Anglican Bishop visits West Coast

Anglican Bishop of the Diocese of British Columbia and former minister of Ucluelet’s former St. Aidan’s on the Hill Church recently visited the West Coast.

Bishop Logan McMenamie oversees 46 parishes across Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and the mainland. 

“My role is to visit and have pastoral oversight over all those congregations,” he told the Westerly News. “The reason I’m here is to visit to visit the ministry that’s in Tofino and to visit the ministry that’s in Ucluelet and get to know what’s happening.”

McMenamie was a minister at St. Aidan’s in the 1980’s and said the West Coast carries an important significance in his life.

“Before I was consecrated a Bishop last year, I came on my retreat here because it was that important to me. This was a place that I wanted to come before I went on this new journey in my life,” he said adding that during his time as the local minister he found inspiration at Long Beach. 

“It used to be a place I would go every Saturday morning and sit there by myself and write my sermons for the weekend.”

St. Aidan’s was deconsecrated by the church in 2010 and sold to a developer in 2011. It has since become embroiled in a zoning dispute between its owner and the district.

McMenamie said he felt “sadness” to see the current state of the building he used to minister in but he was excited to see West Coast Reverend Will Ferrey working to reunite the congregation.

“St. Aidan’s congregation continues in a different shape and in a different form and I’m really grateful to Will for the work he’s done here to reestablish and draw people together, through bible study and through worship services, the ministry in Ucluelet because I think it’s really important for the community,” McMenamie said.

“All that stuff fits into our diocese’s vision that we’re working through at the moment of renewed spirits, renewed heart and renewed people. It’s a whole renewal of what church means for this generation and our day in age.”

Ferrey has brought Sunday services and Thursday bible studies to Ucluelet’s community centre for the local Anglican and United congregations.

McMenamie attended a Thursday bible study and said the small group has room to grow but is rich in leadership potential. 

“What I saw today was strong lay leadership,” he said.

“Another part of our vision as a diocese is a new understanding of lay ministry and lay leadership within our churches…and I think there is strong lay leadership so there’s a good potential here.”

While in Tofino, McMenamie visited with St. Columba’s parish council and was impressed.

“St. Columba’s building is important to the town of Tofino as an iconic location. It’s an iconic building for that community but there’s also a piece of work that’s really important which is to reach out into the community, beyond the walls of the building, and to minister to the population,” he said.

“The work that’s been done is very, very, good.”

McMenamie offered a ringing endorsement for Rev. Ferry, who arrived on the West Coast in 2013.

“If I had a vision for a priest in the West Coast here, and a vision for what a priest needed to do in the West Coast: the person’s connection with the community, the person’s knowledge of the community, the engagement of the community on a whole bunch of levels outside of Sunday morning, outside of church, Will is that,” he said.

“He also does a very good piece of work in the church and his leadership as a priest and also the work that I see him doing here in Ucluelet is a very important piece of work.”

Andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca