WOLFVILLE, N.S. - This year, the St. John’s Anglican Church in Wolfville is marking its 200th anniversary by reaching out to 200 others.
In the fall of 2017, parishioner Beverley McKee spoke to the congregation about the needs of families in the North, having lived there with her physician husband, says Camille Herbin, member of the anniversary committee. Another parishioner, Elizabeth Biggs, a long-time quilter, took the information and came up with the idea for a church-wide service project.
The 200th anniversary committee, says Herbin, felt the importance of planning a very special outreach project in thankfulness for its milestone 200 years in existence.
“Two words stood out with Elizabeth in Beverly’s talk and they were ‘warm’ and ‘cuddly,’” says Herbin. “The scene was set.”
Biggs offered to spearhead the project whereby the congregation would make 200 baby quilts to be distributed to three areas in the North by McKee and her husband, Michael Patterson, likely before Christmas, says Herbin.
The standard crib-sized quilts were made by more than 40 people in the congregation, with numerous donations of money, materials, and quilt tops that just needed to be stitched into a quilt. In material alone, the quilts are likely valued at $50 each, so the entire donation is worth well over $10,000 not counting the time it took to make them, says Herbin.
“The two main requirements of the quilts were that they were colorful and backed with flannelette - in other words warm and cuddly,” she adds.
The goal to make 200 quilts was established in only March of this year, with the end result to have them done as of Oct. 31.
“Elizabeth had already made 11 at this point and with seven months to go, that meant averaging 27 per month until deadline,” says Herbin.
The committee successfully completed their goal and displayed their work at the church’s annual coffee party Nov. 24. The committee was proud of their accomplishment, and anxious to show the public their work, says Herbin.
“I know we all are picturing in our minds our quilts wrapped around those 200 babies this Christmas and warming them for many years ahead in their cribs as they grow.”