Looking at a parish as an extended family is a safe metaphor, and that comparison is often made when talking or writing about ‘church’. Some parishes have more of a family feeling than others and All Saints, South Burnaby is certainly one of those that does. All Saints was a church plant, an offspring of St. John’s, Burnaby located a few kilometres away near Central Park. In 1912, the new parish began worshipping in its first building on Gilley Avenue and eventually ended up in the current location which began as home to United Church congregations in the 1920s. Over the past few decades generations of Anglicans have called this place on Royal Oak with the large windows that illuminate the cinderblock walls and the bright wooden fixtures home.
Bishop John’s visit to All Saints on Sunday, February 13, Epiphany VI was the fourth episcopal visit to the parish in the last 10 years, including Bishop Michael Ingham’s visit to the parish for the centennial celebrations the first weekend of November in 2012. Archbishop Skelton visited in 2016, and again to install the current vicar, the Reverend Justin Cheng, February 27, 2017.
In the opening paragraph of his homily on February 13, Bishop John said:
It is great to be with you here at All Saints, Burnaby. It’s been a long time since I have been in this church. It is a beautiful building. Thank you to all of you for your work in ministry over many years, but in particular for these last two years of living in a pandemic. This has been such a difficult time for all of us trying to live out our faith but not able to be in community in the ways that we would like to. I am so grateful as well to your vicar, Justin, for the work that he has done in this pandemic period. For the work of pivoting and shifting and rethinking things on a regular basis. I am also very grateful for all of his work and involvement in the diocese beyond this parish, and your willingness to share him beyond this parish. I am grateful as well for the ministries of Leah and Gordon (the two parish deacons, Reverends Skuro and Barrett) which extend far beyond the four walls of this church. All of this is much appreciated and important. Thank you to all of you, it is good to be with you.
The 10am Celebration of the Eucharist took place on a bright, sunny day. The liturgy was broadcast on the parish’s Facebook page via MEVO livestream with warden, Mildred Johnson staffing the iPad and calling the shots. Music in worship was led by Chris Rychert who is a find keyboard player. He has two ‘stations’ in the sanctuary; a grand piano station augmented with two digital keyboards located on the south side of the nave in front of the chancel, and an organ station also augmented with two digital keyboards located in front of the chancel wall also on the south side of the building. The use of the bell sounds and string sounds along with the acoustic sounds of the piano and organ were extremely effective. At the 8am service, Captain (Ret’d) the Reverend Gordon Barrett was the deacon and at the 10am the Deacon of the Word and Table was the Reverend Leah Skuro. Heather Duff was Bishop’s Chaplain, husband Ray Duff, ODNW sang in the choir with sopranos, Shannon Douglas and Nellie Porkert, ODNW and baritone, Andy Schreck, ODNW, who also supervised the onsite sound which was very good. Wendy Jenkinson read the Old Testament, Jeremiah 17: 5-10 and the Epistle, 1 Corinthians 15: 12-20.
In these difficult times alluded to in the opening words of Bishop John’s homily the parish family has been guided and supported by its ordained leader, the Reverend Justin Cheng.
We hope you enjoy these photos from the liturgy and that you will keep the Parish of All Saints, Burnaby in your prayers.