(Image - Genessee facade of Grace Episcopal)
LUSJ Interview with Rev. William Winston

First off it is wonderful news to hear that Grace Episcopal now has a resident priest. It is hard to imagine a parish having to go that long without one. Being a product of 13yrs of Catholic/Jesuit schooling, I always found comfort and stability having a consistant "face" to the parish. Every band can use a good front man. ;)

This quote was a highlight for me:
We tend to be the folks, wherever I’ve been, across the nation, who go where angels fear to tread.

as was this one:
I think Episcopalians have a reputation anyway, in any community, of being extraordinarily active in the community, encouraging excellence, and working against the evil, the real evil in a community, and they’re addressing the real problems. I say “real” intentionally, because I know that sometimes people will make a big do about a problem that’s not a real problem, or a “safe” problem.

It made me think of the "Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays" crusade. It has seems to have quieted down a bit but it would appear to me that a lot of those efforts could have been placed in more focused efforts to do deeds that promoted Catholicism a opposed to "intimidating" people to say a certain phrase. Especially during a season that has had a secular relevance for quite a while now and is a season that is meaningful to a number of religions. I say inspire them to use it.

From Grace's "History Page" it mentions:
During the third fifty years the Church interior was renovated, the outside repainted and the Parish House remodeled. On February 2, 1975 the Church and second floor of the Parish House were destroyed by fire. Only the stone walls and the towers were left standing. The congregation voted to remain in the inner city and reconstruction began in April 1976. Our present house of worship was rededicated on Sunday, May 22, 1977.

Anyone remember this or have any pictures to share? It is wonderful that they remained committed to the site and the city and rebuilt.

I, along with my girlfriend, have been meaning to check out Lockport's parishes for a while now. Following Drew Ludwig at Lafayette Presbyterian Church on Elwood in Buffalo has reinvigorated my desire to be a part of a parish that is community based and all inclusive while also looking to push the boundaries of what a church can be for a neighborhood. Toward the end of summer I started shooting the front facades of a few of Lockport's churches. Grace Episcopal stands out with how it bookmarks Cottage St (before it bends at Genessee) looking from Main St. Once I finally have access to my new camera body on Christmas morning (such a tough wait for a great gift!!!) I plan to contact several churches to do a more thorough exterior and interior shoot of each with a concurrent goal of learning about each. If anyone is active in any of these churches and has an "in" for me, let me know. I'd be happy to do a little write-up here.

I also find it fascinating that we now have someone who is not only a friend of Stephen King but someone who has personally consulted on one of his books. I have been a big King fan since picking up the first "Dark Tower" book back in high school. I am sometimes let down by how he ends his stories (maybe because I don't want them to end?)but I never fail to become immersed in the worlds and characters he creates. He is one of the few authors who's words seem to effortlessly translate to a palpable word for the visual-tangible person I am.

Some more of my Churches of Lockport pictures.

7 comments:

Drew said...

Glad you appreciate our efforts! We should hang out next time you are around Buffalo.

MJ said...

Thank you Reverend Drew. My girlfriend actually drove down to attend the Pet Blessing in October with a close friend of hers.
http://elmwoodjesus.org/gatherings/petblessing She had nothing but great things to say about the event as a whole and your personal blessing of each animal by name. She already looks forward to the next one.

I do hope to make time to attend an event some time soon.

HisSon said...

This is also posted in the LUSJ.

"Now you've hit my nostalgia button again Mj.

I can't remember too many specifics but I can picture the scene with roads blocked off, hearing the sirens, and flames and smoke coming from the building. It was a multi-alarm fire but I don't remember how many companies responded. I think Wrights Corners was one of them.

After it was all over I remember walking by and seeing the ruins. I remember the concern for the stained glass windows and remember the campaign to rebuild. I believe that I attended a friends wedding there shortly after it had been rebuilt.

It was amazing at how the fire fighters were able to contain the blaze and collateral damage was kept to a minimum.

I had some personal interest because I had friends and relatives who either attended or were members there.

This post has reminded me of another big fire in Lockport which was at the Textile Mill on the Big Bridge."

MJ said...

You are welcome for the nostalgic mental prod HS.

I've always wanted to explore the local history section of the Lockport Library. Maybe searching their collection for newspaper items (articles/pics) etc about the event may be a nice first endeavor.

HisSon said...

FYI Mj.

I found this link to more information about the Textile Mill in Lockport. Not much about the fire but The Historical Society might have something more. Just in case you don't already have enough to write about.:-)

http://www.niagara2008.com/history116.html

MJ said...

Thank you for the link. I've always wondered what used to be on that plot of land. I've always imagined canal side town houses/condos/apartments etc along that stretch of State. Especially if there could be some canal easements to allow parallel docking right up along the property. All within walking ditance of Main St. There doesn't seem to be anything like that along the canal in Niagara County. It's a shame that the first block of Main St is really the only one that has buildings interacting with the canal.

Actually all of State St along the canal seems to be a missed opportunity for canal side living. Though I guess the area and location of the property pry has some type of environmental issues still residing on the property.

Back to the textile mill, the link gives a date of April 11th 1965. Should give me a nice search start in the local history archives at the library for actual fire photos form the old LUSJ editions etc. Don't happen to know the actual church fire date do you?

HisSon said...

I don't recall the actual date of the fire but I will try to contact a relative who is still a member there. I'm sure she was there at that time.

Regarding the canal site, it wasn't all that long ago that I remember a Canadian company was slated to build a Motel or Hotel there. The deal fell through but the hope was kept alive for quite a while. I think they were even flying the Canadian flag along with the others on the Transit Road side. I haven't paid attention lately but it might still be there.

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