By Terry Jones
Sunday, May 14, marked the 125th anniversary of St. Mark’s Anglican Church on Salt Spring Island with The Rt. Rev. Dr. Logan McMenamie presiding at the 3:00 p.m. choral evensong, assisted by rector, Rev. Richard L. Stetson.
There are three churches in the parish. St. Mark’s is the oldest. It was consecrated on May 15, 1892 by Bishop George Hills, the first bishop of the Diocese of British Columbia. St. Mary’s near Fulford Harbour is just two years younger—built in 1894. All Saints-By-The-Sea started its life in 1913 as St. George’s. It was rebuilt after a fire in 1940 and renamed in the mid-1990s when it became the main church of the parish.
The anniversary celebrations started earlier in the day at the 10:00 am Holy Eucharist service at All Saints-By-The-Sea—a short drive from St. Mark’s on a winding country road. During the morning service, those present were witnesses to the celebration of Confirmation for Derek Pritchett & Serge Taylor and the reaffirmation of faith for Karen Meyer. Everyone in attendance was delighted when Bishop Logan appointed Rev. Stetson as a Canon of the Diocese of British Columbia. During his sermon, Bishop Logan reminded everyone of John the Beloved who leaned against Jesus at the Last Supper to hear the heartbeat of God. Bishop Logan asked us to listen and look beyond the obvious so that we too can hear the heartbeat of God.
Rev. Stetson said the congregation at St. Mark’s is very loyal and that the celebrations were meaningful to them because the anniversary recognizes and remembers the role St. Mark’s has played in the parish.
The celebrations on Salt Spring continued over the summer. The parish hosted a Pride Day, a workshop on reconciliation with The Rev. Canon Dr. Martin Brokenleg, and a Franciscan Day. The parish will open The Star of the Sea (as St. Mary’s will be known) this month. Rev. Stetson says the new centre was made possible with assistance from a Vision Fund grant. He feels it may lead to an emerging worship community like Emmaus and believes it will provide an opportunity to reach out beyond the traditional services.
It sounds like they’ll have even more to celebrate on Salt Spring when St. Mark’s turns 150.
Photo by: Diocesan Post