Our History

Contact
Archdeacon Deborah Kraft
Rector
Get in touch
(807) 624-7161
stpauls.rector@shaw.ca

St. Paul’s Anglican Church – Founded in 1908. In 2008, our parish was 100 years old and we joyfully celebrated our anniversary. Honouring our Past and Celebrating our Future.

 

One hundred years ago, our community was thriving. Business was booming. It was a period of much growth. the citizens faced the future with great confidence and optimism. Prominent Anglican decided it was time to build a new church to meet the need of a burgeoning city and with great courage and vision signed a motion in the Town Hall on April 25, 1906 that marked the first steps to construction. Later that year at a second meeting, on W.C. Lillie’s motion seconded by J.J. Wells, the name of St. Paul’s was officially adopted.

 

St. Paul’s was designed in the style of English Gothic by Architect R.E. Mason. The exterior was completed with red brick from a local brickyard. The cornerstone was laid on July 29, 1907 by the Right Reverend George Thorneloe. The first services were held on March 9, 1908.

 

The beauty of the building is still appreciated by all who continue to worship in the church today.

 

Some of the outstanding features of the church are:

 

  • 15 large stained-glass windows

  • A timbered hammer beam roof

  • Due to age, our intricate rood-screen and magnificent Karn organ with nearly 1,000 working pipes were replaced with a beautiful, state-of-the-art Allen digital organ was installed in 2019. The nearly 1,000 pipes from the original Karn organ remain. Because the Karn organ could not be repaired, it was repurposed as a magnificent, unique coffee and tea station in the Parish Hall. 

  • 10 church bells weighing 7,200 lbs. that are manually played by bellringers. These bells were installed in 1910

  • 4-sided tower clock installed in 1959

 

A church is much more than bricks and mortar, and the story of St. Paul’s is as much about the people as the building itself. In 100 years, many events have affected the lives of people. Our history includes times of a booming economy and the years of the Depression. There were two World Wars. There have been two fires in the church. Societal values have changed and indeed are still evolving. The church has had to re-invent itself to remain relevant in the dialy lives of parishioners. And while much has changed, the roots of St. Paul’s remain strong. We celebrate the courage and tenacity of the men and women who are responsible for building St. Paul’s. We also celebrate the dedication and labour of the parishioners and clergy throughout the past one hundered years. Their love of St. Paul’s has ensured the structure remains sound and the church is as gloriously beautiful for us today as it was in 1908. 

 

In celebration of our 100th anniversary, we have:

 

  • Installed an 11-circuit prayer labyrinth in our side gardens. This labyrinth is based upon the labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral in France.

  • Written a history book of our first 100 years

  • Produced a Photo Directory

  • Gone on a pilgrimage to Israel

  • Had an Anniversary Gala on June 25

  • Planned a New Year’s Eve Celebration

  • Extended a helping hand and made large donations to 2 charities in Thunder Bay (Operation Hope and Camp Quality)

 

We also developed a chapel in the church, and this chapel was dedicated on All Saints’ Sunday, November 2, 2008.