‘Pray and stay’ vigil at Parksville church filling the gap of cold weather shelter
NANAIMO — A Parksville church is filling the need for a cold weather shelter in the Oceanside area as work is done behind the scenes for a more permanent and suitable location.
St. Anne’s Church, which is 125 years old this year, hosted its first “pray and stay” vigil on Friday, Dec. 6. The doors opened around 6:30 p.m. and people were welcome to sit, rest and eat until 7:30 a.m. The vigil continues every night at the church, which is Vancouver Island’s oldest.
It’s not considered a cold weather shelter and doesn’t have the full suite of staff and amenities a more permanent location would provide.
However, priest associate Christine Muise told NanaimoNewsNOW it still managed to bring people together in a positive way.
“I think it’s answering a need that’s current,” she said. “My real hope is…all levels of government and social services agencies can come together to really create better options for housing and caring for those who are on the margins and have no safe place to rest their head.”