1. What services are there and when are they?
Saint Thomas's is one of the few churches in the city to offer so many opportunities to worship. Service times are listed in the table below.
Solemn Eucharists are held throughout the year to celebrate Feast Days. On these occasions, mass is usually said at 7:30 a.m. and 12:15 noon and, with choir, at 6:15 p.m. to enable as many parishioners as possible to attend.
Of paramount importance are the services of Holy Week, including Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Great Easter Vigil on Saturday evening. Throughout this week there are extra Mass celebrations and the very solemn Way of the Cross services. Service dates and times are announced well in advance and frequently. The weekly leaflet is your best source of information. Here is a handy reference chart:
||Book of Common Prayer Rite
|| Contemporary Rite
|| Solemn High Mass
|| Said Mattins
|| Solemn Evensong & Devotions
|| Mondays and Fridays
|| Tuesdays and Thursdays
|| 7:30 a.m.
|| 10:00 a.m.
| Saturday Offices:
|| 9:30 a.m.
|| Mattins (Saturdays & holidays)
| Other Offices:
|| 8:30 a.m.
|| Mattins (Monday - Friday)
|| 5:00 p.m.
|| Evensong (Monday - Friday)
2. What's a Churchwarden?
A person elected by members of Vestry or appointed by the Rector to carry out a variety of duties on behalf of all church members. A Warden is especially concerned with church finances and the state of the buildings but is also responsible for parishioner concerns of a non-spiritual nature. If you have questions about the operation of the church, why things are done the way they are, one of the Wardens is a good place to start. If he or she doesn't know, be assured the answers will be found or you will be directed to the appropriate source.
Warden names and telephone numbers are listed on the back of the weekly leaflet.
3. Who can I ask?
Begin by looking at the back of the weekly leaflet. Here you will find the names and phone numbers of most of the people with the answers: Clergy, Wardens, Secretary, and Treasurer. If you wish to contact a particular church group or organisation, please refer to the section called "The Groups". At the end of each group outline, you will find a contact name and telephone number. Enquiries can also be made via email through this web site.
4. How do I find out what's going on?
Information about upcoming events in the life of the Parish is updated regularly on this website, including the weekly leaflet which gives details of the Sunday services, and times of services for the rest of the week. In addition, the printed leaflet handed to you as you enter Church on Sundays often contains a good deal of additional information, including the Parish Secretary's "Notes" along with special enclosures as necessary. A great variety of materials is also placed in the narthex, and at the entrance to the Parish Hall, where the after-Mass coffee hours are held. If none of these sources gives the answer, speak to the Rector, assistant clergy, or Wardens.
5. How can I get involved?
There comes a point in many parishioners' lives at Saint Thomas's when they want to "give back" in some way beyond their financial contribution. But how? First, consider the activities undertaken by the various "Groups". Does something appeal to you? Then don't hesitate to call the "contact" given for more information.
6. What happens when a parishioner is ill?
Saint Thomas's is virtually unique in the nature of its parishioners. Unlike most parishes where the members tend to live clustered around the church, our parishioners come from as far afield as Mississauga, Willowdale, and Scarborough. A number come from as far as Caledon and Cobourg. It is, then, difficult to keep track of our pew neighbours. Don't hesitate to ask the clergy about their welfare. Chances are, they know whether someone is ill or is, more happily, travelling somewhere. The weekly intercessions list will tell you who is ill. On the other hand, if you know that someone is ill, please don't hesitate to mention it to one of the clergy or call it in to the church office. And if you yourself become ill, please do call the church office or have a relative or friend do so.
It's especially important that the Rector and fellow clergy know of people who are ill. They are more than willing to visit, to talk, and to bring Communion to your home or hospital bed. At the same time, they want to be able to report back to parishioners on the state of the sick person's health. There is nothing sadder than to have someone be away ill for two or three weeks and the rest of us not know of it. It only takes a phone call to the Parish Office at (416) 979-2323.
7. How can I learn more?
Saint Thomas's offers several ways to explore Anglican beliefs and Christianity in general. Every fall, one of the clergy conducts Enquirers' Classes, a series of weekly gatherings devoted to the understanding of Anglican doctrine and beliefs. These classes for some are a necessary preparation towards confirmation; for others, they are an excellent opportunity to refresh their knowledge and understanding of the Anglican way, whether they have been away from the church for awhile or attend regularly but have some questions. These classes, while educational and informative, are at the same time informally enjoyable ways to meet some of your fellow parishioners. Watch your Sunday leaflet for announcements, speak to members of the clergy, or call the office for information.
Annually, too, during the Lenten season, Saint Thomas's offers an educational series of sermons at Sunday evening's Evensong services. There have in the past been special Lenten presentations or lectures, usually on Wednesday evenings, with specially-invited speakers. Again, watch the leaflet for information. An annual event in October is the Larkin-Stuart lecture series co-sponsored by Saint Thomas's Church and Trinity College in memory of benefactor Gerald Larkin and past Rector Canon Stuart. The series presents an internationally-renowned person speaking more or less relevantly on some aspect of the Church.
One of the greatest sources of knowledge and inspiration is our own church library. This library, founded by professional librarian and late parishioner Ronwen Stock, has grown until it now contains about 1,700 items. You will find a surprising variety of Christian topics covered here: from Bible commentaries and criticism to devotional writings and even fiction. There is a special Young People's section with a good selection of entertaining and informative materials.
The librarian will be pleased to help you find what you are looking for or, if you're not sure, recommend some titles. Library contents have been computerised and you may look for books by title, author, or subject in the lists which are put out each Sunday morning. As a parishioner you are automatically entitled to sign out books for a one-month period. There are no fees or charges.