Visitation Voyage, 1907

Reprinted from the Western Star, October 10, 1907
by H. Leggo, Chaplain

On Saturday, Sept. 7th, after a very moderate day, with little wind and strong tide against us, we arrived at Fox Harbour, one of the settlements in the neighbourhood of Hearts Ease. Here we met Parson Gardner and some off his parishioners, who came off to give the Lavrock a tow into port. This was successfully done, and in tranquility and peace we impend the closing hours off another week. Sunday was a glorious day, and the little church, equidistant from two or three settlements, was well filled at all the services. Matins and celebration of the Holy Communion at 11 o’clock, when the Bishop preached from the text: “Lord, what wilt Thou have one to do ?” He also took the Holy Communion office. The Confirmation service was held in the afternoon. Many candidates were prevented from coming to this beautiful service, being away on the Labrador. Those who were at home, received the “Laying on of Hands,” and were strengthened by the gift of God. In the evening, the third service for the day was held; the Chaplain preached.


On Monday morning an early start was made; but, alas the wind failed, and at 8 o’clock we were becalmed. The people on shore seeing our difficulty manned a trap-boat and came alongside, offering to row us on to Hodge’s, Cove, five miles distant. We gratefully accepted their offer, and very shortly left the Lavrock behind. As soon as we arrived we were met by all the men who are home, and escorted to the church, which is ready for consecration. The petition was read by the Incumbent, accepted by the Bishop who, preceded by the Chaplain, slowly chanted the alternate verses of the xxiv Psalm. The Holy Table was then dedicated, then the Font, the Lectern, etc. Following this service was that of Confirmation. The Bishop’s address dealt with Worship, which is the employment of angels in heaven, and ought to be the work of men on earth ; our churches were places solemnly set apart for us to prepare ourselves for heaven, where there will be no preaching but adoration. The Sanctuary of this little church was covered with a very neat and ecclesiastically patterned carpet; the gift of the Women’s Sewing Circle; the Altar Rail and the Font are also presentations from this faithful little band of workers. The church is neat, well arranged, and it is possible to kneel down between the pews. At the conclusion of the service we bade the people good bye, and very pleased we were to see the Lavrock in the offing. A feather breeze had sprung up, which enabled her to get along.


We went on board, and were soon on our way for Long Beach, which is a very small settlement some three miles from Hodges Cove. Here a similar service to that which took place at Hodge’s Cove was participated in viz : the consecration of a church. On this occasion the petition was read by Mr. John Vey, consented to by the Bishop and solemnly consecrated to the glory of God and in memory of St. Mark. The Bishop will consecrate no church unless furnished with a Holy Table and a Font. Congregations can do without pulpits, they can get on without a Lectern, it is even possible to read the service without a Prayer Desk., au organ and even an organist may be dispensed with : but no congregation can do without the Sacraments. Baptism, the initiating sacrament of the Church is of such importance that every well-arranged church must be furnished with a suitable Font for the administration of the same. The Font in this little church is the gift of Mrs. John Vey, who is always ready to help on any Church work.


After the church had been solemnly set apart, the candidates who had been prepared by Mr. Gardner came forward, and in the little Church of St. Mark, they dedicated their bodies to the All Holy God. Yet another service here—the consecration of the cemetery. Short, simple, but very solemn was the service which forever set apart the little plot upon the hill as God’s garden, and the last resting place of a Christian.


Services concluded, we got under way for Northern Bight., and by dark were almost at our destination; but too late to hold any service. Next morning the Bishop, Chaplain and Incumbent went on shore, and for the third time in two days the Consecration Service was read, and a little church set apart in memory of St. Michael and All Angels. Followed by the Confirmation Service. The candidates came on board to see the Church Ship, and expressed themselves as highly pleased with all they saw.


By H. Leggo, Chaplain.