At time of posting, our Anniversary Sunday Service is just 42 days away…
All Saints is fast approaching the final months of its year-long celebration. Recently, the parish has enjoyed an outstanding Victorian Tea, a colourful Spiritwear Sunday, a successful Doors Open, and a gorgeous fall Flower Festival. There have been wonderful Sunday visits from former clergy including the Reverends Roney, Davis, Kinghan, Barlow, and Loughrey. The former Trent-Durham Bishop Linda Nicholls celebrated Palm Sunday at All Saints, and Archbishop Colin Johnson made a memorable and meaningful visit on Pentecost Sunday. The parish hall has been furnished with sesquicentennial mugs; All Saints parishioners were featured guests at a Whitby Brass Band concert; and in partnership with the Town of Whitby, All Saints planted a tree in memory of deceased parishioners.
There is still so much more to come in the weeks ahead, but as this ambitious and event-filled year culminates, one wonders : “Where do we go from here? What awaits this parish next year? Or in the next ten years? Or in the next fifty?”
At the inaugural meeting of the 150th planning committee in October 2014, the chairperson remarked that an anniversary year
is not only a chance to honour the early church founders and generations of past members, but also is a way to commit to holding ourselves and future generations in loving accountability with one another. And it’s an opportunity to publicly recognize that it is entirely through God’s grace and faithfulness that we are here.
These words and sentiments have been echoed in the sermons of our Incumbent and the many guest clergy who participated in the anniversary year. We have borne witness in this year to the legacy of 150 years of ministry in this community. But it is not enough to congratulate ourselves for the blessings of the past. The legacy comes with responsibility, a charge to the present-day members and friends of All Saints. Going forward beyond this wonderful year, the church is called upon to commit to being passionately spiritual, transformatively missional, and profoundly engaged in its future as part of the family of God in Whitby.
The Rutledge Window ~ The Road to Emmaus: This window on the west wall by the pulpit (pictured at left) is a memorial to James Rutledge, a lawyer, dedicated churchman, and mayor of Whitby. Rutledge served as Churchwarden several times in All Saints’ history, beginning in 1884. The window depicts Jesus, having joined the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, being entreated to stay the night, and rest. There are similarities in the style, energy and Scriptural theme between the Rutledge/Emmaus window and the Channen/Empty Tomb window, which is further along the west wall. During his Incumbency at All Saints, the Rev. Channen was known to base an Easter season homily on the Rutledge window. It is interesting and fitting that the Channen memorial window should complement the Rutledge memorial window in this way.
The Goode Window ~ “Come Unto Me/ Behold, I Knock”: This east-wall window (pictured at right) is in memory of Henry H. Goode, 1879–1966 and his wife Dana Louisa Goode, 1887–1969. Mr. Goode is remembered as a quiet man, who willingly served wherever needed. Mrs. Goode was once president of the Afternoon Guild and of the Chancel Guild. She often hosted Afternoon Tea Parties in her home to raise money to purchase altar linens. The window pairs two depictions of Christ—on one side, the humble Christ with outstretched arms, based on Matthew 11:28; and on the other, Christ the King with lantern in hand, as described in Revelation 3:20.
The Hawke Window (pictured below) is sometimes called the Ruby Window. The vivid red sets it apart from any of the others in the church. It is on the east side of the church ad when the morning sun shines through, the stained glass is remarkably bright and often paints the pews with rose-coloured patches. The window is in memory of Anthony Bewden Hawke, who was chief emigration agent for Upper Canada and Britain from 1835 onward. He died in Whitby in 1867. His initials are visible in the left window panel opposite a silhouette of an eagle, symbol of St John the Divine, in the right. In the circular window above is a verse from Proverbs: “The memory of the just is blessed.” Learn more about A.B. Hawke and the Ontario Emigrant Office.
Entering our lovely church each Sunday through the front doors, many walk right by a piece of the ecclesiastical furnishing that is used exclusively for one of the two sacraments of the Anglican Church. One sacrament is, of course, Holy Communion. So what is the other sacrament, and what item in the nave am I referencing? If you guessed the sacrament of Baptism and our beautiful baptismal font, you are correct. Well Done! Three Weatherbottom points to you!
As in many Roman and Anglican churches, our font stands at the entryway to the church. Its placement represents how one enters the faith. As we step into the church, we pass the font where Baptism allows each new Christian an entryway into the family of God.
Having survived our church’s more recent fire (albeit with some telltale discolouration), our font was carved from stone and donated by Richard Wolfenden in January of 1869. Around the outside you’ll find inscribed these words: “Suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not.” The cover was not added until 1927. It was carved in oak and donated in memory of Ann Rabeth Wright, the wife of the then Rector. The brass basin for the font was donated in 1917, in memory of Ashleigh Rice who was killed in action.
Our 137-year-old font is in continuing use today. I am sometimes asked if it is permissible to use a more portable font at the front of the church. Though this is certainly quite possible, for those who are more traditionally liturgical in their approach to the sacrament, the choice is clear—baptismal candidates enter into their convenant with God in the place where they enter into God’s church.
~Bertie Weatherbottom, Notes & Queries Reporter for the 150th