St. Hilda’s hosts ‘Land Defenders’ gathering

St. Hilda’s Anglican Church in Sechelt is inviting the Sunshine Coast community to meet Anglican priest Emilie Smith and choir director Patti Powell at “a gathering to stand with Land Defenders” on Saturday, Jan. 5 at 7 p.m. The event will include storytelling and singing.

Smith is an “ally with communities in North, Central and South America,” St. Hilda’s said in a release. “She is one of the three local Anglican priests who were arrested and served jail sentences in 2018 after standing with the Tseil-Waututh on Burnaby Mountain. This past summer she travelled to Ecuador, and far up the Naya River in southern Colombia, accompanying the Neperara Indigenous people.”

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Powell is a Vancouver choir director. “Her four choirs are ‘no-barrier choirs’ – she fervently believes that singing is a human right, and that every person has a voice,” the release said. “Singing, and teaching singing is a way that Patti invites people to connect with one another, for the healing of the planet and its people.”

Rev. Clarence Li said: “We are excited to welcome Emilie and Patti to share songs and stories about those who are concerned about the way we are treating the Earth. All are welcome to participate in strategizing what local actions we may take personally and regionally to protect this beautiful land we live on.”

Fair-trade coffee from Guatemala and beadwork from the Neperara people will be available for sale.

St. Hilda’s Church is located at 5838 Barnacle St. in Sechelt beside Rockwood Centre.

For more information, call Li at 604-993-0399 or visit St. Hilda’s website at

– Coast Reporter

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