St. George's Anglican Church                             St. Paul's Anglican Church          
Battleford, Saskatchewan                           North Battleford, Saskatchewan    
ST. GEORGE'S ANGLICAN CHURCH - HISTORY
Appended March 17, 2012
Our history starts towards the end of the year 1876.
Bishop MacLean and Reverend John A. MacKay, were on a missionary journey from Prince Albert to Edmonton and camped on the Battle River Flats. The Government House was in the process of construction and so these pioneer missionaries held the first divine service for the workmen, in the telegraph office on the flats, New Year's Day, 1877.
Archdeacon John A Mackay
John Mackay
St. George's Church was dedicated September 11, 1878 by Bishop Pinkham.
At this time, Rev. MacKay returned to Battleford with Thomas Clarke and by December 6th, 1878 had built the school house and a community hall. Here Reverend MacKay preached in English in the morning and Cree in the afternoon while Reverend Peter Straith, Presbyterian Minister, conducted the Sunday evening service. When the new townsite was begun, and in the same community spirit of sharing the Church of England rented the Presbyterian building for their services, paying $2.00 a Sunday. They also held services at the Barracks on Sunday evenings or at St. John's Parish, located at the Indian Industrial School until leasing Clouston's Hall in 1885. They hewed logs out of the bush and built a house on a site donated to the Church Missionary Society. Soon after a parish was formed and given the name of St. John's. A log church was built. In 1879, Rev. MacKay was called to the teaching staff of Emmanuel College at Prince Albert, and the work was continued by Reverend Thomas Clarke. During the 1885 uprising, burial services were conducted in the Church for those of the Anglican Communion who died at the Battle of Cut Knife Hill and on the Swift Current Trail.

Reverend J.F. Pritchard came to work in the Battleford area. He moved into the log house and organized the parish on a broader basis, and it became known as
St. George's Parish.

This Church (St. George's Anglican Church) was being built in 1885 on 19th Street, by Wm. H. Smart and R.C. Macdonald at a cost of $2,200.00.
        Although a fund had been started in 1882 to build a Church it was delayed.
A subscription list for the new church was opened in 1884 by the newly arrived
Rev. J. Pritchard, but this was abandoned in 1985 and a new list was opened to meet the changing needs. In October, 1985 the actual building of the new church was postponed owing to the lateness of the season and the scarcity of building materials. Overshadowing these events was a abortive Indian insurrection of 1884, Louis Riel's second uprising in 1885, the siege of Battleford when the entire concregation, together with many others, sought shelter in the stockade; and the destruction by rebels of ample building materials for the new church, within easy reach of the settlement.
On January 18th, 1886 the Battleford newspaper told of the donation of $103.00 to Mr. Pritchard by the officers and men of the N.W.M.P. stationed at the barracks for an organ for his new church. It was not until February of 1886 that the congregation was asked to pick a name for the Parish so property could be purchased. By March 1st they decided to name it St. George's and building commenced in June on the west side of Central Avenue, a short distance to the south of the Hudson's Bay Store.
The Gothic wood frame building, measuring 26 by 40 feet, with a chancel of 16 by 18 feet and would seat 100 people. In keeping with Anglican tradition at that time, it had a Lychgate tower in front of it. The exterior was finished with tongue and groove cedar siding, the interior lathed and plastered and a floor fashioned of two-inch thick fir planking. The alter and a carved root screen separated the chancel from the main body of the Church and were made and donated by the North West Mounted Police stationed at the Fort. The pews, lectern and pulpit were made by an early Battleford cabinet maker, George H. Clouston. The organ was purchased for $200.00 and boasted as the finest in the country, while the 200 pound Church bell, formerly used at the Mission Station at Fort Pitt, was a gift from Reverend Charles Quinny.
Bishop John McLean & Wife
Bishop John McLean & Wife
Archdeacon George McKay, Bishop's Chaplain, presented seven candidates for confirmation by Bishop John MacLean in the unfinished St. George's Church, July 18th 1886. Due to the death of the Bishop in November 1886, it was not until September 11th 1887 that the Church was dedicated and consecrated by his successor, Bishop Pinkham, “on the humble petition of the Rev. J.F. Prichard, Incumbent, and the following churchwardens and parishioners of St. George's parish, E.A. Nash, T.E. Mahaffy, H. McLaughlan, W. McKay, Arthur M. Jarvis and P.L. Laurie.”
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The First Minister was Reverend J.P. Pritchard, who conducted the opening of the Church service on October 10th, 1886.

