– Anglican Parishes of Musquodoboit and Ship Harbour
How it All Began
When our Diocesan Bishop was the Rt. Rev. Fred Hiltz (now Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada) in 2003, he had a vision for our parishes that we could come together in worship. That seed of an idea lay germinating until the time was fulfilled.
In 2009 we began the conversation. Ship Harbour was struggling financially; Musquodoboit had an abundance of clergy leadership. With the approval the Diocesan Bishop Bishop Sue Moxley, the two Parishes began to discuss how we could make this happen. Priest-in-Charge, the Rev. Paul Findlay left the Ship Harbour Parish at the end of the year. Clergy leadership was then provided by Rector, Rev. Tricia Ingram, with Assistant Priests, Rev. Marilyn Murphy, Rev. Dr. Mike Foley.
We came together as a family of faith for the first time to meet with the Anglican Churches of Pictou County (ACPC) representatives and Archdeacon Peter Armstrong to hear their story and listen to their recommendations. One thing they recommended was that we come together regularly to worship and celebrate our union. There was music, presentations, laughter and of course, food. From that meeting we formed a Steering Committee with representation from both Parishes.
At our respective Annual Meetings in 2010, we agreed to embark on this shared journey.
Meetings were held between various Parish groups: steering committee, treasurers, layreaders, spiritual development and pastoral care. The happiest group to meet was the treasurers as payment of clergy stipend, housing, travel and parish allotment was shared. Both parish treasurers were able to forecast a balanced budget.
The clergy team always met several times a month, and this continues as we discussed plans for the shared ministry.
Our musical groups, the Steeple Chasers of Ship Harbour and the Parish People of Musquodoboit had already sung together on many occasions and were delighted to come together on a more regular basis during joint service. Music has really been the key in bringing us together.
Our spiritual development team consisting of Sunday School teachers, music leaders, Layreaders meets at the beginning of each church season to plan the worship schedules, the fund raising events and to discuss in great detail our joint services. We have been worshipping together three times a year. We have held services in each parish; in June for the Sunday School closing at Webbers Campground with a picnic to close. One joint service was a special baptism at St. James, Dolby Hill and Bishop Sue Moxley was there to preach. Another joint service saw us bringing sun flower signs and Flat Stanley and Flat Janes who had been to Synod and were visiting with us. Sun flower seeds were handed out and we rejoiced when we saw sunflowers blooming along the Eastern Shore. One service at St. Stephen focused on the food bank when the Sunday School children stacked cans of donated food high around the font. At St. John’s Oyster Pond, we were greeted by Jacob’s Ladders and Angels.