Anglicans Online banner More about the gryphon
Independent On the web since 1994 More than 250,000 readers More than 32,000 links Updated every Sunday
Will you help support
Anglicans Online?

The Paypal logotype

Noted This Week
Sites new to AO

News Centre
News archive

News flash: a summary of the top headlines
Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us by email
Be notified each week

Start here
Anglicans believe...
The Prayer Book
The Bible

Read letters to AO
Write to us

Resources A to Z

World Anglicanism
Anglican Communion
In full communion
Not in the Communion

Dioceses and Parishes
Hong Kong
New Zealand

South Africa
Sri Lanka

Vacancies Centre
List a vacancy
Check openings worldwide

Add a site or link to AO
Add a site to AO
Link to AO

About Anglicans Online
Back issues
About our logo
Our search engine


Hallo again to all.

Neighbourhoods change. Small farming communities come and go. Slow country roads find themselves becoming two-lane roads, then later four-lane divided highways, separating the congregation from its building. Once accessible buildings become hidden by strip malls and petrol stations, and congregations once divided by cultural and geographic boundaries are now minutes apart by car. And this is how we found ourselves boxing up vestments and altar hangings, hymnals, prayer books, hymnals, deeds, historical photos, financial documents, sauce pans, tea cups and saucers, and then loading chalices and processional crosses into our car for later redistribution.

The roughly 170-year old congregation had its last service a month before. A small building, which worshiped many members fifty years ago, fizzled down to 12 when it closed. Those 12 members have joined nearby parishes. Behind the church sits a graveyard. The yard predates the church. When the land was purchased for the church (from a small Congregationalist group) the yard was not part of the sale. Since 1845, the church has maintained it regardless.  The cemetery belongs to no one. A few old families still occasionally inter there, but the town records list no person or group responsible for it. Permits for interments are issued on evidence of a deed, but no records are kept.

A few weeks after the final service, but before the day described, clergy from the surrounding congregations were invited to the little church to empty cupboards and take back to their own congregations items they may need. Along with processional crosses, credence tables, side altars, display cases, and even the Stations of the Cross hangings, were given plaques of remembrance. Pried off from tables and walls, those small engravings that remind us of in whose loving memory or thanksgiving objects were given. Names with meaning to us and those whose names are known only to those long gone, so many items have stories.  A small communion kit held a paten engraved with the name of a congregation past just as this congregation began. Why was the original paten missing? How did this parish come to hold this paten? Perhaps in a give-away day such as was had recently in this very building.

The items we took with us that day will be on offer to area churches for a time, and later offered to companion dioceses in other Provinces, where they will be delivered on a mission trip to live a new life with new people. In the meantime, we ponder what to do with the large quantity of heavy flatware, cutlery, and baking sheets, many open boxes of crayons, sheets of colouring paper, and duplicate snapshot photographs which pepper walls and albums, leaving the building in a state of alive and not quite. A story frozen in time.

As we removed icons from the walls and unscrewed the holy water font from the narthex wall, we wonder what stories the wall will have to tell about the next group to inhabit this space. They have already made an offer on the building.

See you next week

Our Signatures

All of us at Anglicans Online

5 February 2017

A thin blue line
This web site is independent. It is not official in any way. Our editorial staff is private and unaffiliated. Please contact about information on this page. ©2017 Society of Archbishop Justus
. Please address all spam to