Binbrook Log Church
The property in Binbrook was purchased by our mothers and fathers in 1975 so that Serbs could gather and preserve their Serbian religion, tradition and culture.
Currently in Binbrook, we have fully equipped soccer fields that only see use for the three or four summer months. We also have a small park for young children to play and a monument to Draza Mihailovic built by all the Serbs in Ontario.
Now we have a need for a spiritual center. The decision has been made to build a traditional Serbian log Church, not as an exhibit or monument but as a part of the living Church. The youth should be able to acquaint themselves with their faith and its roots. In the Orthodox faith, building a Church is an inseparable part of the Holy Liturgy. This log Church represents a practical teaching tool to provide insights on how in times of suffering, freedoms were won.
The Binbrook property, nestled in nature, facilitates entertainment and growth for our children. All amenities are available for the youth to enjoy in the summer months. In order to fulfil its’ purpose, the final step is to build a log Church on the grounds.
In the first moments of entering the Church through the west doors, everyone will be able to feel a calm under the Church roof, looking forward following the beams to the iconostasis to see the Virgin Mary’s open arms “wider than the heavens” accepting them.
The young children can play and explore in this little Church and they can see all the Mysteries of our faith and the Holy Liturgy which much of the youth do not attend during the year. If the property is truly Serbian for our children to come to, then it should be Serbian and Orthodox. These two things go together. It is unlikely that someone can come to a Serbian property purchased by the faithful and for that someone to not take their child into the Church there. When one enters the Church there, they will also remember who they are and where they are from.
The log Church to be built in Binbrook near Hamilton will be modelled after those built throughout Serbia during the 17th to 19th centuries. These Churches were built during the time of brutal Turkish occupation and slavery in remote areas of the dense Serbian forests. During those horrible times, occupied Serbs who had nothing left, persevered and clung to their freedom hidden in the dense foliage of the forests, never forgetting and always preserving their faith and Church. As a people, no matter how much we’ve lost or how much has been taken from us, we can never lose everything so long as we keep our unbreakable faith in God.
These log Churches were built small and low to the ground to stay hidden. There were no bells built because of the threat of their enemies, similar to how bells are currently banned from use in Kosovo. The Churches were built with small windows like turrets to resist the Turks and were the last line of defense. They withstood 500 years of oppression and even though certain things penetrated our vocabulary, kitchen and dress, nothing was changed or added to our Orthodox faith and Church. Today in our freedom we find it easy to renounce everything. In 50 to 100 years it is possible that we will know nothing about our roots. We will, God willing, build this log Church because we live in freedom.
Parents cannot always bring their children to Church due to sports and other obligations during the summer so let’s bridge the gap and bring the Church closer to children where we can all enjoy together in nature. We will name it the Summer Log Church.
Children who are at a distance from the source of their spirituality can actively play here and remember their ancestors and traditions. This is a valuable spiritual exercise no different than the need for sports or physical exercise.
Imagine children playing outside while others are running in and out of the Church doors. Imagine that the Church does not feel foreign for them. Imagine parents handing their children a candle, and crossing themselves together and sitting after the Holy Liturgy on the benches outside enjoying lunch like in the old country. Our fairs, carnivals and events were always held on Church grounds. The Church doors will be open all summer. During the summer months on Sundays, we will serve the Holy Liturgy in Binbrook and provide a picnic and lunch in nature. Transportation will be organized from the city for all to be able to come each week.
The property will truly come to life. We can start on new projects down the road such as new sports fields, a hall and more, but the foundation for all of this is the Church. When we look at all the great Serbian communities on this continent like in Cleveland, Milwaukee, the great communities of Indiana and Illinois we see that the first thing they did was construct a Church and then everything else fell into place. The first thing to be laid is the foundation. Homes are not built roof first. Orthodoxy and Serbian culture has been flourishing in Romania, Hungary, and Italy etc. for hundreds of years thanks to the Church.
Our community and our parish recently celebrated its 100 year anniversary. God willing this log Church which we will construct for the Glory of God will keep our culture, traditions and Orthodox faith safe for many centuries to come.