St. Paul’s Anglican Church in McLennan celebrated 90 years of ministry with a special service Aug. 22.
Alice MacMillan, 92, the oldest person present and matriarch of St. Paul’s, reminded everyone that she had been baptized at St. Paul’s many decades ago and was still a mainstay of the parish.
Marcus Shambare, the youngest person at six years old, led the Lord’s Prayer with much enthusiasm, reads a report from Peter Clarke, Warden of the Parish for St. Paul’s and St. Mark’s Anglican Church in High Prairie.
Clarke and Colleen Greer, another Warden of the Parish, welcomed everyone and reflected on personal memories of St. Paul’s.
“The little church was quite full, the singing was wonderful and enthusiastic,” Clarke says.
“It was a glorious community celebration,” he adds.
“Local people truly appreciated the willingness of so many to come and help celebrate this event.”
“It will be remembered well.”
Almost 30 people were present from various communities and denominations, including Anglican, Roman Catholic, including Father Eucharious Ndzefemiti from the Cathedral of Saint John Baptist in McLennan, as well as people from McLennan United Church and McLennan Victory Life Church.
“As various speakers mentioned, the little church is a lovely building,” Clarke says.
“However, the great flow of activities such as baptisms, Sunday school, confirmations and marriages, along with the active involvement in and with the wider community is what has enabled St. Paul’s to continue to this day.”
The church building was originally built in 1931 in another part of McLennan. However, it was relocated to its present location in the late 1940s.
Both the church building and the manse, known and Heritage House, are declared as municipal historic sites and were restored in 2016.
Heritage House and St. Paul’s Anglican Church are located at the corner of First Street East and Second Avenue North.
The Rev. Dr. Blessing Shambare, from the Ecumenical Parish of St. Peter’s in Slave Lake, regional dean for Athabasca, led the service.
The Rev. Deacon Danielle McKenzie, the regional dean for the Peace Deanery, brought a message from the Anglican Diocese of Athabasca Bishop David Greenwood, who was unable to attend in person.
The sermon, with many references to the early days of churches in the region, was also given by McKenzie.
After the service, the gathering moved to the old manse for hours of fellowship food and fun.
St. Paul’s holds services every third Sunday of the month at 2:30 p.m. and everyone is welcome to attend.