The Reverend Paul Richards




Another busy year has passed for your Deacon, and no slowing down in 2018! I have joined in worship at both services on Sunday, as well as occasionally leading morning prayer service on Thursday, with an occasional sermon provided. Along with parishioners we have also been providing mid-day prayer services with hymns and piano accompaniment once a month at Weatherby Pavilion at Peace Arch Hospital. In addition to instructing at the Lenten Lectures, I have also assisted and conducted funerals and attended social events at the church. I have also attended our regional clericus meetings with clergy colleagues, and diocesan clergy days, which normally focus on key issues and discussions for clergy throughout the Diocese of New Westminster. This year I used my study-leave and participated in a week long national conference on the Anglican Diaconate held in Victoria, BC, discussing reconciliation between First Nations and the Anglican Church of Canada. Finally, I have been active in the past year in the Diocese with the companion diocese and partner parish project with the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Philippines.

In the community, I have been active in pastoral care with other parishioners, bringing communion to shut-ins and other people, some who now live far from White Rock, and bringing our church community to those who cannot join us in worship and socializing. This includes visits to Peace Arch Hospital, Surrey Memorial Hospital and Royal Columbian Hospital, and also requires participation in palliative and end-of-life spiritual care. I continue my work on your behalf with both the White Rock Hospice Society (at their new location) and Atira Women’s Society. I have remained involved in our Refugee Committee under Peter Johnson’s leadership, and will continue to work on this project as we move closer to our sponsored family’s arrival.

This year I began my studies in Criminology at Simon Fraser University, eventually leading to a PhD, and the focus of my studies remains on radicalization of young people to violent extremism. Many of you know that I also started working part-time as a Coroner for the Fraser Valley with BC Coroner’s Service, and I have gained substantial insight into the public health crisis of the opioid overdose problem in our community. This year, I assume the volunteer Chair position of St. John Ambulance (SJA) for BC/Yukon, as well as continuing in my role as Provincial Chaplain for SJA.  Part of my experience this past year has been working with volunteer SJA response care teams to the opioid crisis in Surrey, as well as SJA volunteer care at the Surrey wildfire refuge and evacuation centre. I have also just been selected to participate in the 2018 Cohort of subject-matter specialist in the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative.

I thank you for your continued support and prayers in my servant ministry as your deacon.

Respectfully submitted,
Paul Richards