At this time the town was located along the Battle River and around the site of the N.W.M.P.(North West Mounted Police) barracks. Some of the Mounties connected with the Fort were members of the congregation and contributed their share towards the establishing of the parish. They donated their labour in the erection of the building, and it is believed they were responsible for the making of the pews. It must have been a very colourful sight when they held a Church parade to the Anglican Church. Rebellion days are commemorated by a large brass tablet erected on the south wall by the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire to the memory of the North-West Field Force which included the Mounted Police. A marble tablet is erected on the same wall in memory of Bernard Tremont, a telegraph operator, who was killed by the Indians in the Rebellion of 1885.
PG Laurie 1878
PG Laurie 1878
A Memorial to the many others killed in the Rebellion occupied a place of honour on the south wall as did a plaque honouring Patrick Gammie Laurie, a long-time member of the Church. Patrick Gammie Laurie, 1833-1903, was born in Scotland, and emigrated to Canada in 1842, first to Ontario then to the Red River, and finally in the late 1870s to Battleford, Saskatchewan. In 1878 he founded the Saskatchewan Herald newspaper, the first newspaper published in the North-West Territories. In 1855 he married Mary Eliza Carney, 1833-1912, and they had six children, William, Richard, Mabel (Reid), Jessie (DeGear), Effie (Storer), and Harriet (Gauvreau). Richard Carney Laurie, 1858-1938, took over as editor of the Saskatchewan Herald. The newspaper ceased publication shortly after his death. The history of the settling of the west is tied up closely with the establishing of St. George's.
Bishop W.C. Pinkham
Reverend Pinkham
In 1882 Mr. Pinkham was appointed Archdeacon of Manitoba and a residentiary Canon of St. John's Cathedral, and also secretary of the Diocesan Synod, a position that he held until he left Winnipeg in 1887.
After his consecration, Bishop Pinkham left for his diocese towards the end of August, visiting Swift Current and Battleford where he held his first confirmation.
The second Bishop of Saskatchewan, the Right Reverend William Cyprian Pinkham, administered both dioceses, as Bishop of Saskatchewan with Calgary, until 1904, when he became first bishop of Calgary.
The Church was consecrated on December 4th, 1887 by Bishop Pinkham. Reverend E. K. Matheson, who had laboured with such devotion at St. Catherine's, and then organized the Church at Lethbridge, was appointed to St. George's Church, Battleford. Reverend Edward Matheson who came west with Archdeacon MacKay in 1877, was appointed incumbent in June 1888. It is interesting to note that St. George's parish then extended west to Bresaylor and east to the then little known settlement of Saskatoon and one of the missions he had was Saskatoon. Canon Matheson was widely known as 'St. George's wisest counsellor and friend.'

St. George's has the honor of being the oldest Church in the Diocese of Saskatoon.

