On Saturday, October 30, the congregation of St. Mark’s, Ocean Park, Surrey, took a trip through the history of Christianity under the leadership of Dr. Jim Heugel, Ph.D and lecturer in medieval & church history, and Provost of Northwest University, Kirkland, Washington.
Over 150 people registered for the full day conference, Great Moments in Christianity. He held the participant’s attention with his enthusiasm and humour as he expounded on four major changes in Christianity, their causes and responses in faith, and the impact of social and cultural changes from the early Roman Period to late Renaissance.
(Image on left Mike Balser the entertaining Jester)
Courage Under Fire: The Church Under Roman Persecution
The Conversion of Constantine: The Church is Transformed from Persecuted to Powerful
Monks on a Mission: Augustine of Canterbury and the Beginning of the English Church
Conflict and Conscience: How the Reformation Changed the Christian World.
Professor Heugel highlighted each era with historical references, some extracted from letters written by Roman officials. He also quoted from historical texts, among them the Venerable Bede’s ancient book The History of the English Church and People.
(Image on right Craig Tanksley and Professor Jim Heugel)
After the conference it was time to party !
What an historical cultural shock it must have been to enter the Hall of St. Mark’s Anglican Church, Ocean Park, on that Saturday evening!
A crowd of 135 people were present, many dressed in Medieval clothing, flamboyantly colorful, yet some more dignified, and others sinister in chain-mail helmets, brandishing an axe or dagger.
The banqueters sat at two long refectory tables with a smaller head table running parallel at the end of the Hall.
Some huddled within brown robes worn by monks including guest speaker Dr. Jim Heugel , and St. Mark’s Associate Priest, Rev Jonathan Blanchard. St Mark’s Incumbent, the Rev Craig Tanksley, sported a fine Baron’s coat.
All the walls were decorated in heraldic tapestries. and in a corner an ensemble of recorder players provided haunting accompaniment to table chatter. A juggler, Mike Balser, in costume, dominated centre space.
Soon came the appearance of the featured performer, the pig. It had been roasted nearly all day on an outside spit. The roast, complete with apple in mouth, was carried shoulder high by four bearers who processed around the Hall, then returned it to a place to be carved for the seated diners.
Craig Tanksley in his welcome referred to the importance of fun, an opportunity for parishioners to enjoy the evening and entertainment in friendship.
The evening continued with music, juggling, stories, more fascinating information from Professor Heugel and a group sing. A wonderful time was had by all!
Image below: Lawrence Hurd (partial), Lynne Hurd, Deanna Blanchard, Rev. Jonathan Blanchard, Cherie Heugel, Professor Jim Heugel at the head table.