The suspension of services at St Clements due to Covid 19 comes at a time, where the parish has usually been celebrating the anniversary of our beloved church. Over the years meetings were held to plan a church dinner, to bring the parish together to celebrate and an Anniversary Church service was planned to worship together to give thanks.
So this year is different. Although we can not be together to celebrate our anniversary we can still remember the past.
The Building of a Church
And so it began.
In the early 1800’s the missionaries of the Church Missionary Society were the ones who built churches and schools to meet the needs of the community. In December 1853 a school was established at Sugar Point ( St Andrews ). During the summer of 1853 the school Headmaster arranged for a young Rev Charles Hillyer, to undertake an afternoon church service in the Mapleton School, as the need for religious services became apparent.
On October 29, 1857 the first meeting was held to discuss the building of a church. It was decided that there was enough interest and that a stone church would be built as opposed to wood. Generous gifts of money came in from the resident of the area of 5, 10 and 20 pounds each.
In 1857 a historian who was also a builder by the name of Samuel Taylor moved to Mapleton and began building the church with the help of local volunteer labour and it was stated that any debt incurred to build the church was by paid off in less than 3 years.
Samuel Taylor’s diary is in the Public Archives, and there are many excerpts detailing the building of the church, which began on June 13, 1860. Taylor wrote
“ I wrought 3 days at building stones and 1 day doing carpentry work the first week, and 5 days the next week. He then records doing stonework on June 25th”
There is nothing further in his diary until the month of November where he writes
“ John Hudson put in the windows on the 9th, I was building and plastering on the 9th, 11th, 12th, and the 19th “ .
The church was finished to a sufficient extent to warrant its use, and his diary states that
“on Sunday, December 1, 1861 the church opened for divine service by the lord bishop of Rupert’s land and Archdeacon Hunter. The church was full of people.
And it was on November 15, 1862 that the John West Bell was erected, on a scaffold in front of the church.
And true to their word, the church had paid off their debt over the 3 year period as promised, and the church could then be consecrated. The consecration service took place on January 11, 1864 by the 1st Bishop of Rupertsland the Right Reverend David Anderson, and Venerable Archdeacon Hunter.
The Jubilee Memorial Tower ( the Existing Bell Tower )
The Rev Wilfrid Thomas, late in his incumbency of the parish, initiated a campaign for the building of the church bell tower to mark the Jubilee ( 50th ) of the consecration of the church, which would fall on January 11, 1914.
It seems that there were difficulties in raising the money, and then came the First World War. This delayed the completion for many years. By 1928 the tower had been built and was free from debt, and was ready for consecration. The John West Bell had been moved into the tower. It would have been no inconsiderable task for unskilled workmen to erect such a spire using block and tackle and hoist the bell to the tower where it still tolls today. The service was conducted by the Most Rev Samuel P.Matheson, Primate of all Canada on July 15th, 1928. An old vestry book records that the service was attended by 225 people. A photograph is shown below courtesy of the Diocese of
NOVEMBER 15, 1862
So it is written that on this date -November 15, 1862 or 158 years ago that the John West Bell, was erected outside the doors at St Clements Church. If you look closely at the picture, you will see that the bell was hung in a scaffold that looks like it was about 25 feet from the door.
This picture of the Church in the heading was taken in 1896 and is courtesy of the St Clements Centenary booklet that was published by the Diocese of Rupert’s Land in 1961
Our history tells us that the church Bell Tower was not added to the church until 1928, and the bell was then moved from the outside of the church doors and was hung inside the tower at that time, but more about that above.
So it seemed fitting that the original church picture hold its spot in our website heading.
You can find the history of the John West Bell, that celebrates 200 years in Canada this year – 2020 under our history page, thanks to Maureen Dolyniuk. The bell was brought to Canada in 1820.
But it was on Nov 15, 1862 that it found its home at St Clements.
The church first opened for Divine Service on Dec 1, 1861 and we will continue to add Anniversary history information, as we lead up to the anniversary date.
Below is a picture of the bell after it was hung in our bell tower in 1928.
