St. Stephen’s, Stratford, a small congregation with big energy and heart, celebrates its 65th anniversary on Sunday, November 26, 2017.
By Deb Moon
St. Stephen’s, “The Little White Church” on Home Street in Stratford, is celebrating its 65th anniversary this year in a big way: the ground-breaking for the community hall took place on Thanksgiving Sunday.
There are good reasons for entering the project. St. Stephen’s Sunday school is growing, and the parishioners found themselves seeking for alternative locations for some of their parish events. The existing basement is often booked by community groups for meetings and events and more space would be welcome. One of the reasons for the busy schedule is that St. Stephen’s has a great partnership with L’Arche and One Care and they often use church hall for their programs.
For their 50th anniversary, 15 years ago, the parishioners renovated the front entrance to include an elevator, and for the 60th they added their patron saint window. Their 65th anniversary is seeing the community hall expanded to give them more room. This addition will also upgrade the furnace room and back staircase to code, and it will also provide an office for the priest and more storage room.
The parishioners of St. Stephens are excited to get this renovation completed so that they can then upgrade the kitchen to match the needs of the expanded hall. There are plenty of fundraisers happening to help all these projects come to fruition: gift card sales, Brother can you Spare a Dime Campaign, Trunk and Plant sale, Pancake Supper, Golf Marathon, Mr. Pink Concert, and an Elvis outdoor concert. The fundraising committee has more planned for 2018.
The parish, under the leadership of Rev. Laura Lightfoot, offers a contemporary form of worship with the service projected on a screen at the front of the church leading people through the Sunday celebration of Eucharist or Morning Prayer. The instrumentalists are a great complement to the lead singers. Our Advent and Lenten services include plays or a series of monologues to add diversity to our services. The Liturgical Dancers do a wonderful job of reverently telling a story to song.
Deb Moon is a warden at St. Stephen’s, Stratford