An Old Dear Friend


Born in London, Ontario, Rev. John Stennett served 13½ years in the Canadian Forces, during which time he led a large young adult group at the Base chapel while stationed in Ottawa.  After studying at Emmanuel & St. Chad,  Saskatoon, he served parishes in the dioceses of Moosonee and Ruperts Land for 29 years. He is no stranger to the North, with family in Kirkland Lake, and living in and ministering to parishes from Hornepayne to Waswanipi and Matheson to Waskaganish.   Although retired, he presently serves as Honourary Assistant at St. Brice’s, North Bay, filling in at nearby Anglican churches as needed, and also works with young people as Civilian Instructor with the local Air Cadet Squadron.  He is husband of Mary Lee, father of four, and grandfather of nine.

The day that I sat on the steps of a barrack block in Rockcliffe, Ottawa, Ontario in Canada and asked God, if He was real, to show Himself to me, this is who God sent. Corporal John Stennett actually sat down beside me on the doorstep. I ended up joining the large young adult group that John led. Master Warrant Officer Bruce Pringle worked with John leading the group and many was the night that a group of us sat around Bruce’s kitchen table discussing Biblical topics and studying the Scriptures. I met some wonderful people there, dear friends that I will never forget. Some are with our Lord now and I can only imagine how joyous it will be when we meet again.

Much water has gone under the bridge since those days. John was instrumental in my becoming a Christian. I was nurtured there, protected and accepted far beyond what I deserved or realized. When I was posted from Ottawa to a Naval base in Shelburne, Nova Scotia, I was ill prepared to stand on my own. I had some hard lessons to learn.

I wish I could relive those days in Rockcliffe again but that isn’t going to happen. I can tell you this, I would value them a lot more now, than I did then. The patience that was shown to me, the dedication that was demonstrated, the friendships that existed, the memories that linger.

I called John today and we spoke on the phone, it’s been quite a while since we have talked. Of course, when we talk it’s just like it all happened yesterday. John was faithful and because of his faithfulness, I am a child of God. Hopefully I will hear from others who belonged to the old Rockcliffe group in the near future. I am seriously looking forward to that. And I am also looking forward to being with those who are now with our Lord when I go home.

I just wanted to say thank you John, from the bottom of my heart. God answered my prayer that day when you sat down beside me. Little did I know the journey that was to follow and our Lord that I would ultimately find.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!



  1. My farewell remarks in Ottawa before being posted north: words from St. Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians 3:1-2. These words are as true today as they were back in Rockcliffe. It is a joy to see what the Lord has done in our lives over so many years. But your expressions truly warm my heart. Thank you.

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    • 2 Corinthians 3:1-2 NIV
      “Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone.” Grace and gratitude are beautiful things. I awoke early this morning with this Bible verse in my mind” I Timothy 1:15 KJV “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” And I remember the wise words of Bruce Pringle who said “Move over Paul, it’s a long bench.” I’m just glad that I’m sitting on that bench with the Apostle Paul and John S and all my other brothers and sisters in the Lord. It’s a good place to be!


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