Founded early in the 19th Century (1819), St. Peter’s considers itself a 21st Century church. As the only Anglican church in Cobourg, and with large and architecturally significant buildings, it enjoys a major place in the life of Cobourg and beyond. Our vision is Lifelong Learning, Lifelong Growing and Lifelong Serving in the Body of Christ.
The Reverend Matthew McMillan
On December 1, 2022, Fr. Matt was appointed as Priest in Charge of St. Peter’s and began his ministry among us.
The Rev. Sheila Archer graduated from Sir Sandford Fleming College with a Diploma in Business Administration and Accounting. She and her husband Orville moved to Hamilton Township in 1969, where they raised three children, and now have six grandchildren.
Following retirement from her first career, Sheila enrolled at the University of Toronto’s School of Theology, Wycliffe College and graduated in May, 2003. She was Ordained into the Sacred Order of Deacons in June, 2006 and began service as a Deacon at the Parish of Perrytown. She continued her work at St John the Evangelist, Port Hope, then came to St. Peter’s, Cobourg, where her particular ministry is to provide Spiritual Care to the many guests who attend our ‘Soupertime Luncheon’ from 11:30 – 12:30 every Tuesday. She also assists with services to the Landmark/Extendicare and Golden Plough retirement homes in Cobourg, and provides Spiritual Support to the Women’s Group ‘AWARE’ (Anglican Women Alive Renewed Enriched) which holds its annual conference at Elim Lodge on Pidgeon Lake the first weekend in May.
Sheila now considers herself to be “semi-retired” and likes to pursue her various hobbies: all of her grandchildren, watching the boys play hockey, knitting, quilting with her sister, and reading. Sheila also loves music and was once the Organist and Choir Director at St. Georges, Gores Landing.
St Peter’s has four Church Wardens who are responsible for the staff, property, and finances of the parish. They also have oversight of the various church ministries which are grouped into ‘Ministry Clusters’ or groups.
Our Lay Staff
Tina Woodhouse is our new Parish Administrator. She studied accounting at Seneca College in Toronto. She now lives in Baltimore with her husband Zachary and two young sons Isaac and Isaiah.
Linda is a graduate of St. Lawrence College and has been an Early Childhood Educator for more than 25 years. Linda began her career at a Nursery School in Kingston where she also designed preschool programmes. After the birth of her son, she ran a Day Care Centre from their home for several years.
Linda and her family moved to the Cobourg area in 1999 and Linda has been working in a Day Care Centre with preschool aged children.
Eunice Cole is our much loved bookkeeper. Having completed more than 10 years as Parish Administrator Eunice decided to take some time for her husband and grandchildren. She continues to care for our books and we are glad that she is still with us.
Eunice and her husband, Sid, live on a hobby farm north of Cobourg.
Church School Director
Jan was born in Scarborough and following graduation from high school attended the University of Toronto Erindale Campus. As teaching was always her ultimate goal she then attended the Faculty of Education at the U of T. Her teaching career began in ‘The North’ where she lived and taught on two different reserves; Osnaburgh, affectionately called ‘Oz’ and Pikangikum or ‘Pik’. After six years it was off to Akwesasne which is a reserve that sits within two countries, two provinces and a state. Then she moved closer to home settling in Cobourg. She has taught at both at The Burnham School and Terry Fox School over the last 20 years.
Jan’s is an organist’s daughter and the church has always been a big part of her life. Even in the bush when the language was different, the scripture was the same. She has sung in choirs, taught Sunday school, helped run dinner dances, prepared communion, done dishes, made multiple banners and generally tucked in where ever there was a need. When the need arose for a Sunday School ‘head’.she felt a very strong ‘call’ to this position. Jan has been in the position of Director of the Sunday School since 2002 and continues to run the amazing educational programmes at St. Peter’s, including VBS (Vacation Bible School).
Although her careers often run parallel to each other, children, education, passing on the love of Christ and bringing children of all ages into that love is always at the heart.
Pastoral Care Associate
Rhonda has been a parishioner since 2001. Her training (from 2010 to 2014) as a Postulant, Novice, and Sister at the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine, our Anglican convent, helped prepare her for this Pastoral ministry. Rhonda is also a graduate of the University of the South’s four-year Education for Ministry course and has been a Licensed Lay Anointer since 2008.
Rhonda’s warmth and spiritual care gives great comfort to parishioners (and others?) in the Northumberland Hills Hospital. She is a member of the Senior Choir, Worship leader for Contemplative Prayer, and an occasional Worship Leader, Server, Officiant at Thursday Night Light and other weekly Church services.
Worship: Five services per week and periodic educational series are held in the main church, the new St Paul's Chapel, and in the Auditorium in Sheppard Hall. They range from traditional to contemporary. Our ordained clergy and lay assistants all offer leadership. They also help in holding services for shut–ins and in seniors' residences. St Peter's also hosts large community services such as Remembrance Sunday, and ecumenical events.
Health and Healing Ministries: With a full-scale Parish Nursing program at its hub, over 90 parish volunteers take turns in providing Pastoral Care in homes and seniors residences through caring teams focusing on those most in need, weekly Health Clinics, and Education for Healthy Living courses to over 200 clients. Health education events are also regularly hosted.
Outreach Ministries: Outreach is a major priority and involves some twenty programs at local, diocesan and international levels:
Local initiatives include:
- The St. Peter's Crisis Response Fund helps many people in financial difficulty.
- In the late 1960s,St. Peter's Court, consisting of 63 small bungalows, was built on church property for seniors with limited incomes or disabilities. It continues to be home to approximately 70 residents.
Diocesan initiatives include:
- At Diocesan level St. Peter's is a keen supporter of Faithworks.
International initiatives include:
- Mzuzu - St Peter's is twinned with St Mark's, Mzuzu, Malawi, where it provides a feeding, education, and health care program to 250 HIV/AIDS orphans.This program has become so well known in Cobourg and beyond that many non–parishioners make significant contributions.
Christian Education Ministries: Much of the recent multi-million dollar Millennium building addition and renovation was based on the need for up-to-date facilities for Christian Education for all ages. These new facilities host a weekday Pre–School, a thriving Sunday School, and various other church–sponsored and community–sponsored educational events. St. Peter's also hosts large events yearly such as Trent Durham Area Day and Conferences. A Resource Centre provides an up-to-date collection of literature, videos, DVDs, etc.
Music Ministries: St. Peter's has a tradition of good music and the present is no exception. We have a vocal choir involving different ages. Chimers play the tower bells installed in the early 1900s.
Community Building: Within our parish family are several groups which provide communities of faith and fellowship. About every two months as many as 100 women of the parish meet for breakfast and hear life stories in "Women of Faith" Also, up to 50 men of the parish meet for dinner and fellowship and to hear interesting speakers. They also support outreach projects such as providing Christmas hampers. There are also smaller groups for various ages built around specific needs and interests such as quilting, computer instruction, parenting, etc.
Much emphasis is placed on keeping parish members informed about St. Peter's and the Parish Council gives it priority. There is a weekly newsletter called Keymail sent by email on Tuesdays.
In other areas St Peter's is blessed to have members who can provide professional advice and expertise from their working lives. These are prominent in such areas as Stewardship Development, Financial reporting, catering, volunteer recruitment and management, teaching and nursing, and library management.
St Peter's members' skills and activities reach beyond the parish. Many are leaders in secular charities, community leaders, and service club executives. Some serve on committees of the Diocese and the National Church and are often asked to provide guidance to other parishes.