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Fire destroys St. James, Roseneath

By Stuart Mann

The 156-year-old church of St. James, Roseneath was destroyed in a fire during the evening of April 9. No one was injured.

The church is located just north of the village of Roseneath, about a 25-minute drive north of Cobourg. It is part of the Parish of Campbellford, Hastings and Roseneath. About 15 people worship at the church on a Sunday.

St. James, Roseneath before the fire.

“The land was donated by a local family and the church was built with people’s sweat and hard work,” says the Rev. Bryce Sangster, incumbent. “It’s terrible, very sad.”

He says the church plans to hold its Palm Sunday service this Sunday at the civic centre in Roseneath, and possibly the Holy Week services there as well next week. “We’re exploring options,” he says.

Bishop Riscylla Shaw, the area bishop of Trent-Durham, visited the church on April 10 and says the fire was a tragedy. “We lift up Bryce and the congregation in prayer and I have offered my support and encouragement that we will find a way forward together as we come into Easter,” she says.

Bishop Andrew Asbil, the diocesan bishop, says he was “shocked and devastated” by the news and encourages parishes to help out. “It’s important for us as a diocese to reach out to the community and to support them with encouragement, prayer and tangible support.”

He adds, “I want to encourage the congregation to remember that it is by faith that we walk, by trust and hope, and that out of the ashes new life comes. We as a diocese support you and our prayers are with you.”