Advent has arrived, and St. Catherine’s is preparing for a “Messy Christmas Pageant” to be presented on December 17 by the participants in Messy Church. The pageant is only one of many seasonal activities that St. Catherine’s has sponsored over the years during Advent and Christmas.
Apart from the pre-Christmas bazaar, perhaps the first seasonal activity was the children’s Christmas party. A few months after his arrival in 1911, St. Catherine’s first rector, H. Fane Edge, gave what the Coquitlam Star described as “a delightful little Christmas Party for the children of Coquitlam.” The event was held in the Municipal Hall. Mr. Edge sang three songs, which he illustrated with lantern views. Each child received a piece of iced cake and Christmas present. The following year, the Women’s Auxiliary (forerunner to the current ACW) sponsored a children’s Christmas party in the Agricultural Hall. The children received gifts purchased with funds raised from a social tea held at the home of Mrs. George Mouldy. Annual Christmas parties continued for several years, although they began to include only the children of the congregation rather than all local children.
This year St. Catherine’s continues its role in the community with old and newer traditions. The Nativity figures that used to appear annually at the church on McAllister are now on display at the Outlet in Leigh Square until the end of December. The church will hold its annual Senior’s Christmas lunch on December 20 and a community dinner on January 14. Of course, there will be services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and a "longest night" service on December 21. Details of the services are available at http://www.stcatherineschurch.ca/Saint_Catherines/Worship.html.