Posted on

Burning of altar is wake-up call – Rector

Burning of altar is  wake-up call – Rector


Rector and Dean at the St George’s Cathedral Reverend Patrick McIntosh says that the burning of the altar at the Church of the Ascension (Anglican Church) at Sion Hill, whether accidental or not, should be a wake-up call to all persons, not just Anglicans.

Dean McIntosh, in an interview with SEARCHLIGHT on Sunday morning at Sion Hill,{{more}} said that he does not know if the act was a deliberate one, but it must serve as a sign that, “too many persons have become irregular in the act of worship to Almighty God.”

The priest recalled that this same church was burnt down by an accidental fire in the 1990s and when he took over as Dean at the St George’s Cathedral (the parent church of the Church of the Ascension) in 2002, the rebuilding of the church was finished around April that year and dedicated to God.

“When I heard the church was on fire, I was looking up in the sky to see. I didn’t even think that it was by the altar; I think it was somewhere else,” said Dean McIntosh, who added that when he saw the burnt altar and the way the cloth and plastic were thrown one side, he thought, “this must be an evil mind.”

He said that on scrutinizing the situation, he cannot safely say that it was a willful act, while noting that no damage was done to the doors and only one window was broken, while all the doors remained locked.

“I was wondering if somebody came in and lit a candle and fell asleep. The candle stands were on the ground and the candles were gone. If this is a willful act, I would think that person needs a moment with God, because this altar is a place set aside for the Almighty God and for us to celebrate the Holy Eucharist and the sacrament of body and blood which for us as Anglicans is the highest expression of worship,” said McIntosh.

He said that if, in fact, this was a spiteful act, whoever would have done “the evil act” should recognize that the altar is not only a matter of piece of board or table, but it is set apart for the worship of Almighty God and to offer the sacrifice of the mass and to remind us that Christ died to save us.

“The sign it is sending, the reality, is that we in the church are worshipping the real being whom we call God. We have to come to the reality that as a people of God set apart, that we need to enter seriously and deeply and become fully committed to the mission of God,” stressed Dean McIntosh.

He said that as Christians, “we are on one mission and we must know what it is to be able to bring light into the world so that others can see and we must see how best we can help to remove the darkness”.

He said that the burning of the altar shows us that we must now go into the light.

“Perhaps we need to do much more and understand that in order for us to empower ourselves, we must have more of a moment in time, in prayer, in worship and thanksgiving to God,” said Dean McIntosh.

Police are investigating the incident.