Vernon Fire Rescue Services attend an alarm that rang at All Saint’s Anglican Church Sunday – in the midst of the church’s Pentecost celebrations. (Photo submitted)

Fire alarm not part of church’s Pentecost service

Alarm rings in midst of sermon on fire alighting over heads of disciples

The Anglicans at All Saints’ church were celebrating Pentecost on Sunday, which brings the theme from the Bible of fire alighting over the heads of the disciples 2000 years ago.

It is the symbolic reference to early Christians being filled with the Holy Spirit.

The contemporary congregation sported white and red clothing in honour of the occasion.

Suddenly the fire alarm rang with its irritating pitch. And kept ringing as people looked at each other, puzzled. Was it part of the service?

After priest Chris Harwood-Jones checked around the building, he came back and announced that everyone must evacuate and the firemen were on their way. No, it was not part of the service.

So the full church of about 200 people filed out in orderly fashion and enjoyed the warm spring weather as children played in the Pentecost headgear they had just crafted and and wrote chalk messages on the sidewalk.

The fire truck appeared, and the firemen reset the alarms. It turned out that burgers were cooking outside the open rear doors of the hall for the retirement luncheon to follow the service. The smoke from the grill had wafted into the hall, and the wind came up and blew all the smoke in. This set off the alarms.

Rev. Jane Bourcet, who was the retiree, will likely not soon forget the dramatic appearance of the fire truck on Pentecost. f she wasn’t just retiring, it may have sparked another sermon. The incident will likely become a legend in its own right among the parishioners.