It seems our little town is keen on community this holiday season. On Friday afternoon, St. Mark’s Anglican Church opened its heavy, historic doors to locals and encouraged people of all ages to help decorate their community tree.
St. Mark’s congregation member Lynne Legallais says this is hopefully the first year of many the church will hoist an enormous Christmas tree for the public to decorate and enjoy. The tree itself was “the largest we could find in the St. Davids Lions Club lot,” she says. “We wanted to support their wonderful work in the community.”
Faith Jago, another member, laughingly says it all started with a “big mistake” — she sat next to Legallais at a parish meeting. Someone asked if there would be a seasonal bake sale, and Legallais leaned over to Jago and said, “We’ve got to do something.” And the community tree idea was born.
“We decided to open it up to the whole community,” says Legallais. “We wanted to show that St. Mark’s is a warm and caring place — and fun, too!”
The parish hall was set up with tables of bake sale goods and refreshments, as well as well-stocked tables of crafting supplies for children to create their own tree ornaments. The proceeds from the bake sale go to the Syrian refugee program created and managed by parishioner Virginia Mainprize. The craft table was popular with the dozen or so children in attendance — including Clare Cameron and family.
Says Legallais, “It was wonderful to see so many little ones in the church.” She says she was dreaming of the bottom branches of the tree being filled with colourful handmade ornaments — because that’s where the children could reach to place their creations.
Rev. William Roberts, rector at St. Mark’s for two years now, says he’s always amazed by his congregation. “So many people with so many interests and ideas — a real grassroots community.”
Approximately 70 people attended the tree trimming — including lord mayor Betty Disero and Coun. Gary Burroughs. Music director Jim Bourne played seasonal music on the church organ to add to the festive feel of the day. “Whether you were five or 75, you had a good time,” says Legallais. “It was a joyous afternoon.”