We give thanks for the life and work of Ray Bray, one of the founders of the Sorrento Centre. Canon Bray has left us, and there will be a Requiem Eucharist for him on Friday at 2 pm at St John the Evangelist Church, in Salmon Arm. Public health protocols will be in place.
The Sorrento Centre was founded in 1963 as a Lay Ministry Training Centre for the Anglican Church of Canada. Ray, who was Vicar of Chase, was there at the beginning to lay a strong foundation, helping with early programming and site preparation. He planted seeds that were harvested by the first director of the Sorrento Centre, Jim Cruickshank, who came on site soon after.
The virtues and values that are embedded in our mission statement - "a holy place of transformation for learning, healing and belonging" - were planted and nourished by Ray, and we are grateful for his inspired leadership. The Centre itself, like the many thousands of people who have come through our campus, has been transformed many times over the past 60 years.
In 2021, we also aspire to be a "gathering place for all". Thanks to the strong and deep roots cultivated by Ray, we continue to serve as a special and nourishing place for our many guests. Whether our guests are clergy and laity in the Church, people of many other faiths, cyclists, quilters, musicians or others, they will find warm and generous hospitality at the Sorrento Centre. This is a gift that has been nurtured since the earliest days of our beloved Centre.
The words of the mystic Julian of Norwich come to mind as we recall the life and work of Ray:
Be a Gardener.
Dig a ditch. Toil and sweat.
And turn the earth upside down.
And seek the deepness.
And water plants in time.
Continue this labor.
And make sweet floods to run,
and noble and abundant fruits to spring.
Take this food and drink,
and carry it to God as your true worship.
And so, as we offer our deepest gratitude to Ray Bray, we also pray that rest eternal be granted to him, and light perpetual shine upon him.
- Michael Shapcott, Executive Director