On Saturday, November 14 between 10am and 12noon the Parish of St. Agnes in the Grand Boulevard neighbourhood of North Vancouver presented the second instalment of their annual Fall Fayre onsite in front of the church entrance in a parking area.
Shoppers lined up to the east on twelfth avenue to await their turn to enter the sales area in order to purchase: Christmas gifts items, home décor items, Christmas gift baskets, Poinsettias to be delivered (North Shore only) at a later date, view the silent auction items and purchase raffle tickets in support of the Lionsgate Hospital Foundation.
St Agnes’s rector, the Venerable Stephen Muir was onsite for the sale and monitored the line up of shoppers. He was accompanied by six volunteers from the parish who were all abiding by COVID-19 safety protocols. All volunteers wore masks and were attentive to keeping their distance from each other. The Scout Troop that meets at St. Agnes’ were also involved in preparing for the event. Virtually every “customer” wore a mask and cheerfully abided by the safety instructions to use the hand sanitizer provided and keep a safe distance from others.
Archdeacon Muir said that the organizers briefly considered cancelling the event due to the Provincial Health Officers’s temporary region-specific orders that were finalized November 11 but they “looked at the order carefully and, following the guidelines posted by diocesan leadership, determined it was safe to proceed with the outdoor event.”
When asked about how the annual fundraiser took place in this exceptional year of 2020, Archdeacon Muir responded:
Usually we have an event in our spacious parish hall that involves over 30 volunteers. We had to scale it way back and focus on the things we could do well outdoors in a small area with just a handful of volunteers.We divided the Fayre into two parts. Part 1 was October 17 and the main focus was on the sale of jams and jellies. One parishioner in particular, Liz Young, has a passion for canning and made over 100 jars of a variety of jam. We sold out. It just so happened that it was on the same day as the BC election. The church hall was a polling station so we benefited from the extra foot traffic.
Part two on November 17 featured the sale of gift baskets, something St Agnes’ is known for. Judy Brear takes the lead in assembling interesting, curated gift baskets for all budgets. We sold out. We sold the remaining jam and also had a variety of knitted items made by a parishioner, Jan Lockmuller. We also took orders for poinsettias to be delivered later this month. The 50 we reserved from the nursery have been sold out.
There were also a few items for sale via silent auction, including another original painting by Ann Mitchell.
Both parts of the Fayre featured a raffle in support of the Lionsgate Hospital Foundation. They are seeking funds for a new critical care wing. The raffle is properly licensed by BC Gaming and all the proceeds with go to the Foundation. We had handmade prizes made by members of the congregation: a wine-themed gift basket, an original painting, a pottery bowl, and a child’s knitted blanket. All tickets were sold.
As in the past the majority of items available sold well with the gift baskets, jams, poinsettias and raffle tickets (as mentioned earlier) selling out.
The parish was hoping to raise $2000 for the ministry of the parish but early reports show that it will be closer to $3000. The sale also raised an additional $500 for the Lionsgate Foundation and there was a direct gift of $150 to the hospital through the St. Agne’s Fayre.
When asked to reflect about how things went during covidtide, Archdeacon Muir said:
Many customers said they enjoyed having an opportunity to do something interesting when so many of us are cooped up at home.
Some people shared about how they look forward to the annual St Agnes' “Fayre” as a way to get into the Christmas spirit.
It was gratifying to see such a strong turnout from the local community – about 100 people over the two parts.