Bishop's Cycle Ride DAY 7 ends
Day 7 began with prayers and a meeting in the Church of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary in Govan Saskatchewan (photo). It was a poignant start to day. 8 plus Nigel and myself gathered in this beautiful building, a worshipping centre that has, in its day, been a vibrant faith community. Sadly, due to depopulation only one of those gathered yesterday now live in the town of Govan.
Though the part of the church seen in the photo is in good condition, the west wall, attached hall, and roof are in need of repair. With only $500 left in the bank and the fact that there has not been a service here for over two years, those gathered made the heart rendering decision to petition to disestablish as a congregation, sell the building and to join the congregation in Nokomis 22km to the North.
Such decisions are not taken lightly, this church like many other rural churches has been a place where people have come too faith, been baptized, confirmed, married and had their funerals. So many memories, so many life and God moments, in places like these.
Needless to say I devoted my ride yesterday to this church and to many like it. The ride itself was one borne in the heat and though the wind had died down there was a heaviness in my soul.
I pray the Lord brings vision, hope and a new home to all affected by the economic and strategic decisions made across this beautiful land.
When a town loses its school it seems to create an exodus with little hope of attracting new families. The same can be said of towns that lose a church. I pray that we as a diocese never forget the remnant that do stay in a community even though a church has closed.
It was highly symbolic that at 70km yesterday I suffered another puncture which ended our journey. However whether we have a bike or a church to hand, the journey will continue, and journey we will, even if it is with a different bike or church.
You remain in my prayers.
May God bless you all