As part of its celebrations of 50 years in the community Trinity Church is stepping back to the place it all began.
Trinity has a pair of events scheduled for this weekend, a Saturday night gala and special Sunday service, at the church located in the Garth Homer Centre, 813 Darwin Ave.
“It’s an open invitation to interested parties that have been part of the Trinity community at some point along the way in the journey,” said Mark du Toit. “We just want to honour our community for partnering with us.”
Du Toit is the senior pastor at Trinity, but he prefers to just be called Mark.
“Jesus was quite OK to be just called Jesus, and I’m quite OK to be called Mark.”
Saturday’s gala starts at 6:30 p.m. and features appetizers, sweets and childcare. The church’s invitation extends beyond the 200-plus members of its congregation.
“We’ve been caught almost a little off guard, we have almost 300 people coming out to that,” said du Toit. He says there still may be limited space for those interested in attending. The event is free but registration is required at www.trinityvictoria.ca.
Sunday’s service begins at 10:30 a.m. and will be followed by a light brunch as well as a kids program. No registration is required.
“We sent out invitations to our entire neighbourhood,” said du Toit. “It’s our little way of saying thank you for being with us on our journey.”
Trinity was originally established on Nov. 6, 1966 as the Victoria West Community Church at 949 Fullerton Ave.
“We realized [Nov. 6] was a Sunday and thought I wonder if we could get that original venue. And we actually managed to book that original venue [which is now a Salvation Army Centre] on the same date,” said du Toit.
The Nov. 6 celebration starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Salvation Army Centre, and du Toit said former members of the congregation are making the trek from as far as California and Colorado to take part in the ceremony.
“We’ve extended an invitation just really as a courtesy and we’ve been amazed at how many people have said, ‘You’ve had a huge impact on our lives. We want to be there to celebrate this milestone with you.’”
Longtime pastors John and Eva Stone, and Ivor and Jakki Lewis will also be taking part in the celebrations. No registration is required, but du Toit advises people to arrive early as space is limited.
After leaving the Victoria West location, Trinity moved into an old Camosun College building on Carey Road. When that was redeveloped, the church moved to its present location in the Garth Homer Centre about six years ago.
Although Trinity’s location may have changed over the years, its message has remained the same.
“For us, as a Christian community, we really believe that we have an amazing, not just a religion but a relationship with our Creator. As a basis of that, He wants to make a difference on the earth and we get to partner with what He’s wanting to do,” said du Toit.
He said he is most proud of the relationships the church has forged with the community, including partnering with groups such as Our Place and Mustard Seed.
“For the past 50 years there’s been a lot that has happened through Trinity, impacting on the community. A lot of people have found hope and life, found freedom from addiction, absolute breakthrough in their own lives through the establishment of this local church.”