St. Paul's, Interrupted

By the St. Paul's Support Staff
Like all we do, this article was a team effort!

Posted on April 17, 2013

We often laugh when people tell us how nice and quiet it must be to work at a church. We wish it were so!

Before coming to work at St. Paul's, various members the office staff held their share of busy, high-stress jobs with banks, lawyers, merchandisers, and even as a store owner. But the general consensus is that St. Paul's is one of the more challenging (though rewarding) jobs they have ever held.

In the office kitchen, we keep our coffee in the first aid cupboard (seriously!). But even before we have a chance to fire up the Keurig and well before the office opens at 8:30 a.m., one might hear someone yelling, "Hello?" through the closed blind of the office window. And you never know who might be on the other side of that window. 

Throughout the week neighbouring companies rent space from us. On any given day a group of 150 people will file through our doors. They often declare in amazement that they have worked next door for 10 years and never knew how big or beautiful our church is. We delight in telling first-timers that the best stained glass windows are in the women's washroom or that the men’s washroom houses our bell tower.

Although many different people come through our doors, there are our "regulars" whom we've come to watch out for. One gentleman in particular arrives promptly at 2:30 p.m. daily to use the chapel. He never speaks but pauses long enough to wave at us as he walks past the office. A half hour later, he will leave just as quietly. He is just as much a part of our routine as we our his.

Our list of regular visitors also includes:

  • colourful street folk (some bring a smile to our faces, while others leave us shaken)
  • the hotdog vendor from the corner of Bloor Street and Ted Rogers Way who comes by everyday at 3:40 p.m.
  • your average Joe or Josephine taking a peek at the magnificent building and asking questions about what kind of church we are, looking for the fastest route to St. Paul's Basilica or Trinity-St. Paul's United Church, or tear-ridden and asking for spiritual guidance.

And just as there seems to be a lull in the day, the phone rings. A local funeral home is calling to ask if a funeral can be held at St. Paul's ... in two days time ... "Can we do it?". Work for Sunday's services is put on hold to rally in preparation for the funeral. It's all hands on deck when the unexpected happens at St. Paul's. One funeral saw the staff act as pallbearers to get the casket into the church.

Without a doubt the best thing about working in the office at St. Paul's is although we have our specific roles, everyone pulls together when needed.  

By 5 p.m. we all breathe a collective sigh of relief that another day is done. There (still) sitting on our desk is that project we set out to do eight hours earlier. But there is always tomorrow. And one never knows what tomorrow will bring through the doors of St. Paul's.