Voices of the people

Published November 1, 2000

All 17 parishes in the Diocese of Cariboo were asked to send messages to what was likely the last diocesan synod. Here is what some of them said:

“In Russia the church community is called ‘church’ and the buildings, the places where people meet for worship, ‘prayer houses.’ Let us take comfort from the fact that should our buildings disappear, our ‘church’ will still be there and new ‘prayer houses’ will appear.”

Grace Church, Prince George

“We cherish our little church, which was donated to the people of Savona by a well-known rancher many years ago. It survived being moved across railway tracks and a highway to its present location and has been the focal point for baptisms, confirmations, weddings and funerals, as well as regular church services, for many years ? We have not had a regular minister for the past 17 months.”

St. Hilda’s, Savona

“But there is another emotion here as well: bitterness. Many reject out of hand that they are responsible for the sins of their fathers. They feel the church is taking responsibility for something it should not. There are feelings of frustration with the Native communities ? Perhaps a warning can be taken by this synod. The backlash has begun. We must face it and wrestle with it but never forget that it is there.”

Robson Valley Shared Ministry, Valemount

St. Peter’s and the other churches in Cariboo are sacred places, set aside by us to worship God and to continue God’s work ? They are the homes where the momentous events in our lives are celebrated in community, and they are the places where our past is revered, our present celebrated and our future assured ? The bell that is rung every Sunday at St. Peter’s was cast in 1801. It was given by the parish of Purley, England to share in the celebration of the original consecration of the church by the sisters and family of Basil Resker, the first rector. Another ‘asset’ to be pulled down and sold at auction ? that would be a great wrong.”

St. Peter’s, Williams Lake

“We feel our ministry of healing and reconciliation is being impeded by government-initiated court action. ? Members of this parish have sent over 100 letters to our federal politicians expressing our concerns.”

Church of Cleopas, Kamloops

“We realize that we can be God’s gathered people anywhere, but we are afraid that we will not have the strength to buy another piece of property and build another building. ? We hope that the Native people would seek healing in ways that will actually provide that healing.”

St. George’s, Kamloops


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