• spchurch_comp

    The Race to save St.Paul’s Church

    Knowing that the race is on to save St. Paul’s Church from demolition. I would like to give my followers a ,little info on St. Paul’s and the history behind this historical site.   As most now know. This church is the burial site for constable Richards killed in the line of duty in Oct of 1854. For which he is being remembered and honored for in Ottawa in October. With a new headstone placed at the burial site recently.  About St. Paul’s.

    George Keefer was the first church warden in 1838, although Thorold had no rector until 1840 when Rev. Thomas Brock Fuller was appointed.

    The first entry relating to public worship is Easter Sunday, April 11, 1841, when Mr. and Mrs. George Keefer, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Lampman, Robert Holden, Mr. and Mrs. Jacob H. Ball, Miss Ball, Mrs. Henry C. Ball. Adam Hutt, Mrs. John Keefer and Mrs. Garden were communicants.

    The first vestry meeting was held on April/12/1841, with the Rector, Adam Hutt, George Keefer, Henry C Ball, Peter Lampman, George Hutt, John Turney, William Ward, John Waldon and Alexander Winslow present.

    The history of St. Paul’s, Port Robinson, is recorded in a booklet written by the Rev. Thomas H. Ibbott, who served as rector in 1929.

    Rev. Robert Addison was sent as a missionary by the Venerable Society of the Propogation of the Gospel who conducted the first Church of England services in the parish. Prior to his arrival in  1792 the only public service of worship had been held in garrisons such as Niagara by the chaplains of the various regiments.

    Rev. William Leeming of Chippawa came to Port Robinson in 1840, and in 1841 Rev Thomas Brock Fuller held regular services at Port Robinson, usually at the homes of his congregation and later in  the school house. The present church was built in  1844.

    There was a considerable debt remaining when the church opened its doors and from a regiment of Negro Soldiers stationed in  the village, came assistance in paying it off. These men gave twenty cents per month each, for six months.

    Dr. Fuller became the first bishop on Niagara when that diocese formed in 1875 and retained a warm spot in his heart for the little church at Port Robinson.

    When the Rev. P. L. Spencer was rector in 1866he held summer services at Allanburg. Under the ministrations of Rev. Joseph F. Carson, from 1914-1917, the Guild Hall was added to the church property as a gift from Mrs. Elizabeth Maw, in memory of her mother, Elizabeth Jordan.

    Through the years gifts have been given to the church by many members and former members. These gifts bear the names so familiar in the growth of Port Robinson and St. Paul’s Church. Among them are Coleman, Jordan, Wilson, Abbey, Ross, Reaveley, Bennett, Chambers, Simpson, Bell and Heslop.

    St. Paul’s was a part of the Fonthill parish for many years, until community growth indicated the need for a separate parish, and Port Robinson became part of St. Monica’s parish, Niagara

    In closing. We must do what we can as a community to save this historical site. As a gesture towards the founders as well as the Negro Soldiers who helped pay down the debt. I always have said For many, many years. That Thorold believes in the 3 b’s . bulldoze it, burn it and bury it. If this site was in the United States. It would be a significant historical site. Not just some forgotten piece of land.

    “LET’S PRESERVE OUR HISTORY NOT DESTOY IT”