A beautiful stone font, made by Mr. Sam Hooper in 1889, proudly acclaimed as the first of its kind "made off line of railway" stood at the front of the Church. In 1893 a stained glass Rose window above the alter was didicated in memory of Robert C. Wyld, a former North West Mounted Policeman and pioneer farmer. The Gothic windows were replaced with tri-coloured glass in memory of the first four bishops of the diocese and the first incumbents Rev. Pritchard and Canon E.K. Matheson. The altar, doors, pews and other fittings all bear brass name plates dedicated to many other pioneers who worshiped here. On the west wall was a watercolour of the Church, as it appeared on 19th Street, painted by Gladys Lindemere, wife of Richard Lindemere.
William Parker
William Parker NWMP
William Parker, 1853-1945, was born in England and emigrated to Canada in 1871. He joined the North-West Mounted Police (NWMP) in 1874. He attended the signing of both Treaty 6, 1876, and Treaty 7, 1877. He was then posted at Shoal Lake, Manitoba and Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan before being transferred to Battleford in 1880. There he married Mary Margaret Calder in 1882. They had three children, Maude, Gordon Sinclair, 1883-1946, and Reginald John.
He was transferred to Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, 1882-1884, was a member of Steele's Scouts during the 1885 Riel Rebellion (North West Rebellion), and was posted to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, 1885-1903. He took a leave of absence in 1900 to fight in the South African War. In 1903 he was made an inspector and was transferred to Battleford.
The settlement of the Saskatchewan plains began in earnest at the turn of the century. Rev. J. F. Dyke-Parker was the Incumbent from 1901 to 1906. In 1906, the rectory was built on property adjoining the church. A bell was sent to the church from friends in England. This was place in the gate which stood at the entrance of the church grounds. During the years the location of the town changed. Houses were moved from the river flats to higher ground, most of the folk who had lived near the Fort moved away and St. George's Church was no longer in the center of the community.
Rev. Dyke-Parker
Rev. Dyke-Parker
Rev. Ifor James Jones
Rev. Ifor Jones
Two year later Rev. Ifor James Jones came to serve the parish as Incumbent from 1911 until 1916 when he went Overseas in the First World War with the 188th Battalion, as Chaplain. Rev. H. Sherstone came to the parish as 'locum tenens,' and remained until 1918 when he was succeeded by Rev. J. F. Haynts. During his tenure, in 1920, a store was purchased to be used as a Parish Hall. It of course was in the town and the Church was on the outskirts. The years 1922 to 1927 were relatively prosperous years. Rev. J. Rance was Rector from 1928 to 1929 after which Rev. A. E. Greenhalgh arrived and continued through the incumbency of Rev. Roy Manwaring, who came to Battleford in 1936 and continued to serve the parish until 1941 when he joined the R.C.A.F as Chaplain at which time
Rev. R. P. D. Hicks became Rector.
A year later he also joined the Chaplaincy service of the R.C.A.F. In the year 1936 the Church was celebrating its Golden Jubilee. and Mrs. Matheson donated the home that she and Canon Matheson had lived in to be used as a Rectory. A tablet commemorating the pastorate of Canon Matheson is on the north wall of the chancel. The parish now had its church on the outskirts, a Parish Hall near the business section, and the Rectory on the Main street.
In 1945 it was decided to sell the old Rectory and move the Church to property adjoining the Parish Hall. This move was made in the spring of 1946. The next step was the erection of the Norman (bell) tower connecting the Church and Parish Hall. Old Parish Hall
Archdeacon H.E. Hives
Archdeacon Hives
One of the side windows from the Church was then placed in this section. This was completed and dedicated in memory of Mrs. Matheson, in 1946, the year of the Diamond Jubilee. Many of the church furnishings have been given as memorials. To reflect on the period from 1942 to 1950 is to recall the unique contribution made by Archdeacon (now Bishop) H. E. Hives, not only to
St. George's parish, but to the native people of the West.
It was in Battleford that after years of endeavor, he completed a Cree grammar program. Rev. R. Crowder and students served the parish until the arrival of Mr. George Brook in 1954 who came initially as a lay Incumbent, and later ordained as a clergyman.
It was in this period that a new Parish Hall was built.
St. George's
Church 1961 The tragic death of Rev. George Brook in 1959 was mourned by all. In 1950 the rood screen was removed. In 1954, the Parish Hall was needing replacement. The old building was removed and construction started on a new hall built to conform to the appearance of the church. See Photo above. St. George's Church was declared a Historical Site in 1982. In 1960, the Rectory was replaced by the formerly owned home of the Indian Commissary, purchased by the parish from the Saskatoon diocese.
1961 was an important year for St. George's Anglican Church. It was the 75th Anniversary 1886 - 1961. Members of the Vestry in its seventy-fifth anniversary year included E.H.M. Fauls, Minister's Warden; W.A. Moore, People's Warden; W. Rasher, Vestry Clerk; and the followng members at large: A. Sayers, N. Edwards, G. Jamieson, W. Budd, B. Gallivan, S.L. Waterman, C.E. Light, Mrs. J.E. Nunn, Mrs. J. Day, Mrs. F. Light, Mrs. T. Ranson, and Mrs. W. Harley. Incumbent: The Rev. J.R. Wright.
Many thanks are to be given to Mrs. Loscombe and Mrs. R. Nelson for their assistance in preparing a brochure which included the history of St. George's for this event.
