted by strictly continuing to embrace the new normal—frequent hand washing, social distancing, and mask wearing.

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