St. Olave’s is my home and has been the home of my family since Day 1. It all started out when my great grandmother Ester Howard (née Camplin) walked across the street at The Queensway to attend the first service at the original site down on Windermere. My great uncle, John Howard, was the first Rector’s Warden there under Mr. Sparks.
Years later, my grandmother Edna married my grandfather William Coates and in those years, the whole family attended the church. When the church purchased the land at 360 Windermere, my grandfather, a brick layer in the village, walked up daily with his level to make sure the building was being built properly. I’m very familiar with our history here.
My grandfather went on to be the People’s Warden for about 24 straight years and was a lay delegate to Synod for few years as well. I learned much from my grandparents and here I am today doing The Lord’s work because of their fine examples and dedication.
I was baptized by the Rev’d Sextus Stiles and confirmed and married by the Rev’d Dr. Wigmore. And I hope that when my time comes, the Rev’d Robert Mitchell will be here to preside over my last service at St. Olave’s. The teachings from St. Olave’s are the very basis of how I live my life.
I love the parish and the congregation and have spent extended periods of time each week a number of years ago, working on functions to grow the congregation and organize social events, fund raisers, dances, picnics and sporting events that everyone could participate in. I do the Easter Egg Hunt and give out candy canes at the Christmas Eve family service each year.
September 2019 marked my 43rd year of being vested and working the services here. To some, I’m a Lay Anointer, to others, I minister to the sick and shut-ins and yet to others, I’m a sociable fellow with a fairly wild sense of humour. The prayer book is very important to me and I take it with me always. The gothic architecture of the church enhances each and every service, as does the organ. I enjoy each and every service I attend and I always feel the Real Presence during each service. I still feel 10 feet tall, very good and whole every time I leave the church.
St. Olave’s is my home, my life, my inspiration and who I am.