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In this episode of Church and Main, I share a story that's brimming with hope, resilience, the power of community, and the power of the Spirit.
In 2019, the National Trust for Canada predicted the closure of 9,000 churches and faith-owned buildings over the next decade. This trend is also seen in the United States, especially in the wake of COVID-19. But what if I told you that amidst these closures, there's a story of a church that reopened its doors and thrived?
Meet Grayhame Bowcott, an Anglican priest who played a pivotal role in the reopening of Saint Anne's Anglican Church in Port Franks, Ontario. Despite starting with no money and only six members, the congregation grew to 55 regular attendees within two years.
The Story of Saint Anne's is a tale of a community coming together to renovate a neglected building and transform it into a thriving place of worship. From an anonymous donation of a furnace to a big turkey pot pie dinner, this rebirth of this congregation is a testament to the power of faith and community.
Grayhame Bowcott is currently the Rector of St. George's in the Anglican Parish of The Blue Mountains, Ontario. Grayhame is also cross-appointed in the position of Program Director for the Licentiate of Theology Program and Lifelong Learning at Huron University. This role combines his research interests in studying trends of Church Membership in Canada, enabling vocational leaders in the local Church and helping students of theology to access education, even in remote areas. We talk about his time at St. Annes and why the future of mainline churches in North America doesn’t have to be about just closing churches but can be about evangelism, mission, and church planting.
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