Alnwick/Haldimand Church Gets Limited OK on Social-Justice Requests

In City Hall

By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
St. Andrew’s United Church in Grafton has expressed its support for social justice with two requests to the Alnwick-Haldimand Township council.

At its May 14 meeting, one was granted and one was deferred.

The church’s Social Justice Committee Chair Catherine White put in both requests, one of which is to make an official declaration of Dec. 1. 2024, as World AIDS Day.

The church has celebrated World AIDS Day on Dec. 1 since 2017 by having members knit red scarves and tie them around trees, posts and railings throughout Grafton as a variation on the red-ribbon symbol of support. It’s an event Deputy Mayor Joan Stover has turned out for for the past two years, and for which she expressed her support. The rest of council followed suit.

There seemed to be qualified support for a second request from White, for the township to show its support of the LGBTQIA+ community by flying the Pride flag for the month of June – Pride Month.

Under Pastor David Lander, St. Andrew’s became an Affirming Ministry in 2014. A Pride symbol was added to the sign on County Road 2 that points the direction to the church on Old Danforth Road.

Mayor John Logel expressed puzzlement that the request was for Pride Month instead of Pride Week.

“I would agree with the Mayor’s comment,” Councillor Greg Booth said.

“I wouldn’t approve it for a whole month. If you have three or four groups that want a whole month, the Canadian flag is not going to be there at all.

“We agree with Pride Week, but 30 days seems excessive.”

“I agree with Councillor Booth – I think a week is sufficient,” Councillor Mike Ainsworth added.

Councillor Mary Catherine O’Neill turned the discussion to the township’s flag policy. It was agreed that there was time enough before Pride Month to examine how it affects the request and revisit the issue at the May 28 council meeting.

Cecilia Nasmith
Author: Cecilia Nasmith

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