Houses of Holy | St. John’s Anglican Church (1835)

St. John’s Anglican Church is another small rural parish easily missed. I didn’t even know the parish still existed after coming across the name in connection with other Anglican churches. But after driving past on my way home and discovering its history, I knew I would have to include the congregation.

St. John's Anglican Church (1835)
Graflex Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 – Adox CHS 100 II @ ASA-100 – Adox Atomal 49 (Stock) 5:45 @ 20C

The township of Nelson was home to many small rural communities that popped up along Dundas Road. One of these communities, Hannahville, grew up around the modern intersection with Guelph Line. Like many such communities, there were a significant group of Anglicans who, if they wished to worship, needed to travel to St. Luke’s in Centre Wellington (Burlington). But this group soon convinced the rector to travel to Hannahville and hold a service of worship in the school house on 15 November 1835. Under the leadership of Rev Mack, the congregation grew significantly. Rev Mack petitioned the Bishop of Quebec to establish a proper parish in the area; in a meeting on 9 November 1838, the decision was made to construct a church building. Thomas Atkinson donated a 3/4 acre section of a lot to build a church and establish a burial ground. The material was presented, and construction was completed by William Grant, John Malcolm, and Alexander Brown. The cornerstone was laid in 1839. A white frame carpenter gothic Church went up the same year, with the first service being held on 7 December 1839. Rev Thomas Greene dedicated the Church in 1842, St. John’s Anglican Church. For much of the life of the parish, it was a part of a two or even three-point charge with other Anglican churches through the area. Sometimes these parishes were in the Nelson Township, some even as far as Trafalgar and Nassageweya. The Church received some updates through the years but remained much of its original form. When Nelson township was absorbed into Burlington in 1970, the slow growth of North convinced the Dioses of Niagara that St. John’s needed to be an independent congregation and Rev David Hamid was assigned as the first permanent rector in 1983. Around this same time to better support the growing community, a parish hall was completed. Today, the Parish of St. John’s is the second oldest Church in Burlington, retains almost all its original features, and serves not only the local Anglican community but the community as a whole.

Because of the Church’s location, finding an excellent spot to compose my image proved a bit tricky. Between the position of the sun late in the afternoon, the burial ground, and the grade of Dundas, it took a lot of walking and looking through the ground glass to get things right. I ended up positioning myself near a fenced-off plot in the cemetery and using the 210mm lens to compress the scene and fill the frame with the Church bringing up the front standard to cut the fence out. An all-white building made the metering difficult, but I averaged out the shadow near the entrance awing and the area opposite the tower.

If you wish to worship with this congregation, they will be happy to welcome you! Please check out the congregational website for details on attending services worship either in-person on online streaming!

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