Anglicans support reverend at Oakville church
In the battle of duelling pastors at St. Hilda’s Anglican Church in Oakville yesterday, Rev. Paul Charbonneau pitched a shutout.
More than 100 members of his flock turned out for what could be the last service he celebrates at the half-century-old building.
It could be the last because the congregation has voted unanimously to split with the Anglican Church of Canada over several issues of fundamental faith.
Leaders of the Church’s Diocese of Niagara want to boot the congregation and Pastor Paul from the building.
The diocese parachuted in a relief reverend yesterday morning, ostensibly to preach to disenfranchised St. Hilda’s parishioners upset by the move.
The only problem? There weren’t any.
Sensing there would be rows of empty pews facing Rev. Brian Ruttan, the diocese made calls and sent e-mails to members of three area churches, enticing about two dozen strangers to fill the seats.
Half an hour after Ruttan left the building, the regulars took up their regular spots inside to keep the faith with Pastor Paul, who made few references to the dust-up with the diocese.