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Alberta Online Encyclopedia

No. 322: St. Paul's Anglican Church at Fish Creek, Near Calgary

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On September 27, 1885, St. Paul's Anglican Church held its first service, and people filled the collection plate with a very generous 17 dollars and 30 cents.

According to historian Dorothy Field, from the very beginning, the little white country church was blessed with a wonderful benefactor.

Reverend Smith established this church. He was also the pastor of the main congregation in Calgary at the time. And he obtained the land from John Glen, who was actually a catholic, but he donated some land for the construction of this church.

John Glen seems to have been an open-minded and open-handed kind of a man. He also donated adjacent land for the Lacombe Home and a small Catholic church built next to this Anglican church.

There's a story that John Glen was approached to donate funds or materials to have the Catholic church painted. He remarked, "isn't there another church at that site, why don't you paint both of them?" So, there's been a long history of cooperation between the two.

St. Paul's Anglican church is a wood frame building, designed as an exact replica of a larger Anglican church in Calgary.

It's a very sweet little building. It's what you would imagine a little country church to be. Its got pointed arched windows, and an extremely steep roof, with a little belfry on top, and a little porch out front.

As well, the bell in the belfry is several hundred years old.

There's another interesting feature of this church, which is its bell, which came from the parish of St. Andrew the Apostle in Thelveton, England. It was donated to St. Paul's, having been made, it's said, during the reign of Henry VIII.

Lumber for the church came from the mill of Colonel James Walker, just east of Calgary.

And, while the barn is long gone, it could accommodate up to twenty horses for people attending services, and it was, in fact, larger than the church itself.

On the Heritage Trail,

I'm Cheryl Croucher.

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