Our Beautiful Church Today
The Diocese of Rupert’s Land
The Right Reverend Geoffrey Woodcroft
Bishop of Rupert’s Land
November 11, 2020
To All Disciples of the Diocese of Rupert’s Land
Dear friends in Christ,
Greetings in Jesus Christ, the One who leads us in extraordinary and liminal time.
In keeping with the directives set forth by the Province of Manitoba, as of November 12, 2020 all in-person worship and gatherings are suspended until further notice. Notably, however, the Provincial Government directive makes provision for faith communities to conduct weddings and funerals, with those gathered and participating to not exceed 5 persons in attendanceplus an officiant.
The Provincial Government expects that faith communities will continue, resume or initiate the use of virtual worship and gatherings. A maximum of 5 persons, physically distanced, and wearing masks is permissible for the production of virtual worship. We will continue our present practices of sanitizing surfaces before and after use of space, and frequently washing our hands and face. We remain in a posture of no group singing.
Ontario Communities, please continue to observe the directives and protocols for your region, as you have faithfully done so since March of this year. Many of you have adapted very well, albeit in isolation and uncertainty, and your Manitoba brothers and sisters hold you in prayer every day.
Most importantly, I encourage you all to connect:
May God continue to bless and sustain you for the work of ministry and mission. We are the eyes, ears, voice and hands of Jesus in God’s beautiful world.
Yours in Christ,
The Rt Rev. Geoffrey JJ Woodcroft
Remembrance Day Nov 11th
St Clements remembers those that gave their lives in World War 1 and World War 2. There are over 400 Veterans buried in our cemetery.
The first stained-glass window nearest the altar on the Epistle side of the nave (right hand side of the church if you are facing the altar) representing our Lord carrying His Cross, is a memorial to the men of the parish who died in the First World War and was installed in approximately 1920.
The plaques on the wall inside the church honour some of the church members that served their country
The Church continues to support the Selkirk Food Bank when we reopen for services.
Requests for prayer
As the community works together to manage the effects of COVID-19 on all of our lives we are experiencing unprecedented and sometimes disturbing changes. For many people this is a cause for anxiety for some it’s a time of extra risk and vulnerability. Others may have worries about managing day-to-day life over the next few weeks. One way we can support one another is through ongoing specific prayer. If you have a particular need for prayer please email the clergy at. firstname.lastname@example.org We will be honoured to include you in our ongoing prayer
St Clements Anglican Church
1178 River Road
St. Andrews, Manitoba R1A 4A1
WHEN OUR REGULAR SERVICES RESUME:
Early Service 7:30 a.m.
Later Service 11:15 a.m. ( with music )
Welcome to St. Clements Anglican Church! We are a warm and welcoming Parish that has served the Mapleton, St. Andrews, and Selkirk area since 1861. The Church abounds with history, and many stories and archives are available. St. Clements Church was built by local volunteer labour; we mention this as the volunteer base still exists here at St. Clements, and continues to build a strong foundation. We have learned well from our ancestors. Please take a moment to explore our website, and read about some of the events that are going on, all in the love of God. You would be most welcome to join us for our Sunday morning Service! Enjoy, and God Bless.
Where we are located
You will find our beautiful stone church at 1178 River Road, St Andrews, Manitoba; we are located minutes south of the City of Selkirk. Our church borders the Red River, and our Church Park is located on the flats of the River. It is a beautiful serene location… If you are new to the area, or have lived here for many years, we encourage you to come and get to know us! We would be glad to meet you! Come as you are, and as you get to know us, we hope that you will get to know God.
Worship Times and Eucharist
Our regular service is 11:15 a.m. Sunday mornings which includes our Sunday School program. We also have an early Sunday morning service at 7:30 a.m. This service is a condensed version, but remains well attended by those who work nights and weekends, or for those who need the rest of the day.
St. Clements celebrates Holy Communion every week. All those who are baptized are welcome to receive the sacrament of Eucharist in the Anglican Church according to your conscience. To receive the Bread put your hands one on top of the other. To receive the Wine, hold the chalice firmly in your hands and drink. If you do not wish to receive either the Bread or the Wine, please still come to the altar for a blessing; cross your arms over your chest. Parents are requested to instruct their children. For health reasons you may stand at the altar to receive the Holy Sacrament or the blessing. If you are unable to leave your seat, please notify us and we will gladly accommodate you.