St. Peter's Anglican Church
776 Brimley road, Scarborough on, m1j 1c6
The parish was opened in the 1950s at a time when the diocese was establishing a number of new parishes in the suburbs of Toronto. The original church was built in 1955 and now sets as the parish hall and Sunday school. The present church building was erected in 1967 and includes the worship area, sacristy, a meeting room, offices for the priest and for administration. There is an en-suite two-piece washroom in the rector's office. The seating capacity of the sanctuary is 300 with additional seating for the choir. The buildings have been well maintained and are in good condition. The most recent building inspection was done in 2008.
The original building, plus the newer building, now form one L-shaped building. The parish hall was the original church. The upper level (formerly the worship area) contains Sunday school, choir changing/robing rooms, wardens' room, and a printer and photocopying room. The lower level (8 or 9 steps down) contains a large hall for meetings, lunch and dinner parties and a large, well equipped kitchen. Men's and women's washrooms are on the lower level.
I was born in Toronto, lived in Willowdale until I was in grade one and we moved to North Bay.
After a short time there, my family moved to Parry Sound and eventually
fifteen miles north,in the bush overlooking the Georgian Bay. I loved splitting wood for the fire,
cutting through the ice for water and when the wind blew, playing hockey on the Georgian Bay.
My mother died when I was fourteen and I took on household responsibilities for my older
brother and my father.
I graduated from Parry Sound High School in 1970 and entered McMaster University and
received my BScN in 1974. I worked in an outpost for a year and returned to Hamilton to work in
the ICU. During that time I perceived a call to ordained ministry and sought to study theology. In
1977 I began my studies at Trinity College. The atmosphere was tense for the three women in
our class. The ordination of women was a very fresh issue. In fact, all of the women ended up
walking away from graduation in 1980. The opposition was just too great and no Bishops were
interested in interviewing us much less ordination.
In 1980 I took a job at McMaster University as a lay chaplain. What a gift! I was able to do
ministry without objection and I thrived. Eventually Michael Peers agreed to ordain me for the
Diocese of Qu’Appelle. I was made a Deacon at McMaster in 1982 and Priest in 1983 in
Saskatchewan. Before going out west I finished my MDiv in three months and officially
graduated in 1983!
I love Saskatchewan and the people are amazing. They became my great teachers of faith for
the 25 years that I was in the Diocese. I did rural ministry, indigenous ministry and developed
youth resources. I took leadership locally and in the National Church. I was the chair of the
Homosexuality Task Force which produced a major study for 1995. I served on the National
Church Council and was the partner to the Episcopal Church in the US. I also served on
Faith,Worship and Ministry Committee for a number of years.
When the residential school crisis erupted, it directly affected the Diocese of Qu’Appelle. Part of
my ministry was set aside to educate our parishes and support healing and reconciliation. I
represented our church at many hearings, mediations and negotiations with the government. It
was difficult but enlightening work.
In 2003 my husband died of Lymphoma and I was left to raise our two daughters and our son
and work full time. After new leadership came into the Diocese, I was having to look for work
elsewhere. I applied to other dioceses for work and eventually was accepted by Toronto and
Flemingdon Park Ministry. My children and I arrived in Toronto in July 2007.
In Flemingdon Park I had an exciting time building relationships with a very diverse cultural and
ethnic neighbourhood. Wherever I have worked, I always invested time and effort to develop
community based ministry. At FPM we worked with others on food security initiatives and
building local resident capacity in order for people to be able to help themselves. We developed
a close relationship with the Muslim community.
In 2011 I was diagnosed with Lymphoma and underwent aggressive chemotherapy and
radiation. I continued to work through my treatment except for the last month of radiation when I
took a leave. I returned to do five more years and retired in 2016. I travelled across Canada and
the Rocky Mountains as my gift to myself. I was asked to assist All Saints Sherbourne for a year
and a half. After retiring again, I put energy into being an Honorary at Epiphany St.Mark in
Parkdale. When I retired I bought a condo in the Junction. Then in June of this year the Bishop
requested my assistance with St.Peter’s Scarborough and our adventure has begun!
I love art, music, outdoor activities and golf. I am excited to partner the leadership and people of St. Peter’s in moving forward and embracing a new mission.
“What does the Lord require of you, to love kindness, do justice and walk humbly with your
God”. (Micah 6:8)
The Rev. Helena-Rose Houldcroft
ADVISORY BOARD CHAIR & YOUTH GROUP LEADER
FUNDRAISING/PLANNING COMMITTEE CHAIR
ALTAR GUILD LEADER &
Sunday school TEACHER
Join us every Sunday as we seek to know christ and make him known