The promotional flyer proclaimed “All are Welcome,” and at least 100 people, and nearly half of them children, took up the invitation, coming to enjoy the afternoon, get their face painted, practice their golf swing, paint a rock, and enjoy the wonderfully abundant raised bed gardens in the front lot of the parish office facing St. John’s Street in Port Moody. All of that excitement requires fuel, and it was generously supplied in the form of free hot dogs, popsicles, water and great big cookies.  

The Parish of St John the Apostle reached out to the Condo/Apartment dwellers in the neighbourhood inviting them to come and grow in the newly installed raised garden beds the parish created this year. Those raised beds came into being thanks to many hours of volunteer labour and financial support from the Diocese of New Westminster, the Port Moody Foundation and Salal + Cedar.

The Venerable Ruth Monette, Archdeacon of Westminster provided a prayer for the gardens and warmly thanked everyone who had volunteered to make the gardens and the celebration possible.  The Mayor of Port Moody, Megan Lahti, came to the party with her electric bicycle and gave a brief speech, (‘brief' - the best kind) thanking the Parish of St John’s and the community for their efforts.  

Evidence of the garden’s success came from Emilie, one of the community gardeners. She admitted to walking by the garden with her dog even on days she did not need to water or weed her plot. She wanted to see if there were other gardeners working, and if someone was working, she would open the gate, introduce herself and when gardeners meet, there is much to talk about.

The Parish is looking at further ways to support growth in the community and enabling some of the land to support plants that lived there before the church was founded in 1899.  Reaching out to the community and to the natural world is part of the mission of St John the Apostle, Port Moody.

The parish has served the surrounding neighbourhood in various ways over the years, particularly in ministries relating to food and community. Most notably, with a food bank and hot lunch program. When the program closed due to the pandemic, the parish shifted that ministry to financial support for the established neighbouring food bank at SHARE.


  • Emilie poses for a photo in 'the garden'
  • The promo poster
  • Balloons of welcome
  • The party
  • Gardens in bloom
  • Mayor Meghan Lahti, MP Bonita Zarillo and St. John's warden, Ruby Ng
  • Every party needs a DJ
  • Golf lesson
  • Face painting
  • Rock painting
  • Painted rocks on display
  • Beautiful blooms
  • Red peppers
  • Tomatoes

PHOTOS collected, curated and submitted by Ruby Ng and Kerry Baisley