This year the congregation of St. Thomas, English Hr. West, is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of their new church. The former St. Thomas Church suffered significant damage during a major winter storm in January 1957. Rather than repair the old church, the congregation decided to build a new church.
In May 1960, the congregation was given permission by the Executive Committee of Synod Office, St. John’s, to build a new church. On May 22, 1960, the “Blessing of the Foundation Stone” took place at the site of the new church with Bishop John Meaden and Reverend Fred Oake officiating.
Shortly after, several men from the community of Rencontre East began building the church. The church was completed in the summer of 1961 but no service took place in the new church until January 1962.
The “Consecration” of the church took place on September 17, 1962 with Bishop R. L. Seaborn and Reverend J. A. Coffin officiating.
A 50th Anniversary Committee was formed some time ago to organize events/activities to mark this special occasion. On August 5, at 2 p.m. a special church service has been planned with Reverend Harold Brown, a former minister and the longest serving minister at the new church, as guest preacher. Also attending will be Bishop Eddie Marsh, a former bishop, and representing the current bishop, Bishop David Torraville.
Following the service a meal will be served to the children/youth in attendance. Then at 5 p.m. a supper (a ticketed event), will be served to those 18 years of age and older.
Also to mark the occasion, the committee has planned to publish a 12-page booklet containing a written and pictorial history of the 50 years of the church.