Friends are like family members, ever ready to give you their priceless advice. Ed, my old friend in Saskatchewan, asked me yesterday if I saw the headline, "Wanna buy a church?" in the Sept. 24 Melville Advance. When I said I had, Ed was all for me purchasing the former St. Michael's and All Angels Anglican Church and turning it into a home for my wife and me.
I told Ed I knew of the beautiful character of the church as a building. To me, the beautiful wooden ceiling and lead glass windows are priceless. I am torn to hear the historic building will not be maintained as a heritage site. A building dating from 1885 deserves to be preserved. It seems to me it could be an excellent tourist attraction and a possible location for private weddings and other limited events.
Ed dismissed my thoughts, saying that I don't want the pulpit to be empty with no one preaching at a captive audience. I reminded Ed that if he bought the church, he could preach at Ruby, his wife, from the pulpit as it stays with the building. Ed assured me he did not want the building, but it would be perfect for me as a retired preacher and history nut.
This retired preacher prays that whoever buys this beautiful building will love and honour its history and unparalleled uniqueness.
It is necessary to speak not only of the building as a former church but what that means. The church building at 727 Anderson St., Grenfell, became the house of worship for a group of Anglicans beginning in 1885. From then until 2021, believers in Christ gathered in the building named St. Michael and All Angels as a spiritual body of faith around God’s Word and sacraments. The word Anglican refers to being part of a church body or organization with a distinct name and body of doctrine.
The name for the former congregation is most interesting. St. Michael is pictured as a defender of God’s people. The angel Michael is mentioned three times in the Book of Daniel. There Michael is the protector of the Jews in the Babylonian Captivity. In the New Testament, Michael leads God's armies against Satan's forces in the Book of Revelation, defeating Satan. Also, in the Epistle of Jude, Michael is explicitly called the Archangel Michael.
The word angel means messenger, and angels were created by God and used in the Bible to announce important events in God's working of our salvation. God has many good and mighty angels who serve Him and help us. Unfortunately, some angels rebelled against God and are devils and demons who hate God and seek to destroy good, especially faith in Christ. (2 Peter 2:4 reference)
In 1885 and today, our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil. (Eph. 6:12 reference) There is only one church, a spiritual body of believers in Christ. (Eph. 2:19-22 reference) He is the head, cornerstone, and foundation on which we are to build our lives. Cleansed by His blood, we serve God with holy living. (Titus 2:14 reference)