Old wooden pew becomes new model

by Rob Park

Many Sundays, you will be greeted by the smiling faces of John and Linda Reaume as they volunteer as Sidespeople, welcoming folks to St. George’s Georgetown.

One day last spring they were both at the church. Linda was working at her Altar Guild duties and John, who has a passion for wood, had an idea.

John Reaume holds the model of the sanctuary of St. George’s Georgetown, which he carved from an old wooden pew. Photo: Rob Park
John Reaume holds the model of the sanctuary of St. George’s Georgetown, which he carved from an old wooden pew. Photo: Rob Park

He said, “Admiring the beauty of our church, I thought trying to make a model of our sanctuary would test my ability.”

John was impressed by the intricate wood designs around the sanctuary, so he took some reference photos and set to work.

“I’ve always enjoyed working with wood,” he admitted, “and watching my father-in-law, Ian Farrar, working with a scroll saw, I thought it might be something I would like to try after my retirement.”

That was 5½ years ago, and he is really enjoying it.

John created other small models and some bigger projects to help the church, like a pair of collection boxes—one for collecting food for the local food bank and the other for collecting donations for a local Christmas hamper program.

“As my skill level increased I wanted a project that would challenge me,” he said about the model of the sanctuary. “One of the most challenging parts for me was creating the template from the pictures and then cutting the pattern to be as close as possible to the actual wood design.”

John presented his model, made from the repurposed wood of an old church pew, to the church in late October, where it is proudly on display.

John said, “I find working with wood is very relaxing and re-creating a part of our church was very fulfilling.”

The Reverend Canon Robert Park is Rector of St. George’s Georgetown.