While a farm accident originally derailed his dreams of becoming a priest, Deacon Ed Maddock has become a living example of faithfulness and service for half a century.

Reverend Diane Guilford, Pastor and Priest at St. Thomas Anglican Church with long serving Deacon Ed Maddock

Maddock has faithfully worshipped with the congregation at St. Thomas Anglican Church in Morden since arriving in the community with his wife in 1952.

When the parish went without a priest in the early 70's, Maddock was asked to help lead worship and soon found himself attending evening classes at St. John's College in Winnipeg to become ordained and serve in ministry full time. However, in 1973 while fighting a fire that started in a hay stack, he fell and broke both his heels, postponing his ordination. Afterwards he says life always seemed to delay his plans of finally pursuing priesthood. Instead, in 1975 he chose to become an ordained deacon and serve in another capacity.

Along with turning 95 this month, he was recently honoured as one of the longest serving deacons in the local diocese.

Like many small rural churches over the years, he says it was difficult to find a full time priest. During those seasons Maddock would continually step up to keep the parish open, ministering to those who gathered there. Maddock lead Sunday services with prayer and sermons, as well as officiating at funerals and baptisms.

"I just figured it was part of my job to try and keep the church together and do what I can for the community," he says.

Reverend Diane Guilford, Pastor and Priest at St. Thomas Anglican Church since 2014 says Maddock has been a shining example to the younger generation, "they see him as an elder who is significant and serving, that has been a wonderful quality."

"He's such a deeply faithful, committed person," she adds, both to his faith and church family, as well as the wider Morden community.

"It is a witness and testimony to what we're all called to be as Christians," Guilford says.

In the end, Maddock remains humble when reflecting on the decades of service, "you just work year by year... it's just one of those things, when you see a need you do it, that's it. You just do your best."