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While the congregation has been meeting for 230 years, the building, Trinity Church, in the Parish of Sussex, is 150 years old, which meant a celebration was in order.

It was held Feb. 24, with Archbishop David and wife Debbie Edwards in attendance, along with 96 others. The Rev. Dan McMullen welcomed everyone, noting many from the partner parishes of Waterford and St. Mark’s in attendance, as were several past clergy.

The Rev. Mike Caines attended, as Trinity is his home church. Many of the special guests offered readings during the service of Holy Eucharist.

As part of the service, Dan, David, the Rev. Canon Allen Tapley and crucifer Michael Dunfield travelled to the font, lectern and pulpit for prayers of blessing. 

“Don’t get too excited,” said Dan as he climbed to the pulpit. “You’ll never see me up here again!”

David surprised Gil Carter by awarding him a certificate of merit for the many years Gil has served on the Diocesan Finance Committee, many as its chair.

In his sermon, David spoke at length about the building and how and why it was designed as is.

The neo-gothic style was a favourite of Bishop John Medley, with the soaring arches and a ceiling that resembles an upturned hull of a boat. Medley’s son, Charles, was rector here when it was built.

“Bishop Medley was a Tractarian, also called the Oxford Movement,” said David.

They believed the Anglican Church had lost a lot of its rituals and what they called “the mystery of God” had been removed. They built churches to recapture that mystery, thus the dark and deep ceilings.

“He was the first Tractarian to become a bishop,” he said, adding he had the power to bring those beliefs into reality with church design.

The same design can be seen at the Church of the Ascension in nearby Apohaqui, and, of course, at Christ Church Cathedral, he said.

“With that high, dark ceiling, we lose the ability to see to the top,” he said. “The idea was we’re going up into the mystery of God. 

“The windows and arches point us that way as well. The purpose of the gothic revival was to do that.”

A century and a half ago, Trinity church was also a gathering place, with a tall spire that stood out on the landscape, he said.

“I’m reminded of the church being a gathering place,” he said. “Even the early church, the idea was to gather, worship God, then go out to declare the Good News of God. 

“We need to remember that. It’s not just about the gathering. It’s about the going out to take the message of peace and healing to others so they, too, can have an encounter with the mystery of God.”

After the service, everyone gathered in the hall for fellowship and refreshments. The Rev. Wally Corey, who was rector here from 1985-90, cut the cake.

“It was a wonderful day to celebrate 150 years of this building, and acknowledging a congregation over the past 230 years,” said Dan. “We’re thankful to the archbishop for the great message drawing our attention upwards.”

PHOTO CAPTIONS
1. Choir members Diane McKay and Lydia Janes during the recessional.
2.  Michael Dunfield, the Rev. Dan McMullen and Canon Allen Tapley during the blessing of the font.
3.  Gil Carter receives a certificate of merit from Archbishop David Edwards. Gil was cited for his years on the Diocesan Finance Committee, many of them spent as chair of the committee.
4.  Food and fellowship followed the anniversary service. Former rector the Rev. Wally Corey cut the cake.
McKnight photos

1 Comment


David Bell 21 days ago

Trinity was the first New Brunswick church in which no plaster was visible, only wood.


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