Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 57 > Page 54 - William Y. Porter & South Head Church

Page 54 - William Y. Porter & South Head Church

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1991/6/1 (245 reads)

prayer books here than in any other of the stations and used them well as the responding was very general... Attendance the next morn? ing was twenty seven." On a visitation to Cape Breton, In July of 1855, the Right Reverend Hibbert Binney, then bishop of Nova Scotia for four years, consecrat? ed the church and conducted a confirmation service. Reverend Port? er assisting. Many of the ancestors of present parishioners would have attended that service. There is the story that when Bishop Bin? ney arrived at the church there was no cross. He asked whether or not he was to consecrate a barn (the bishop was known for his forth- rlghtness). As a result, some of the men went out into the woods and made a cross out of wood and gave It to the good bishop, who then proceeded with the service. Meanwhile, William Y. Porter was building up the church In other mis? sion stations. In 1854, he "endeavoured at getting a portion of the chil? dren at Big Glace Bay for catechism." He was amazed at how well the children were Instructed. He could never forget 'Ihe bright eyes of the children" when he questioned them on their catechism. The parishion? ers in that year commenced the construction of a chapel schoolhouse, a frame building twenty six by eighteen. This building was intended as a temporary church. The missionary reported to the bishop in 1854 that "Mr. William Boutilier has already given a deed of two acres of land for the purpose of building a church and I believe your lordship approved of It as a site when you lately held confirmation there." There were plans to have a small recess or chancel nine feet square in the chapel school, only open at the time of divine services. In his report of a visit in 1855, Reverend Porter listed as significant events in that year the admission of eighteen new communicants and the continued constmction of the little chapel. Writing In January, 1858, his last report before his tragic death. Reverend Porter stated that this church was still under construction and it was the hope that they could use the chapel for divine service by the winter. It is there? fore not clear when or if this chapel school was consecrated. We do know that it gave way to St. Luke's during the tenure of Reverend ~ I Croucher.... 'y' jnn s Crajt' Shop & ART GALLERY FINE HANDCRAFTS & PAINTINGS INGONISH 285-2735 It is important for us to real? ize how dependent the mis? sionaries at that time were on the SPG and the Dioces? an Society for stipend. The constant theme running through Rev. Porter's letters was the abject povery of his parishioners; hence, their in? ability to pay a missionary. Constantly, we hear expres? sions such as "our poor flock." In 1844 he reported WHALE WATCH Daily Trips July & August: 10:00 a.m. • 1:30 p.m. • 4:30 p.m. (Weather permitting. Call for times in June and September.) For Confirmation of (Qf0 QttQ OQAI Times and Reservations: V'''l 000-??,V0 I 2 1/2-hour cruise • frequent sightings of Minke Whales. Pilot Whales, Dolphins, Fin Whales that the people were poor and could offer him only produce. He col? lected that year only ??2 towards his stipend. He said: "It only remains for bespeak your sympathies and prayers for this most desti? tute and struggling portion of Christ's Church and for those who are feebly and yet prayerfully contending, in this, the most exposed of her outposts, for the faith once delivered to the saints." In 1847 and 1848 he spoke of the failure of the potato crop and the low price of fish: "In my humble opinion this Island has become so impov? erished as to require years for recovering even its fomrier very humble measure of prosperity." He tried to help the afflicted families. In fact. It was impossible to proceed with the construction of the church at Cow Bay (South Head) any faster because of the extreme poverty. The year 1859 was fateful for William Porter. He had written in 1858 that he felt that the time was approaching when he must give way to others, for he was sixty-two years of age and the life of a travelling The Markland a coastal resort Re Lelax in our luxury log suites and dine on our gourmet food featuring local fish and lamb. Ahrill to the play of light and shadow as they dance over the northern seascape. For reservations in the Maritimes call 1-800-565-0000. Or asl( the operator for your toil free Checit Inn number. Local phone (902) 383-2246 Cabot Trail, Dingwall, Nova Scotia, BOC IGO, Canada STOP AT DINO'S fresh baked goods * souvenirs magazines * film * charcoal gifts * novels * camp fuel * ice Ingonish One Stop Store & Restaurant STAY AT DINO'S Trailer Park Laundromat close to the National Park Ingonish Heading for the Top of the Map: Down North
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