An annual interfaith service to mark the beginning of the navigation season on the Great Lakes will return to St. Paul's Anglican Church in Point Edward following a two-year pause caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The annual Mariners' Service will be held on Sunday, March 5 at 10 a.m.
Archdeacon Kristen Aikman said it will be nice to welcome residents once again after recent services to mark the shipping season were held online.
"Last year was such an utter disappointment when we had to cancel the service right before the service started because we were locked down again," Aikman said. "So this year, it's such a wonderful relief to be back to our usual service and welcoming folks into our church."
The remaining capacity restrictions on religious services and ceremonies weren't lifted in Ontario until March 14, 2022.
Aikman said Sunday's service will be similar to ones held in past years with the cadets and various mariners organizations.
"We have actually a special music group from the Lambton County Brass quintet, they're going to be playing for us this year. I was just in the church listening to them and they sound fantastic!"
St. Paul's Anglican Church has a long-standing history in the community and was often referred to as the "sailors' church" from 1868 until 1902 due to its location.
"The church was originally over on Livingston Street and the peak of the church was used by ships coming in before there was a lighthouse. Then they actually moved the church by logs and rolled it over to its new spot, here on Michigan Avenue," said Aikman.
A social hour will be held after Sunday's service where attendees can view some of the artifacts associated with marine history on display in St. Paul's heritage room.
Lieutenant Commander Rodney J.R. Turcotte will be the guest speaker. He began his uniformed career in 1981 as a sea cadet, before he enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces reserves as an officer with the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet program.