Church History

Streetsville United started as a Methodist Church, with the congregation erecting its first building, a crude log structure, in 1821. It was replaced in 1835 with a frame building located on Maiden Lane overlooking the Credit River, and a brick church was erected nearby in 1847.

By 1875 the congregation had outgrown the third building. It was sold to the local school board for $800 and current property was purchased on Queen St. With the proceeds of the sale and $1,000 from the Ladies Aid, the congregation contracted in 1875 with builder Josiah Mason to erect a new church.

The Sanctuary building is a fine example of Victorian Gothic Revival style, with carefully proportioned brickwork and cut stone detailing rarely found in Ontario village churches. Only the gargoyles at the centre door and the front chimney have been lost through time, along with the cast iron fence.

Sanctuary 2008The interior remains virtually as built. With the exception of the cast iron pillars supporting the gallery and the coloured and painted glass, all materials are of local origin. The foundation is of hard river stone, the bricks were hand made nearby, and the woodwork was locally milled from native pine. The roof trusses and gallery sills are solid timbers, and the cut stone id from Niagara escarpment. The total cost of the building, without furnishings, amounted to $6,942.

The 1847 and 1876 buildings were dedicated by Egerton Ryerson, whose connection with Streetsville dated back to his days as a missionary to the Indians on the Credit. He preached at the laying of the cornerstone on July 1, 1875 and at the dedication on February 27, 1876, a stimulating sermon lasting 75 minutes. There were three services that day, all filled, and the banquet the next day drew 750 people.

A former minister, Rev Charles Fish, came forward and challenged the people to raise the balance owing that very day. They rose to the occasion and all the money was pledged.

Windows-3In 1953, at a cost of $35,000 an addition at the rear of the church was completed, comprising Sunday School rooms, a spacious kitchen, minister’s study and choir room. The final addition to the church, the Christian Education Wing, was completed in 1965; an elevator was added to this wing in 1985. In 1994 it was necessary to carry out a major repointing of the Sanctuary brickwork as well as other repairs to required to protect the integrity of the Sanctuary building. The stained glass window (shown on the left) at the rear of the church was releaded and restored to its original condition at the same time. We were fortunate in having as a member, David Griffin, a contractor who was able to locate a couple of small spires that had disappeared from the front wall of the Sanctuary building and some concrete caps for the exterior brick pillars.

In 2008, in response to the United Church’s Emerging Spirit recommendations, a major landscaping of the Queen Street and Barry Street sides was carried out (see the video); in 2009 it was necessary to replace the Sanctuary roof with 35-year shingles.

In 2003 a new Phoenix “digital pipe” organ was installed; a complete history of the Church’s music accompaniment is on the website.

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