Time-hon­oured Christ­mas Ser­vice this Satur­day in Way’s Mills

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Vic­to­ria Vanier

Peo­ple from near and far, of all re­li­gious back­grounds, are in­vited to at­tend the an­nual Christ­mas Carol Ser­vice that is held in the 123 year-old pi­o­neer church in Way’s Mills: the Church of the Epiphany.

This year’s ser­vice takes place on Satur­day, De­cem­ber 14th, be­gin­ning at 4:00 pm, and of­fi­ci­at­ing Min­is­ter Rev­erend Bar­bara Win­tle hopes the church will, once again, be full. “We hope to have a good crowd. You don’t have to be Angli­can or United or any­thing; it’s just a Christ­mas Ser­vice open to any­one who wants to come,” said Rev­erend Win­tle.

At­tend­ing this spe­cial ser­vice is like go­ing to church in the 1800’s, ex­cept for the flash­lights. Be­cause the church has no elec­tric­ity, the ser­vice takes place un­der the warm glow of oil lamps. Those at­tend­ing bring flash­lights to read along with the lessons and sing Christ­mas car­ols. Chil­dren are par­tic­u­larly wel­come at this ser­vice and those who at­tend are in­vited up to help light the Ad­vent can­dles.

“We’ll take the “Jour­ney to Beth­le­hem” as we al­ways do,” said Rev­erend Win­tle from her home in Ayer’s Cliff. Along the way, the au­di­ence will meet Adam and Eve, Isa­iah, Abraham and Sarah, Ja­cob and David, Zachariah and El­iz­a­beth, the An­gel Gabriel, the an­gels and the Wise Men.

As is tra­di­tional, June Pat­ter­son, of Coat­i­cook, will play the church’s pump or­gan. “We’re lucky to have June; there aren’t many peo­ple who know how to play the pump or­gan,” said Rev­erend Win­tle.

Once the car­ols have all been sung, a so­cial gath­er­ing with re­fresh­ments, gra­ciously pro­vided by the com­mu­nity of Way’s Mills and the vicin­ity, will take place in the com­mu­nity hall on the other side of the bridge, within walk­ing dis­tance of the church.

A fundrais­ing drive has been go­ing for a few years now to pre­serve this beau­ti­ful jewel of a church. Restora­tive work needs to be done to the wooden ex­te­rior walls, the stained glass win­dow, the in­te­rior walls, the roof and the bell tower. Ac­cord­ing to the web­site of the Church, $60,000 has been raised so far, just $5000 short of what’s needed to re­ceive an ad­di­tional amount of $150,500 from the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment. Two re­cent ‘emer­gency’ grants have al­lowed some much­needed work to be­gin on the church spire. Do­na­tions can be made at the an­nual Christ­mas Carol Ser­vice or on the Church of the Epiphany web­site.

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