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An idea for a pilot project turned into a great blessing this summer in the Parish of Shediac.

The parish rented a cottage near their church in Shediac Cape for two weeks and invited two clergy families to come and stay, no strings attached.

“The idea came from the Ministry and Mission Committee of the parish,” said the Ven. Brent Ham, parish rector. 

The parish earns income from land leases, and uses some of the money for missions — in this case, a cottage rental.

Brent finds it more than a coincidence that at the same time they were mulling over this plan, a cottage owner approached him with a similar idea. 

Renting such a cottage is out of the question for most clergy.

“To get a waterfront cottage in Shediac in prime season — $2,000 a week is not unheard of,” said Brent.

The cottage, at 78 Chandler Road, Shediac Cape, has three bedrooms and a large deck, and is just down the lane from St. Martin in-the-Woods Anglican Church. It was built in 1951 for the Rev. Canon Sydenham Lindsay and his wife, Millicent. Sydenham served in Quebec, but Millicent’s great-grandfather, William Hanington, was a founder of Shediac.

Despite the cottage being virtually next door to the parish church, there was no expectation from the parish.

“No one was asked to do services. It was not a trade,” said Brent. “It was just for relaxation.”

Choosing who to bless was largely left to a higher power.

“Based on some advice and input from the bishop, the parish selected,” said Brent. “He’s got the bigger picture.”

One factor in the decision-making was to focus on families that might not be able to enjoy such a gift on their own. 

The aim all along has been to bless clergy. 

“Our goal was just to care for our clergy and share the blessings,” said Brent. “We really value the leadership in our diocese and wanted to bless them.

“This was a two-week pilot project,” said Brent, adding he’s hopeful the Ministry and Mission Committee will want to continue the project next year.

The Rev. Canon Bonnie LeBlanc and the Rev. Bob LeBlanc spent the last week of August watching the sunrise over Shediac Bay from their bed, enjoying the bird life, sitting on the deck watching the boats, water skiers and jet skis go by, and entertaining friends and family.

“Just another day in paradise!” said Bob when telephoned for comment.

The location was perfect as they both have family in Nova Scotia who made the trip to visit. 

“It’s so relaxing,” said Bonnie. “It’s a lovely cottage. Somebody is very good at interior design.

“I don’t know how many times I’ve said this, but we are so blessed. We’re very grateful.”

Kristen, Eli, Jeremy, and Olivia Springthorpe spent a week in early July, enjoying the weather, nearby tourist activities and the ocean. After having lost husband and father Jonathon in April, it was a cherished time to relax together.

“The use of the Shediac cottage was a huge blessing for our family,” said Kristen. “It was gifted to us at a time when our family needed a kind of respite and time away in a new-to-us place.  

“The cottage itself is quite charming. The peaceful surroundings lend itself to rest and quality family time. We are very grateful for the time we spent there.”  

1. Olivia Springthorpe surveys the activity on Shediac Bay during her family’s week at the cottage in Shediac Cape.
2. Bob and Bonnie LeBlanc, both priests in the diocese, though Bonnie is retired, enjoyed a week in August, complete with sunshine, comfort and visits from family and friends.
3 & 4. The view from the cottage shows Shediac Bay, and on the opposite shore, Pointe-du-Chêne.
All photos submitted.

1 Comment

Russ Brown about 2 months ago

What a God Blessed terrific idea!!!!!!!!!!

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