2016 – the year of remembering and celebration in Cottam

By Bill Jackson

The 150th anniversary celebration at Trinity Anglican Church, Cottam, was officially concluded on December 18 with a service of prayers of thanksgiving for the past members who built the first Trinity Church.

Through entire 2016 we showed everyone that TrCottam, Trinity 1-webinity Anglican Church is alive and well. Margaret Brackell was in charge of writing and publishing our history book. Margaret completed her task with accuracy and love for her church. Mrs. Ruth Battersby, a local artist, painted the church, and we sold prints as a fund raiser.

In February, we showed videos of the talent show and fashion show held for our 125th Anniversary. April saw Bob Garrett, the son of Robert and Evelyn Garrett, who were loving members of our congregation, writing two songs and singing them to our complete enjoyment. In May, we spent our service telling stories of the church from 1866 to 2016. The next Sunday, we held a memorial tree planting with dedications to former members. It was a wonderful replacement for the trees we lost the previous year.

Pat Jackson and Tom Schinkelshoek worked together to provide the community with an old fashion country fair during the Cottam-wide yard sale held in June. The looks on the children’s faces when they lined up for the free rides and games was out of this world. Rev. Chris had made arrangements for 24 members of St. Paul’s Cathedral choir to help us celebrate with a choral evening prayer service. The production was held on June 12.

In September, all of Cottam enjoyed Margaret and Howard Brackell and Diane Newman presenting our float in their Annual Rotary Club Parade. One side of the float depicted church life in 1866 and the other side in 2016. We showed everyone that Trinity Anglican Church is alive and well. Ann Dresser, our music director and Trinity’s choir and friends, provided the congregation with an old hymn sing, with music from long ago right up to the present. This was fantastic and the focal point of our celebrations.

On November 22, 1866, the first Bishop of the Diocese of Huron, Rt. Rev. Benjamin Cronyn, consecrated the newly built Trinity Anglican Church. Back in November 27, 1866, a snow storm and the threat of the Fenian Raids, prevented the priest from making it to Cottam from Colchester for the first official service in the new church, and the great, great grandfather of Bill Jackson, both Lay Readers at Trinity, officiated at a morning prayer service. To celebrate, Bill gave a morning prayer service on Sunday, November 27, 2016, in memory of his great, great grandfather John Jackson.

Our anniversary banquet was held at Kingsville Golf and Country Club, thanks to Richard and Jacqueline Banwell. Fifty people enjoyed a turkey dinner and listened to Rev. Loretta Zimmerman and John Postons, who are past clergy of our Parish, talk about their experiences while they were at Trinity. Retired Bishop Bob Bennett was able to join us for the banquet and gave us great conversation. The next day being Sunday, November 20, Bishop Bob officiated at our Service of Thanksgiving. A coffee hour followed the service and everyone enjoyed a piece of delicious “Happy Anniversary” cake made by Terry Murdoch and given to Trinity by St. Paul’s, Essex, our sister church.

We would like to thank Delys Cowan for co-ordinating the use of period costumes from the John R. Park Homestead, and the Essex and Community Historical Research Society. The congregation dressed in costume at several events during the year. We would also thank the members of Trinity 150th Anniversary Committee – Bill Jackson, Richard and Jacqueline Banwell, Tom and Kay Schinkelshoek, Margaret Brackell, Grace Boose, Diane Newman, Delys Cowan, and Rev. Chris for all the preparation in our year of celebration, thanksgiving and merriment.

Bill Jackson is chair of Trinity 150th Anniversary Committee.