Parishioners at St. Stephen’s, West Vancouver listened with dismay to the plight of the people of Lytton since the devastating forest fire that destroyed most of the village on June 30, 2021. Inspired by a sermon preached by rector, Rev. Ken Vinal concerning love and charity, two ideas to help came forward. The first involves repurposing items no longer needed by some members of the aging congregation, many who are down-sizing, and the second involves the already planned “Lavender Tea” that was so successful last year.
Members of the parish consulted with the Reverend Angus Muir of St. Barnabas' Anglican Church in Lytton, and also with Margaret Mitchell, the secretary of the Diocese of the Territory of the People. They learned that the people of Lytton have no homes, are spread out all over the province as guests in friends’ homes, and desperately need financial help. Members of St. Stephen’s agreed that they should fundraise in order to help. Rev. Vinal suggested a Thanksgiving auction of home-baked desserts prepared by members of the parish, with the proceeds going to Lytton. The thinking was that desserts will be very welcome offered the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and the money could be sent to Lytton as a Thanksgiving gift to be shared as needed either through the Parish of St. Barnabas, or through an aid organization like PWRDF or the Red Cross . In an interesting aside it was learned that neither the church nor the parish hall were destroyed by the fire: the fires curved right around them!
St. Stephen’s Lavender Tea features the use of the lavender found growing on the parish grounds and in members’ gardens. The organizing committee harvests the lavender and makes sachets to sell as lavender tea is served in the church hall. This event is carefully set out to abide by the recent health restrictions. The proceeds from the 2021 version will go to Lytton.
The Thanksgiving dessert auction will take place on the morning of Sunday October 3, and the Lavender Tea is scheduled for November 21 after worship.
St. Stephen’s, West Vancouver is located at 885-22nd Street, West Vancouver.