No. 238: Christ Church at Millarville
For over a century, the residents of Millarville, in southern Alberta, have practiced their Sunday worship at Christ Church. According to historian Dorothy Field, the little Anglican church dates back to 1896.
The church was established by a Reverend Webb Peplow, who had come to Alberta because of ill health. He was from England, and he was here subsequently for a fair while.
He had a house built in Millarville, which had the same construction method as this church. That is, vertical peeled logs, and that was in 1894.
And then he arranged for the land for this church to be donated, and contracted a local man to build the church.
Webb Peplow was the first Anglican minister in the area. At the time, church services were being held in private homes, and he was determined to bring a church to the community.
The walls of the church are composed of logs, set vertically in the ground. They've had the bark peeled off of them, and you can see on the inside and the outside of the church, the surfaces of the logs.
It's in sort of a Gothic style, although, of course, there were no vertical log Gothic churches in Europe, but the windows do have pointed frames at the top, and there is a steeple at one end.
The steeple bell first rang in Christ Church on June 2, 1930. It was actually found during the demolition of the old Alexandra Block in Calgary, and, had been the bell of the first Anglican church built in that city.
But the bell is not the only found item that graces Christ Church at Millarville.
Well, the inside has some interesting furnishings, some of which were sent out to Webb Peplow by friends in England, including alter cloths and kneeling rugs.
The alter and the lectern are rustic in style, they're also made of logs. And there are some wonderful stained glass windows, which were installed in memory of one of the congregation's brothers who was killed in the Boer War.
Many of the first residents of Millarville are buried in the cemetery at Christ Church.
On the Heritage Trail,
I'm Cheryl Croucher.