Church group bakes 700 apple pies in memory of dear friend

A group rolled out the dough and baked 700 apple pies to raise money for underdeveloped countries, all in the memory of a dear friend and community volunteer.

Baking bee is labour of love 'in Eileen's memory'

Dozens of volunteers gathered in the church kitchen to bake hundreds of pies. (Submiited/Stelman Flynn)

What does it take to bake 700 apple pies from scratch? About 60 volunteers, 900 kilograms of locally picked apples and a whole lot of love. 

That's the recipe volunteers at St. John the Evangelist Church in Corner Brook followed this past week to remember their late friend, Eileen Churchill, who died in September 2016.

"We do it in the church as in Eileen's memory and knowing how excited she was with this and what she contributed to the church," said one of the project organizers, Stelman Flynn. 

The idea to bake the pies came from Churchill just before she died suddenly while on vacation in Sweden.  

Eileen Churchill died in September 2016, while on vacation in Sweden, at the age of 73. (Submitted)

Churchill had an apple tree in her backyard and was looking for a way to use the fruit to help people in underdeveloped countries. 

Flynn suggested they bake apple pies to sell at the church and send the money to an organization that will help people abroad. 

While Churchill passed away before the first mass baking, Flynn and members of the church carried through with the idea and sold 500 pies last year. This year they made 700.

'Tremendous team effort'

"It was like being in a manufacturing plant," said Flynn about the line of volunteer bakers in the basement of the church. He figures they made 100 pies an hour.

"From the peeling of the apples on Tuesday night, to making the sauce and yesterday just making the pies and filling them — it was a great experience."

Volunteers started picking apples about two weeks ago, and once again used Churchill's apple tree.

The pies sold just as fast as they were baked.

Stelman Flynn says it took a tremendous team of 60 volunteers to bake and sell 700 apple pies. (Gary Moore/CBC)

Flynn said the money will be split between the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund, and community outreach in Corner Brook — in particular Christmas hampers. 

"It was a tremendous team effort. And, I really think it helps pull the people together in the church," he said.

"And if we can actually meet what Eileen wanted to do at the end of the day — that's all the better."

The group plans to do again in 2018.

About the Author

Gary Moore

CBC News

Gary Moore recently moved from Corner Brook, NL to join the CBC team in Fredericton. He's an associate producer with Information Morning.