Anglicans in 19th Century St Marys Ontario

Early records in connection with St. James' Anglican Church are meagre and unsatisfactory, affording little data for a historian.

Rev. Charles Crosbie Brough, who afterwards became archdeacon of Huron diocese, was the first Episcopal minister to visit St. Marys.   History leaves him the reputation of being a worthy man, full of zeal, and with a heart glowing with true missionary spirit.   He was a faithful old pioneer.   In 1843 he first visited Little Falls, preaching to the few people settled there at that time.

No regular incumbent of this denomination was stationed in St. Mary's till 1856, when Rev. Archibald Lampman accepted the responsibility of organizing a congregation.   During Mr. Lampman's pastorate a church was erected.   It was not completed, however, for several years, from causes which interfered sadly in those days with all enterprises, as well as building churches.   A rectory was purchased west of the river, where the minister resided until 1890, when it was sold, and the present house constructed.

The present Anglican church building is of stone, and, since its renovation in 1886, is a striking illustration of old English ecclesiastical architecture.   A prominent feature of this style is a low elevation, flanked at one corner with a heavy massive tower extending somewhat higher than the building itself.   The cornice on this tower is coped with a heavy plinth in castellated form, giving to the whole an aspect of solidity rather than gracefulness in outline.   Heavy buttresses support the walls.   Between each of these are lancet-shaped windows filled with translucent glass, harmonizing with its interior arrangement.   Upon completion of this edifice in 1886 it had on it a debt or about $5,000.

It has had several benefactors in its history. Mrs. Hill, widow of Arundel Hill, an old pioneer of Blanshard, was donor of an elegant communion set, and till her death was a kind patron.   The beautiful font of Carrara marble, the gift of Mrs. C. S. Rumsey, is one of the interior ornaments, adding much to its appearance.   The greatest benefactor this church perhaps ever had is its present rector, Rev. William J. Taylor.   Through his exertions in England a sufficient sum was obtained to release it from all indebtedness.   A lectern and prayer desk were also gifts by Mr. Taylor, which, with a pipe organ, gives an air of impressiveness to its whole interior.

William Johnston, December 31, 1902.

William Johnston's history of St Marys is at St Marys Ontario in the 19th Century