By ALESHA CADET
Tribune Features Reporter
The excitement surrounding the recent rededication of the Holy Saviour Anglican Church in Blackwood, Abaco will linger in the hearts and minds of the island's inhabitants for a long time.
Father Chester Burton, Anglican church rector, said the service was very special to the congregation, as it was a "comeback" for the church after experiencing serious damage in the last hurricanes.
"Holy Saviour received significant damage from the devastation of many hurricanes. The rebuilding work on this palatial edifice began some five years ago," said Father Burton.
He said he and Father DeAngelo Bowe, rector of St Peter's and St Anne's Parish in North Abaco, began the tedious to task rebuild alongside Catechist Euclid Bailou. They all shared the vision of completing and extending the sanctuary for generations to come, he said.
Father Burton was happy to note that all members of the small congregation chipped in to assist and get the job done.
"Persons like Senior Catechist in North Abaco Euclid Bailou used all his Abaconian contacts, leaving no stone unturned to ensure that Holy Saviour was a dynamic dream brought to fruition," said Father Burton.
"Catechist Bailou worked feverishly to ensure that upon our guest Bishop Laish Boyd's arrival at the church everything would be in place. After all the preparation and footwork had been completed, many members could breathe a sigh of relief and wait with bated breath for the entrance of the chief shepherd of our Diocese, Bishop Boyd."
Although a midweek service, Father Burton said people travelled from as far north as Crown Haven and far south as Marsh Harbour to take part in this historic moment. He said every single fixture, accoutrements and worship material was blessed with holy water and set aside for divine liturgical worship.
Highlights included a performance by the church's praise and worship team, which serenaded the congregation with spiritual songs.
"Bishop Boyd in his sermon thanked the rector, Father Bowe, and Catechist Bailou for bringing this dream (to fruition). He emphatically stated that he is duly satisfied with the level of expertise and professional workmanship which allows the edifice to be a beacon of light in the community of Blackwood," said Father Burton.
Father Bowe gave thanks to his fellow cleric, Father Burton, who serves in South Abaco, for his attendance and support. He later presented church member Euna McIntosh with a plaque for being one of the founding members of the church's Anglican Church Women group.
After the Eucharist, the congregation gathered next door in the Holy Saviour church hall for a gala dinner.