|Lt. Gov. Steven Point and Gwendolyn Point participated in the commemorative Eucharist at St. John’s, Maple Ridge
The Queen's representative in British Columbia, the Bishop of New Westminster, and the Mayor of Maple Ridge, all came to St. John the Divine to celebrate the sesquicentennial of the oldest wooden church building in British Columbia.
Parishioners were all decked out, many in period costume, to celebrate.
"Your hats look lovely ladies, especially the little birdies," said Lieutenant Governor Steven Point, who came to the morning celebratory Eucharist with the chatelaine, Mr. Gwendolyn Point.
His honour called the parish "an amazing community," commended them for their work, and gave congratulations "on behalf of all the people of British Columbia."
Bishop Michael Ingham gave the sermon and called St. John's "a living church, not just an old building." The bishop reminded the parishioners that "wherever Christ is, there is church. The New Testament doesn't say, wherever a building is, there is church. If Christ is not present, there is no church."
"This is not a museum. Our business here is prayer and healing. Our business is the glory of God and the life of the world.The Spirit of God is calling the church today to be open to change and ready to adapt," said Bishop Ingham.
|Flowered hats were the order of the day for several women in the congregation. Clockwise from upper left: Rosemary Wells, Olive Champion, Sylvia Wallis, and Helen Nebbeling
"This church has done that and must continue to do it. We celebrate the last 150 years, but we look forward to the future."
Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin and the bishop were present at a luncheon after the service, along with over 100 parishioners. It was catered by the neighbouring parish of St. Catherine's, Port Coquitlam.
St. John's opened in May, 1859, on the south side of the Fraser River by the Royal Engineers in Derby, west of the present Fort Langley. Derby had been promoted to become the capital of the new colony of British Columbia, but New Westminster was chosen, and Derby-and the church-abandoned.
Some 23 years later St. John's was dismantled and floated across the Fraser River to a location near its present site, and reassembled at River Road and Laity Street in Maple Ridge. It stood on the corner till 1983 when it needed a new foundation, and was moved again, though only a short distance back from the road.