Anglicans in 19th Century Stratford, Ontario

St James Anglican, Stratford St. James' Anglican Church was founded in 1844 by Rev. Thomas Hickey.   This missionary was sent by Bishop Strachan, of Toronto, to gather together the settlers belonging to that denomination and form a congregation. Huron was not set apart from Toronto as a separate diocese for several years subsequent to this Tract being opened up.   As Mr. Hickey was first minister, he was certainly the greatest ever officiating in St. James' or any other ecclesiastical building in Stratford, his weight being 320 pounds. Services were held in the Shakespeare hotel and the log school house.   A few years subsequent to his arrival Mr. Hickey was able to erect a small building, which was never completed.   This church occupied the site of the present St. James', on the corner of St. Michael and St. George streets.   Rev. Canon Ephraim Patterson was inducted in 1851, and a new brick building erected.   This church, through imperfect construction, was soon replaced by the present one.   The ecclesiastical buildings erected by this congregation are now extensive, and cost nearly $40,000, exclusive of $8,000 which was paid for the organ now used.   Since organization only three ministers have been in charge - Rev. Mr. Hickey, Rev. Canon Patterson, and Rev. David Williams, M. A., present incumbent.  

The first choir in Perth County of which we have any notice assisted in this congregation. It was composed of the Lee family, Miss Mary Woods, Messrs. Robert McFarland, A. Haines, and S. R. Hesson. A Mr. Wilson played the flute, accompanied by Mr. Hesson on a big horn and another performer with a clarionet. It is said that when this trio had risen, "crescendo style,'' in their finest symphonies to the most sublime point of excellence, so terrible was their molody that the wild fowl on Victoria Lake took flight in dismay, never resting their weary wings till a secluded spot was reached far away in the Ellice swamp.

The Home Memorial Church, also Episcopalian, was founded in 1877 by Rev. J. P. Curran. A building erected just as a Sabbath school was extended and otherwise improved, rendering it suitable for a place of worship. Rev. David Deacon, present incumbent was inducted in 1882.   About 80 families are in connection.   A Sabbath school is also conducted by Mr. Charles Davis, having an attendance of 90 pupils.   Church buildings of this congregation are not pretentious, but comfortable, and cost about $2,000.

William Johnston, December 31, 1902.

UPDATE:   Home Memorial was renamed St Paul's.
The present building was constructed in 1905.