St. Mary and St. Timothy Church in Sylvan Lake has closed its doors. (Facebook photo)

St. Mary and St. Timothy Church in Sylvan Lake has closed its doors. (Facebook photo)

St. Mary and St. Timothy Church in Sylvan Lake closes its doors

Low attendance and lack of priests caused the church to close for good

At the age of 83, an Anglican priest finally retired after serving three decades at the St. Mary and St. Timothy Church in Sylvan Lake.

That same church had to shut its doors in March due to low attendance.

Rev. Edith Sandusky, now 85, she said it’s a shame the church had to close in such a growing community.

The Anglican church, located in a small building at 4308 50 Ave., held up to 54 people. It also had a hall that was often rented out to the Christian schools in the community.

The church’s official Facebook page made the closing announcement recently.

“Many of you know that our little church has a very small and mostly older congregation.

“A few parishioners have been doing their best to keep the church open. Unfortunately, they are getting tired and there is no one to step up and take the reins,” the Facebook post stated.

Even in her retirement, from her senior’s home in Calgary, Sandusky continues to give back. She says she often knits items for people in need. Right now, she’s working on winter toques.

“We’re put on this earth to do good,” she said.

During Sandusky’s 28 years at the church, she focused on helping the food bank and refugee families.

Before her work in Sylvan Lake, Sandusky did missionary work in Venezuela, South America and worked at the national church in Toronto for eight years.

Her calling to become a priest happened in the most unconventional way. She explains that they did not have a full-time priest in Sylvan lake, but rather a priest from Red Deer would rotate in and out.

One day, no one came in. There was a mix up. They sat and waited for some time.

Then a member of the church said, “We might as well go home.”

Sandusky says she got up and conducted a sermon.

After that day, she began the process of becoming a reverend. Sandusky took a four-year intensive course and was ordained a priest.