OUR HISTORY

St. George’s Anglican Church, 1883 – Present


Background

The year 1883, when the first St George’s was established in Winnipeg, was an exciting and vibrant one for the city. According to the Hudson’s Bay Company Land Commissioner the population was closer to 30,000 than 25,000. Old Fort Garry was being demolished so that Main Street could be widened. A good many emigrants, almost all from Ontario, were arriving. Main Street was the business district with large buildings being erected, including the Empress Hotel, which many Winnipeggers will remember. The St George’s Society was flourishing and the first Department Store in Western Canada opened at Broadway and Main.

In The Beginning

Families living west of Main Street had to attend St John’s or Christ Church, so they decided to start a new one.

1883

First St George’s established at William and Lydia in a converted school house. The Rev. James O’Meara, priest-in-charge

1886

Second St George’s established at Isabel & Bannatyne – a charming looking church.

The first priest of the second church, The Rev. Josiah Jesse Roy, was a direct descendant of Abraham Martin, on whose property the Battle of the Plains of Abraham was fought. It was said that he “promoted temperance with an intemperate zeal”.

1894

Cornerstone laid for a new church at Isabel Street and Bannatyne Avenue.

William and Lydia school house, 1883.
William and Lydia school house, 1883.

Isabel & Bannatyne location, 1894.
Isabel & Bannatyne location, 1894.

From North to South

The demographics of Winnipeg were changing rapidly. A decision was made to move the church to a more residential area.

1916

‘Mission church’ established at Grosvenor & Wilton.

1918

The Reverend Henry David Martin inducted 29 December. Arrived in September but could not conduct services until December owing to the Spanish influenza.

1921

Annual meeting reported 30 baptisms, 7 weddings, 22 confirmations, ll funerals and an average Sunday School attendance of 250.

1926

New church built, incorporating the old one, doubling the capacity.

1930s

Social role of the church important. The church was the community and the community was the church. Active mission ministry in used clothing and food. Vesper Hour was broadcast by CBC from St George’s every Sunday at 4 ‘clock. In 1934 there were 631 Easter communicants.

1940s

The Rev. George Dowker inducted as Rector in January 1940. His ministry had many sad moments which were spent consoling families whose relatives had been killed in World War II. In 1941, 142 parishioners were reported on active service. Lieutenant Governor R.F. McWilliams, in 1943, unveiled plaques stating the names of the 15 parishioners killed during the War 1914 – 1918, and the 204 men who served during 1939-1945.

1944

The church was declared free of debt.

1954

New Parish Hall formally opened with its Honour Roll of 42 men who gave their lives in the Second World War.

1956

Stewart M. Thomson succeeds Donald Legatt as Organist and Choirmaster on 1 January, 1956.

1957 – 1958

Cornerstone for the new church laid. First service held Palm Sunday, 31 March 1958. surmounted by an aluminum cross. The Interior walls are Tyndall stone and the pillars of Italian mosaic glass tile.

Mission church, Grosvenor & Wilton, 1916.
Mission church, Grosvenor & Wilton, 1916.

Rebuilt Mission church, Grosvenor & Wilton, 1926.
Rebuilt Mission church, Grosvenor & Wilton, 1926.

Church interior, 1926.
Church interior, 1926.

Cornerstone of the Present Church

The Sixties and Seventies

St George’s continued to be a vibrant Christian community.

1962

The Reverend F. Roy Gartrell, who had served St George’s since January of 1945, resigned to become Dean of Ottawa. In June George Stegen appointed Rector.

1964

14 of the choir boys entered solo classes at the Manitoba Music Festival. Only three of the solos received marks under 80.

1965

A choir of 30 girls sang at the 9.30 service.

1966

Inauguration of the children’s ‘Midnight Communion’ at 7.00 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

1969

The Rev. Dr Arthur N. Thompson appointed Rector

1973

Consecration of St George’s and the burning of the mortgage

1976

St George’s boy choristers won first in four out of five classes entered at the Winnipeg Music Festival

1983 – St. George’s Centennial Year

1984

The Rev. Dr Arthur N. Thompson resigned effective 30 April

84/85

The Rev. Canon Ralph Baxter appointed priest-in-charge

1985

The Rev. William R. Duff inducted as Rector

1986

Book of Alternate Services used for the first time in August

1993

New kitchen completed

1993

Purchased Steinway Grand Piano

1997

The Rev. William R. Duff retires

1998

The Rev.Canon J. A. (Tony) Harwood-Jones inducted as Rector

The New Millenium

2003

New website developed

2005

St George’s sponsored a family of seven from Uganda.

2005

Stewart M. Thomson retires after 50 years as Organist and Choirmaster.

2005

The Rev . Canon J. A. (Tony) Harwood-Jones retires

2005

Venerable Donna Ball appointed Interim Rector

2006

Provides new water supply for the village of Bulo, in Central Buganda Uganda, at a cost of $60,700.

2007

The Rev. Lyndon Hutchison-Hounsell appointed as Incumbent Priest

2011 – January

Parishioners vote 96% in favour of blessing same-sex marriages

2011

Water supply extended from Bulo to the village of Kiddimule, north of Bulo at a cost of $25,000.

2015

The Rev. Simon Blaikie appointed as Incumbent Priest

2017

Website undergoes redevelopment to optimize for use on mobile devices