In 1967, St. George's was the vcentennial project of the Diocese of Saskatoon and was completely refurbished. The original pews and the pipe organ, bought in 1989, were replaced. A support beam was added to the Church as well as insulation. The large furnace, with one central floor grille, was replaced with a gas furnace and ducts, and a kitchen and bathrooms were built in the hall.
The year 1972 marked the 85th anniversary of St. George's Church and was celebrated under the leadership of Rev. Arthur Gans with his concept of carrying the church's history into the 70's with many of its activities being co-ordinated with St. Paul's Church in North Battleford. The Rt. Reverend D. A. Ford, Bishop of the Diocese of Saskatoon, officiated at the service for the celebration on Tuesday Oct. 10, and in the evening, Alberta Lt. Governor J. W. Grant MacEwan addressed the banquet in the parish hall. Grant was born in 1902 at Brandon, Manitoba and later moved to Melfort, Saskatchewan. On January 6th, 1966 he took the office of Lieutenant-Governor of Alberta. He has been the recipient of the following honorary degrees: Lieutenant-Governor of Alberta Grant MacEwan
Grant MacEwan
Doctor of Law from the University of Alberta, 1966; Doctor of Law from the University of Calgary, 1967; Doctor of Law from the University of Brandon, 1969; and the University of Guelph, 1972. Congratulations were received from: Dr. Stephen Worobetz, M.C., Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan; Premier of Sakatchewan, Allen Blakeney; Governor General of Canada Daniel Roland Michener; Archbishop of Qu'Appelle and Metropolitan of Rupert's Land G.F.C. Jackson; and from the congregation of Langmeade All Saint's, Ronald E. Head and Owen Jones.
The reconsecration of the Anglican cemetery connected with the Battleford Industrial School was marked by a special ceremony. The school, a federal residential institution for Indian children was operated from 1883 to 1914 under the administration of the Anglican Church. Before housing the school, the building contained the offices of the territorial capital and the cemetery may have been in use before the school opened and after it closed. Seventy-four people, most of them students who attended the school, are buried in the cemetery, although records have been found for only some 50 of them. The restored cemetery was rededicated at a special ceremony planned on Sunday, August 31, 1975. A cairn has been erected bearing plaques identifying the cemetery and containing the names of the people known to be buried there and space for any other names that come to light. The Saskatchewan Department of Tourism and Renewable Resources is installing an historic sites plaque. Professor Patrick Hartney, a human biologist with the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, was consultant for the project, which was conducted with the co-operation of representatives of the Indian Cultural Centre, the Anglican Diocese, the Battlefords community, the Oblate Order, and the Saskatchewan Archives, and with the approval of the Office of the Attorney General. The land apparently was never legally registered as a cemetery and long ago became dilapidated and was subjected to vandalism. However, based on archival research, surface examination and excavation, the students mapped the area and erected a chain-link fence marking the boundaries. Each unmarked grave was identified, assigned a number and excavated and the contents were uncovered, identified and recorded. The graves and their contents were covered over again and a marble marker with a burial identification number was placed at each gravesite.
Officiating at the ceremony were:
Right Reverend D. A. Ford, Bishop of Saskatoon; Dr. D. Whitbread of North Battleford; Rev. Don Wootten of St. Paul's Anglican Church, North Battleford; and Rev. D. McLean of St. George's Anglican Church, Battleford. The ceremony opened with the singing of two hymns. "For ever with the Lord" and "Shall we gather at the River", after which the congregation processed around the cemetery chanting a Litany. Gathering around the cairn "The Lord's My Shepherd" was sung and a former student of the school, James Buller of North Battleford, sang two hymns to the tune of "Amazing Grace" in Cree. Edwin Semaganis of Poundmaker Indian Reserve, representing the Indian people said to Bishop Ford, "Reverend Father in God, we beg you to re-consecrate this ground, which has been for a long time a burial ground for our people." Bishop Ford replied, "By virtue of our sacred office, we do set apart this ground, and, marking it with the symbol of our most holy faith, hereby re-consecrate it as the resting place of the bodies of the faithful."
Facing the commemoration cairn, Bishop Ford said, "In the faith of Jesus Christ, and in remembrance of all who have been buried in this graveyard and in thankfulness to those who have restored it, we dedicate this cairn, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."
This was followed by the reading of the Scripture in both Cree and English. The Scripture lesson, Revelation of St. John the Divine 21:1-7, was read in Cree by Mr. Charlie Soonias of Red Pheasant Indian Reserve, and in English by Rev. G. Zimmer of the Oblate Order of the Roman Catholic Church at St. Charles Scholasticate. Prayers were offered by Mrs. Annie Stone of Mosquito Indian Reserve on behalf of all those present and Miss Carlson of the OFY group also gave her blessings. In his closing address, Bishop Ford made reference to the purpose of the ceremony, saying the burial ground had been re-dedicated, blessed and hallowed.
100th Anniversary Of Parish In 1977 St. George's Church Celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the Establishment of an Anglican Parish in Battleford, Saskatchewan.

