Who We Are
On October 30, 2016, the Church of St Peter and St-Simon-the-Apostle (SPSSTA) was established as a new parish in the diocese. This was marked by a joyful liturgy for All Saints, with Bishop Patrick Yu as Celebrant and Preacher. It was the end of a challenging process and the beginning of a whole new one. Our parish has grown together under the guidance of our Rector, the Reverend Geoffrey Sangwine.
The former church of St Peter’s had a long ministry in the heart of downtown Toronto that has seen many changes over the decades. As a community hub, it was also home to San Lorenzo parish which later moved to St Simon’s – they still worship with us. Many of the beautiful and sacred furnishings from St Peter’s, including historic memorials, font, and the central altar, now used each Sunday as a side altar for administering Holy Communion and anointing for healing, were moved to the 525 Bloor location and are now an integral part of weekly worship.
The former church of St Simon’s also had a unique ministry in the heart of Toronto, known particularly for its choral music. In 1989, the parish opened its doors to the growing needs of the community by starting a men’s shelter, the first Out of the Cold in Canada. With 80 beds, two meals a day, medical care and fellowship, the shelter operates 365 days per year.
We, the combined church of St. Peter and St. Simon The Apostle are blessed to have renewed energy, a vibrant parish life, new members and excitement for the future. Situated on Bloor Street with Rosedale to the north, St Jamestown to the south, and Cabbagetown to the East, with a range of housing, businesses small and large, hospitals, long-term care homes and so much more, SPSSTA are a parish in one of, if not the most, diverse and densely populated communities in the country.
At the heart of the amalgamation was the desire to be stronger as one new parish than we were as two struggling parishes. Over the past two years, SPSSTA have gotten to know each other, integrated our ministries, and built trust so that we can look forward to the mission before us. As followers of Jesus Christ, the heart of it all is worship, and we as one community are committed to Growing Together in Christ.
In 2018 SPSSTA is taking part in the “Growing Healthy Stewards” programme. This was created in the diocese for churches in the diocese and is proven way to help parishes become stronger and healthier. Moveta Nanton has taken on the ministry of Stewardship Team Chair.
Stewardship is more than fundraising; it is a way of life that involves our time, talent and treasure. We invite you to think very seriously about this crucial aspect of our life together.
Come and join us for worship any Sunday! We’ll be glad to welcome you.