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A sailing dinghy in the sanctuary of St. David’s Anglican Church October 22, proclaimed Sea Sunday in a parish where its very location, Tsawwassen, stems from the early Coast Salish depiction ‘facing the sea‘.

From the church narthex to the sanctuary, a maritime theme served to remind parishioners and visitors of the vital place the sea and those who sail it have in our lives.

The Reverend Peter Smyth, Senior Port Chaplain (Vancouver and Delta Port), was guest preacher at 8am and 10am, where the Order of Service included the reading of In Waters Deep by St. David parishioner, Captain John Horton, and a haunting solo tribute by parish director of music ministries, Sara Ciantar.

It is widely recognized that 90% of everything in shops today is imported by sea,  in 60,000 vessels constantly sailing the world’s shipping lanes.  Global trade is dependent on this industry and any disruption in the delivery of food and raw materials, be it storm or other peril of the sea, directly affects one and all. It is the best possible reason to recognize and give thanks to mariners and those who work in the many supporting industries.

Here in Ladner/Tsawwassen, local dependence on seafarers is fairly obvious given the area’s proximity to BC Ferries, Seaspan’s barge/ferry Terminals on the Fraser River in Delta and Surrey, tugs and barges hauling wood products, rock, gravel and cement, not forgetting the fishing fleet that provides fare for the table, nor the container ships carrying cargos from afar.

The recently re-dedicated Delta Lifeboat, now based in Ladner Harbour, plays a pivotal role in providing search and rescue support for commercial and native fisheries, along with other duties related to a Canadian Lifeboat Institute vessel.

Following the 10am, a light lunch was served to enable parishioners to mingle with guest mariners and those of related industries of which “Some went to the sea in ships, doing business on the mighty waters…”

Later that day, a wreath in memory of souls lost at sea was cast afloat in the main channel of the Fraser River. The ceremony took place from the upper deck of the Delta Lifeboat ‘to the sound of the Bosun’s call’ and prayers by the Rev. Tim Dutcher-Walls.


  • Parishioner John Horton, Rev. Peter Smyth, Rev. Tim Dutcher-Walls and Rev. Steve Thompson.
  • Ocean in a Jar, displayed by Ravel Desnoyers, was Youth Creation Zone’s nod to Sea Sunday

Photos: Mary Horton