The vigil will be held on the grounds of Holy Spirit Anglican Church in Whonnock. (Google Maps/Special to The News)

The vigil will be held on the grounds of Holy Spirit Anglican Church in Whonnock. (Google Maps/Special to The News)

Bells will be tolling in Maple Ridge for victims of former residential school

The bells at Holy Spirit Anglican Church will toll 215 times on Monday, June 21

Bells will be tolling out in Maple Ridge Monday evening to honour the victims of the Kamloops tragedy.

The church bell at Holy Spirit Anglican Church in east Maple Ridge will ring 215 times on June 21, in memory of the 215 children discovered in May in unmarked graves at a former residential school in Kamloops. The bodies were discovered using ground-penetrating technology

“We are doing this in light of what we have heard,” explained Rev. Miranda Sutherland with Holy Spirit Anglican Church.

“A grief has been spread across the country,” said Sutherland, adding it is necessary to be in solidarity at such a time as this.

READ MORE: Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows mourn residential school tragedy

In addition to the church bells, there will be 215 candles lit in the children’s honour and placed around the grounds outside the church.

That is why the service is being held in the evening, noted Sutherland, so that the candles will be visible to anyone driving by.

A banner with 215 hearts, designed by a member of the congregation, will also be unfurled.

READ MORE: B.C. premier ‘horrified’ at discovery of remains at Kamloops residential school site

“It’s just about building awareness,” explained Sutherland.

“What our parish has come to recognize is they have a responsibility to share information with people because, when you have information and you are better informed, your responses will more than likely be more objective than otherwise,” she said.

June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day.

The evening gathering takes place at 8 p.m. on the church grounds at 27123 River Rd. in Whonnock, Maple Ridge.

Masks are required and people are being asked to socially distance from one another.


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