St. John’s Presbyterian Church located on the 10th Sideroad of Bradford, donated funds from the sale of the church’s turkey pies to help fix the home of a pastor on the island of Vanuatu.
Reverend Daniel Scott of the Bradford St. John’s Presbyterian Church connected with the Presbyterian Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand after becoming acquainted with Reverend Phil King who is the Global Ministry Director with the church.
Rev. King came from New Zealand to Bond Head United Church as part of an exchange program. While here, he joined the BWG Ministerial where he met Rev. Scott.
Rev. Scott reconnected with Rev. King years later after the mosque terrorist attacks in 2019. A prayer service was held at the Bradford Legion during the time of the attacks.
“We wanted to let him know that our community was praying for his community,” shares Rev. Scott. “I discovered that his role with the Presbyterian Church in New Zealand included responsibility for the Presbyterian Churches on an island called Vanuatu."
On Nov. 15 the Bradford St. John’s Presbyterian Church celebrated its 201st anniversary and Rev. Scott had invited Rev. King to come to Canada to help celebrate and preach at their church, but due to Covid, the trip had to be cancelled.
“I asked Phil [King] if there was any project that St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Bradford might assist St. John’s Church in Vanuatu,” explains Rev. Scott. “Initially, we talked about the need for a new roof on [their] church which had been destroyed by a tropical storm."
Rev. King indicated that the church was in need of repair due to the hurricane winds that ripped through New Zealand.
When Rev. Scott told the church members about the repairs, the church’s “St. John’s Piepers” (pie-people) stepped up and offered funds collected from the sale of the group's turkey pies to help with the repairs of the church in Vanuatu.
“The ‘Piepers’ is a group of approximately 30 people who meet once or twice a month and makeover 1000 turkey pies and sell them out of the church,” describes Rev. Scott.
The Piepers have been making turkey pies and selling them for over 20 years and originally formed in 1999 by church member Jim Van Voorst who used to make the pies with friends out of his home at his farm on the 6th line in Bradford.
"We are a very close group," shares Van Voorst. "It was a social group most of the time."
Unfortunately, the turkey pies have not been made nor sold since March due to Covid and social distancing rules.
“They were selling the turkey pies through word of mouth, and there was always a line up out the door on the day the pies were made” remembers Rev. Scott.
“They can’t make the pies all together sadly, but they had a lot of fun doing it!” expresses Rev. Scott.
The Bradford St. John’s Presbyterian Church was able to donate $2,000 to the pastor in Vanuatu to help with any repairs needed from the effects of the natural disaster.
Although Rev. King was unable to visit Canada and attend the Bradford St. John’s Presbyterian Church in person, he did do a virtual sermon last Sunday for the church where he included a slideshow with pictures of Vanuatu.
“We were thankful the sales from the pies were able to help this church,” shares Rev. Scott.