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Fort Edmonton PaintingIn 1840 Robert Rundle was one of three missionaries appointed by the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) to be a company chaplain and, assigned to Fort Edmonton, he travelled the farthest west of the three. 

During his initial years at the fort, Rundle performed the majority of his duties inside the post, offering worship services, baptisms and marriages for the fort inhabitants and some of the visiting Aboriginal people. To accommodate his labours, in 1843 a chapel was built that, according to Rundle's diaries, could accommodate up to 100 people. By that time, however, the company chaplain had shifted his focus and efforts to the people who lived beyond the walls of the fort.

In ministering to the Aboriginal peoples, Robert Rundle spent much of his time away from Fort Edmonton, travelling throughout the large district assigned to him, an area that spanned all of present-day Alberta and part of Saskatchewan. After his departure in 1848, the mission at Fort Edmonton was occupied by the Roman Catholic priest, Fr. Jean Baptiste Thibeault. By the time the next Methodist missionary, Thomas Woolsey, arrived in 1855, he found little room for a Methodist ministry. He consequently reopened the mission post that was established years earlier by Rundle at Pigeon Lake.


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