Winnipeg, St Helen Ayamihewkamik

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Winnipeg, St Helen Ayamihewkamik

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St Helen's Ayamihewkamik (Ayamihewkamik is Cree for "house" or "place of prayer") was formed in 1978 by Reverend Ron McCullough. He was also the minister for the Fairford area. The establishment of a congregation in the city was in response to constant movement of people between the reserves at Fairford and Winnipeg. Services were held at St Luke's Church and the first congregation was made up largely of former Fairford residents. Over time, the ministry of St Helen's Ayamihewkamik expanded to include Anglican Aboriginals across the city, as well as those in Headingley Correctional Institute, hospitals, especially medical evacuees and transient medical patients in group homes. In 1992, St Helen's Ayamihewkamik purchased a van to transport members of the congregation to church and deliver food, clothing and furniture throughout the congregation. A food bank was started at this time as well. After two years, however, the van was parked and the food bank could no longer continue due to lack of funds. St Helen's Ayamihewkamik was incorporated as a parish in February of 1994. The congregation occupied a number of buildings throughout its history. From St Luke's in 1978, the congregation moved to Pritchard and Salter in 1984 and shared a church building with the United Church Native Ministry. In 1989 a building was rented on Manitoba Avenue before a lease agreement was signed in 1992 with St John's Cathedral for the use of their parish hall. In the winter of 2001, the congregation moved out of the hall for financial reasons and eventually abandoned the building. The hall was desecularized in 2007 and later sold. The congregation did not disband, however. St Helen's Ayamihewkamik continues to worship at All Saints Anglican Church.

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