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A day of joy, hope and sadness for

Bishop David Edwards
By Ana Watts

Bishop David Edwards remembers Saturday, Sept. 20, the day of his consecration and installation as our diocesan bishop, with joy, hope Consecration of Bishop David Edwardsand sadness. “When I arrived for the consecration service rehearsal at St. Dunstan’s Church at 9:30 that morning, Archbishop Claude greeted me with the news that St. John the Evangelist, the parish church in Edmundston, had been severely damaged by fire over night.”

But the memories of the services in Fredericton fill him with joy. “It was a marvelous day and, in many ways, it struck a chord which I hope will be a feature of my time as your bishop. The services were both very Jesus-centred and, in leaving St. Dunstan's and processing to our cathedral, we symbolically travelled beyond our walls into the community. In Reception on Cathedral Greeneaddition we were able to gather together as members of the diocesan church to celebrate and to look forward. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who participated in any way with my consecration and installation on Saturday.”

(In the photo at the top, Archbishop Percy Coffin (facing the camera) and the other bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada lay hands on him in consecration. Below, members of the diocesan family gather on the Cathedral Green to celebrate.)

Monday saw Bishop Edwards in Edmundston. “I went to see the St. John the Evangelist destroyed by firedamaged church building. People were obviously shocked at the turn of events. Remarkably some things had survived. These include a crystal cross and the crèche figures.” In this photo the Rev. Deacon Fran Bedell, deacon-in-charge of the Parish of Madawaska, holds a camel from the crèche. The other photo shows the devastation of the church building.

“It will be a while before the congregation can worship in their own building again, but they are beginning to see the possibilities of new life coming from the darkness of the charred remains. Yet again we see hope being restored. Let us covenant together to pray for our brothers and sisters in Edmundston as they pass through this time. Let us pray that they may keep the faith, listen for the Spirit, trust in Jesus and know the love of the Father.”

Last Saturday’s fire in the church was the second blow for the people in Edmundston. “Two weeks previously I visited them for Sunday worship to discover that their hall had been burnt. It seems that both events may be due to arson.”

Diocesan Communications
23 September 2014