St. James and St. Brendan celebrating 150th anniversary
Pictured from left are St. James St. Brendan Anglican Church warden Jim Allen, 150th anniversary committee member Leslie Kennedy, Rev. Robert Hurkmans and parishioners Michelle Loeffen, her three-month old son Ethan and Ethel Birrell. (SARAH FERGUSON Tribune Staff)
Ethel Birrell doesn’t feel right if she misses Sunday church services.
“If I don’t get to church on Sunday, I’m all mixed up,” 96-year-old Birrell said.
“I go to church because it makes me feel good. I always feel so much better after I’ve been here. I think everyone does.”
The parishioner has been a member of St. James and St. Brendan Anglican Church for 92 years. She is looking forward to celebrating its sesquicentennial anniversary.
St. James Anglican Church found its beginnings in 1858 when the Union Church, representing the Protestant denominations of Port Colborne, was built at 55 Charlotte St.
Rev. W.E. Cooper was appointed the first Anglican minister to conduct Anglican services in the church.
Fast forward to 2006 and the parishes of St. James and St. Brendan joined together. Rev. Robert Hurkmans has been leading services ever since.
With a week-long list of events planned for the church’s 150th anniversary from Saturday to Sunday, Sept. 22, Hurkmans encourages the church community and the public to celebrate the milestone.
The public is invited to an evening hymn sing on Tuesday from 7:30 to 9, to the Three Cantors in concert on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and a grand celebration pig roast and barn dance on Sept. 22 at 3 p.m.
Hurkmans said St. James and St. Brendan Church is just as strong as ever, with 250 families on the parishioner roll.
“I may be a little biased, but I think we have a pretty strong church community. Every year we welcome new members with a service and there are always 10 or 15 new members at least.”
As for the future, Hurkmans said he hopes the church continues to flourish for another 150 years.
“People die, some move away but babies are always being born and people are moving to Port Colborne. Our parish family is quite diverse and very strong.”
St. James and St. Brendan Anglican Church 150th celebrations
Church Family Reunion at the Guild Hall for parishioners from 2 to 5 p.m.
Bishop Michael Bird will celebrate with a church service 10 a.m. Luncheon to follow. Register ahead.
Evening Hymn Sing from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The Three Cantors in Concert, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 each by calling the church office at 905-834-3184.
Sunday, Sept. 22
Mass to be held at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. Parish youth will be burying a time capsule following church services.
The grand finale Celebration Pig Roast and Barn Dance will be held at Jubilee Acres at 3 p.m. Register ahead.
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