It’s been a few years since I wrote about St. Hilda’s ministry at a local youth detention centre.

Along with other churches, we hold a monthly chapel service for the inmates. Doing this kind of thing over a long period of time can be discouraging since there seems to be so much insurmountable darkness, darkness that would like to give the impression that it is utterly impervious to any spark of the Gospel. And it’s always hot there; I can’t help dwelling on the thought that it’s because the fires of hell are licking at the foundations.

Despite setbacks such as a cadre of would-be witches sitting in the front row and chanting curses while we attempt to worship – my part is the music – chairs being hurled, riots being suppressed and other less violent distractions, there is the occasional ray of light.

One of the children recently asked to be baptised. Before being baptised, he asked us to stay behind after the service because he wanted to confess and to be forgiven before his baptism.

To complicate matters somewhat, he a transgender youth.

Many of us were baptised as babies; it cost us nothing. To be baptised in prison by choice is much more costly.

After leaving the detention centre – with some relief, I must admit – I often muse about the fact that the inmates can usually acknowledge that they are burdened by the problem of innate sin in their lives – although they wouldn’t use those words – and how wrenchingly difficult it is for those of us living an easy life in supposed freedom to do the same.

There are two kinds of prison: the kind I visit once a month and the kind in which we, in the absence of God’s saving grace, willingly incarcerate ourselves to maintain a polite distance from the awful truth: “Behold, I was shaped in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”

I’m not sure which is worse.

Sanctity of Life Sunday at St. Hilda’s

May 7th is Sanctity of Life Sunday:

Vicky Hedelius National Director of Anglicans for Life Canada:

Bishop Charlie was with us. We are blessed to have a bishop who supports Anglicans for Life:

Gifts collected for the Hamilton Pregnancy Centre:

Of course there was cake:

We have many artists in the congregation; one of them makes icons:

I will be in Ottawa in the coming week for the National March for Life; I hope to have photos!

St. Hilda’s: the denouement

St. Hilda’s building when it had a flourishing congregation; we have a lot of artists:IMG_2148

St. Hilda’s once the Diocese of Niagara acquired it:

St. Hilda’s once the Diocese of Niagara had sold it for a handsome profit:

St. Hilda’s flattened:
_29U4712The demolition company did leave just one thing behind in addition to the welcoming, inclusive concrete barrier: the church sign!_29U4708It seems that someone has attached a poster advertising where St. Hilda’s went. Fancy that:_29U4703

Oakville residents unhappy about St. Hilda’s being turned into an EMS station

From here:

Right idea, wrong location.

That’s the sentiment expressed by more than 70 southwest Oakville residents Wednesday night at a public meeting regarding Halton Region’s plan to build an ambulance station and safe haven at the site of the former St. Hilda’s Anglican Church.

The Region recently purchased the two-acre site at 1258 Rebecca St.

While the meeting at T.A. Blakelock High School was set up as a drop-in information centre, after about 30 minutes, Regional representatives bowed to demand from residents and switched to a town hall format.

In 2005, the Region’s 10-Year Emergency Services Master Plan identified the need for a paramedic station to respond more quickly to emergency medical calls in southwest Oakville.

“We agree with this, but there are more suitable locations within less than two minutes,” said resident Cindy Wagg, pointing to Speers Road and non-residential areas.

Resident Ella Kokotsis says thousands of children and teens in the Rebecca Street area travel to school by bus, bicycle or on foot. The area also has a daycare centre, retirement residence, churches and a library. Kokotsis and others are concerned about pedestrian safety.

It’s nice to be missed.

The Love of God Fits Everyone

One of St. Hilda’s parishioners wrote a children’s song over 80 years ago. In 2010 he asked me to set it to music. Two of my grandchildren introduced it to the congregation then and, since they are visiting from Australia, they joined me to sing it again today.

Here is the song’s author, his wife and a few others::


Here are the words:

The love of God fits everyone,
it comes in every size.
it comes in every colour
And lights a billion eyes.

His miracles are everywhere –
the earth, the air, the sea,
and everything that’s in them,
including you and me.

The time of God is evermore,
a never ending line,
and his hand is everywhere
and here in yours and mine.

The love of God fits everyone,
it comes in every size.
it comes in every colour
and lights a billion eyes.

St. Hilda's Christmas Dinner 2012

More here

We have been ejected from our building and our rectory has been sold, but nothing stops us eating or celebrating the arrival of the Incarnation, the Word made flesh.

Collecting the tickets:


The MC:


The people:


The tuba lesson:


The Three Tenors:


More here

Diocese of Niagara sells St. Hilda's rectory

The Diocese of Niagara took possession of St. Hilda’s rectory as part of the negotiated settlement between St. Hilda’s and the diocese. The settlement boiled down to the congregation of St. Hilda’s giving the diocese of Niagara the church building and rectory; in exchange the diocese would stop suing the congregation.

In the last few weeks, the diocese sold the rectory for $650,000, $50,000 over its minimum price.

Smatterings of news

The Church of England Newspaper has an article on the property settlement in the Diocese of Niagara here.

The Diocese of New Westminster seems to be suffering a degree of financial embarrassment and is selling rectories, including the one belonging to St. John’s Shaughnessy (which is on “a nice lot”).

Peter Elliot, the diocese’s actively homosexual Dean, has been appointed as part-time “Bishop’s Missioner” to assist with the “planting of new congregations” in the empty buildings which once housed thriving ANiC congregations. I’m sure that will work.

And I am off to Dubrovnik.