The image at the left is the invitation that was sent out.

Bishop D.A. Ford
Bishop D.A. Ford
1970-1981
Fair Booth This photo shows St. George's
Fair Booth at the North Battleford Exhibition grounds in 1983.
From: The North Battleford News Optimist - Thursday, October 9, 1986.
St. George’s Anglican Church
celebrates centennial this weekend
“All the incumbents contributed a great deal to the life of St. George's, especially remembering Roy Manwaring, R.P.D. Hicks, Harry Hives, Bob Crowder, Jim Wright,
Ivor Ottrey, Arthur Gans, Duncan McLean, Ken Kimber and Roy Dickson.
A schedule of events for St. George's centenary this weekend is as follows.
Friday - Evening Prayer a 7:30 p.m. Speaker is the Rev. Ivor Ottrey from Medicine Hat, Alta. Coffee hour follows.
Saturday - Banquet at St. Paul's North Battleford at 6:30 p.m.
Welcome - Captain Roy Dickson(Lay Incumbent, St. George's) - Grace Mr. Tom Francis(People's Warden) - Greetings from Guests, Mr. John Gormely(M.P. Battleford's-Meadow Lake), The Honorable Miles Morin(Minister of Revenue & Finance, Sask.)
His Worship Mayor Gary McArthur of Battleford, Corporal Dave Bristow(Battleford's R.C.M.P.), Mrs. Francis Mitchell(Chairperson of the Unified Board, Battleford United Church), Mr. Eugene Lepitzki(Chairperson of the Parish Council, St. Vital's Roman Catholic Church), Canon Lewis Gill(Deanery), The Reverend Canon Donald Wootten(Rector of St. Paul's Anglican Church), and The Right Reverend Roland A. Wood(Bishop of Saskatoon). The guest - Speaker Archdeacon Ted Greenhalgh, Victoria B.C.
Sunday - Holy Eucharist at 11 a.m. Celebrant is Bishop R.A. Wood from Saskatoon and guest speaker is Archdeacon Robert Crowder
Bishop R.A. Wood 1981-93
Bishop Wood
from Calgary, Alta. There will be a dedication on Sunday of the embroidery of the early alter hangings which have been framed and prepared and presented by the daughter of H.C. Adams.”
Good wishes were sent from: Edith Nicholson of Ottawa, Dorothy Greenhalgh of Victoria B.C., Harold & Alice Shury of Richmond B.C., Archbishop Michael G. Peers of Toronto, Bishop Stanley C. Steer of Victoria B.C., The Right Reverend Douglas A. Ford of Calgary Alta., Archdeacon E.G. Flagg of Victoria B.C., Major, The Reverend Arthur E. Gans of C.F.B. Valcartier, Suzanne Schults of the Armstrong-Enderby Parish - Armstrong B.C., and Walter A. Donovan on behalf of the congregation of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, North Battleford.
Bishop S.C. Steer 1950-70
Bishop Steer
The old St. George's Church was in great need of replacement, so, for the year 1999, it was decided to tear down the old church and build a new one.
THIS PHOTO - shows the removal of the Bell from the tower.
The stained glass windows and many other items were removed and stored to make way for the demolition and removal of the old church and parish hall.

