WARDENS’ ANNUAL REPORT—2019:
Doreen Davidson, Incumbent’s Warden—Walter Stewart, People’s Warden
At the end of the first complete year of Gyllian’s incumbency, the parish remains committed to the Diocesan Vision of Renewed Hearts, Renewed Spirits, Renewed People and to living our parish vision:
To be a spiritual home for all who seek peace, justice, and community
To be a place of healing for those hurt by the Church
To be an asset of great value to our island home
To be a living testimony to the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ
To be a place to discover and become who God calls us to be
We take this opportunity to express thankfulness to the members of Parish Council—Anne Clapham, Lolla Devindisch, Lynne Fraser, Elaine Hunt, John Metzger, Michael Pidgeon, Sue Savage, and Jim Smith—for their support and hard work; to Andrew Peat, our Treasurer, who knows the intricacies of our parish finances and keeps us on track; to Dale Storm, the efficient administrator of our parish and Eva Lam, her assistant, who keep us up to date and always smiles! This year we welcomed Gillian Pierson as cleaner and Bill Morrison as maintenance person and are thankful for their knowledge and excellent work.
We are grateful for Gyllian Davies’ leadership in worship and pastoral care, and to David Storm, who brings worship to life with music for the services. We give thanks for the faithfulness and delightful harmonies of our choir. And, we are thankful for the retired clergy in our midst—Dennis Hayden, Richard Stetson, Elaina Hyde, Chas Belknap, and Sarah Belknap, as well as Juli Mallett (diocesan clergy)—who have been willing to step in when needed for services, and to Bob Wild for his continued prayerful support of the parish.
The first highlight of 2019 was the induction of Gyllian Davies as incumbent of the parish on Saturday, March 9th with Bishop Logan as celebrant. This was followed by a reception put on by the Anglican Caterers.
In June we celebrated the 125th Anniversary of St. Mary, Fulford Harbour, with a service and picnic.
On Thanksgiving weekend in October, we celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the moving and transformation of St. George’s into the building of All Saints by-the-Sea and subsequent dedication (see separate report on p. 26.)
Although we have welcomed several new parishioners this year, the membership of the Parish decreased by 26 during the year. There were significant losses through death (6) and moving off-island (11). The average attendance at Sunday services at All Saints decreased from 86 to 79. The attendance at St Mark's and St. Mark’s services held at All Saints averaged 10. Services were held at St. Mary's on Easter and Christmas Eve, with a special service for the 125th Anniversary in June. Increased numbers of parishioners are taking advantage of direct debit (electronic collection plate), which ensures a constant income to the Parish.
With decreased numbers and an aging congregation—56% of the parish are over 70 while one-third of the parish are over 80 years, with several nonagenarians—we are increasingly challenged. God’s faithfulness is our blessing and strength as we move forward this year. Our thanks go out to all of you for your faithful stewardship of the Anglican Parish of Salt Spring Island in time, talent, and money which makes the role of warden in this place a joy—the yoke is easy and the burden is light.