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Special service celebrates 125 years at St. James Church in Parhamby Julie Druker
Photo: Rev. Michael Oulton, Bishop of Ontario was a special guest at the 125th Anniversary celebrations at St. James Anglican church in Parham on July 29
On July 29, worshipers and guests filled the sanctuary of St. James Anglican Church in Parham for a special service that included guests from afar to help celebrate the church's 125th anniversary. Rev. Michael Oulton, Bishop of Ontario, welcomed worshipers, inviting them to continue on with 125 years of Christian witness in the community. The service included the confirmation of two young members of the congregation.
In his sermon Rev. Oulton spoke of the 125th anniversary as a special year for the church. “It's a wonderful time to stop, to take pause and give thanks for the good times and the difficult times as we journey along, and to remember that we never journey alone but rather in the context of Christian community, the wider community, and with our friends, families and with one another.” He also spoke of how this church in particular makes a 125th anniversary especially relevant. “An anniversary is like a crossroads and the best possible church in which to hold an anniversary service is in one that has taken as its patron St. James, since St. James is the apostle of the pilgrim.”
Rev. Oulton spoke next of the original Greek meaning of the word pilgrim as “stranger” and its significance in the gospel. “I see the churches that we have within the life of our dioceses as the way-stations on the way of pilgrimage. They offer people the opportunity to come in and rest, to be refreshed and strengthened in heart and soul and to continue on their journey.”
Following the service Rev. Oulton spoke of his delight in being able to come to Parham to celebrate with the congregation here and he also spoke of the importance of the greater community coming together for the occasion. “This is a real milestone - to look back over 125 years of service and to also prepare for what the future holds. Its also very important for me to stand with my people here and give them the sense that they are a part of something larger; that they are not alone just struggling away on their own; that we are all working in this together.”
Rev. Nancy MacLeod, who served as the incumbent at the service, said she was thrilled to be a part of the 125th Anniversary celebrations. “It was great to bring these celebrations to culmination with our bishop being here and with so many others from this community and wider church community to honor those who have been such a big part of putting these celebrations together. It's is also a great time now to be looking forward.”
Long-time church member Lois Webster was honored for her work in the church, especially in her organization of the celebrations, and was presented with honours from members of the local, regional and provincial Anglican Church Women's groups.
Following the service guests were invited to enjoy a lunch that was held at the Parham United church just up the street.