Cleaning up after Demolition

Construction July 9, 2000

Construction July 23, 2000
October 30, 2000 the ACW (Anglican Church Women) held their first meeting in the new Parish Hall.

Reverend Peter Norman
OUR PRESENT MINISTER
Reverend Peter Norman came to us May 1st, 2007
from St. Mary's Anglican Church in Nanoose Bay, British Columbia. He came at an age of fifty-six and has lived a life of many experiences. After working in sales, marketing, teaching and management of a travel agency, he chose to enter the ministry in 1987. His training was taken at the College of Emmanuel and St. Chad's in Saskatoon. Peter and his wife Debbie have four adult children.
Peter plays and teaches guitar and has some friendly puppets which he shares during his children's time on Sunday mornings. Peter has had considerable experience in dealing with crises of various types and both he and his wife have been at times very involved with youth at risk. Along with being a parish priest, his interests are photography, music, reading, writing and camping - R.V. Style.

MEMORIALS

The Rebellion days are commemorate by a large brass tablet erected on the south wall by the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire, to the memory of the North West Field Force, which included the North West Mounted Police.

A marble tablet is erected on the same wall in memory of Barnard Tremont, telegraph operator, who was a victim of the conflict.

There is a brass tablet in memory of Patrick Gammie Laurie, a member of the first building committee, and the founder of The Saskatchewan Herald, the first newspaper west of Winnipeg.

On the wall of the Chancel is a tablet commemorating the pastorate of Canon E.K. Matheson, second incumbent of the parish.

A circular stained glass window was inserted in the wall, together with two brass vases to commemorate Robert Wyld, a veteran in the NWMP, and Captain in the North West Forces in 1885, and a member of the first Vestry of St. George's Church.

The altar was donated by Harry C. Adams, in memory of his mother. The drapes were given by Mrs. R.F. Taunt, and the Pulpit, by Mr. Gately.

The screen and pews were a gift of the North West Mounted Police.

An old Communion Rail, made by Indian boys of the Industrial School in Battleford, can be seen in the parish church.

Lights in the Cancel were installed as a gift from the Senior W.A. in memory of Miss Ann Robinson.

The Hymn boards, donated by Mrs. Frank Laycock, commemorate the long service to the church of Mrs F.A.D. Bourke.

A new Communion Rail, installed in 1954, the gift of the congregation, is in memory of Reverend George Brooks.




On the wall is a framed list of those from the parish who served in the First Great War. One hundred and five names are shown, twelve of whom paid the supreme sacrifice.



February 15th, 2015 - Rev. Canon Peter Norman gave his last sermon at St. Paul's and February 28th Left our City. He and Debbie moved to Calgary so that he could be with his son Kyle who is suffering from a heart problem which cannot be repaired.
He will also be taking some of the services at St. Luke's in Calgary www.stlukeschurch.org. The Battle River Parish will miss them and wish them all the best. May God shine upon them and give them peace.

Rev Shawn Sanford Beck

March 15th, 2015 - We welcomed Rev Shawn Sanford Beck to our Parish, he will be the interim Pastor for the coming months.





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