|When The Lord Moves A Church|
House moving is a long standing practice in North America, but it is not an every day business to move a church across the water. And even more astonishing it is if the captain is the Lord himself.
Mr. Stan Lord is the every-day ferry provider of Campobello Island and he is not afraid to use his special beach-going ferry for transport orders out of the ordinary.
A rare sight occurred in Walton, N.S., on Wednesday as a century-old church was ferried down the Minas Basin on a vessel captained by a man named Lord.
The building — formerly St. Matthew's Anglican Church — is being moved to Avondale to become part of the new Avondale Sky Winery, owned by Stewart Creaser and his wife, Lorraine Vassalo.
"We needed a building to make our wine in and to sell our wine in. We've moved an old barn to our property to make the wine in and this building will be used to sell our wine," Creaser told CBC News on Wednesday.
St. Matthew's Anglican Church was built in 1844 and deconsecrated in 2008. Creaser and Vassalo bought the building for $1.67 — the same price the congregation paid for the church in 1844.
While transporting the former church to the new site will cost thousands of dollars, Creaser said he fell in love with the building as soon as he saw it.
"When you're in there it has this amazing, peaceful ambience," he said.
"We really weren't looking for a church in particular but when we were shown it, we just really believed it was the right thing to do. It was a great old building, it's got a lot of history and it deserves to be able to live on."
The journey of the nearly 30-tonne building is a complicated one that has already experienced delays. The building spent the winter on the Walton waterfront after poor weather conditions delayed attempts to move it last year.
On Wednesday, a truck successfully drove the church on to a converted ferry that arrived in Walton for the day's high tide at 2:25 p.m.
The church will now travel more than 45 kilometres down the Bay of Fundy to Newport Landing, then up the Avon River where it will sit overnight, just off Hantsport. It will be unloaded off the ferry at Thursday afternoon's high tide.
Next week, it will be driven up a hill toward Avondale Sky Winery as nearby phone, power and cable lines are carefully disconnected.
Creaser said he was originally hoping to transport the church on a truck for its entire journey.
"There's a problem with the power lines between here and our location that there's major power lines and Nova Scotia Power would have to put power or turn the power off for a significant part of the whole county, which they just can't do," he said.
Armed with cameras and chairs, dozens of people in the village of Walton came to the waterfront to witness the church's move.
"Makes it a little exciting, just look around. I've never seen this many cars in Walton in my life," said one man.
"I think it's just short of a miracle," said another.
The captain of the ferry — named Stan Lord — said he had never experienced anything of this magnitude and was surprised to see so many members of the village show up for the occasion.
"I said, 'Holy crap,'" Lord said, laughing.
The crowd broke into cheers and applause as Lord pulled the ferry away from the waterfront.
"Went to church there and there it goes now, right out to sea," said one woman.
Come see us on Campobello!
After more than one year operating behind a close border, we are cautiously optimistic that our border might be reopened during late summer or fall. Meanwhile, we accept fully vaccinated persons or people from the same family group living in the same household.
As has been our practice, our van can pick you up at any place on Campobello. As soon as the border is open again we can also offer pickups in Lubec, Maine. We do custom private tours and groups are welcome.
Specialty tours, also in combination with Tours to f.ex. St.Andrews can be tailored to your personal wishes. Should you arrive from the U.S. by marine vessel, please call 1-888-CANPASS (1-888-226 7277) for your border check-in. International Boat Arrivals can be processed at Welshpool Landing (welshpoollanding.com)
Coming from the U.S. you will need your passport and please remember that Campobello is on Atlantic Time.
For reservations please call or email a day prior to your intended visit. Any later attempt to make a reservation may go unsuccessful as we might be on a tour just when you call.
Thanks for visiting and be welcome to the island.
3 hrs Van-Tour across the Island CAD 40/person, USD 30/person
Walking Tours: CAD 35/hr. pp USD 25/hr.pp
All prices add 15%tax
PRIVATE TOURS: Call for individual rates.
1-506 752 1901
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Useful information on crossing our border to the United States: LINKCOVID-19 INFO:Travel advisory: COVID-19 border measures for Campobello Islan