Parish News

St. Paul’s Hazeldean-Kanata celebrates its 150th anniversary

Lynn Williams, Marsha Fisher and Tabea Silverthorne
Lynn Williams and Marsha Fisher renewed their baptismal vows and Tabea Silverthorne was confirmed at the service of thanksgiving. Photo: Allison Stortz

Inaugurated in 1874, St. Paul’s Hazeldean-Kanata celebrated its 150th anniversary on Sunday, Feb. 25.

 “St. Paul’s history begins with Irish settlers who arrived here in 1818,” notes Canon Roger Young, a member of the congregation and a descendant of one of the parish’s founding families. While local Anglicans first met in a church used communally by several local denominations, they soon outgrew it. “To meet the needs of a growing community, a larger new Anglican or ‘English Church,’ called St. Paul’s, was built and opened across the road in 1874.” 

Since then, the building has been replaced twice: once in 1937 to rebuild after a devastating fire in 1935, and once to replace that church with the current modern building in 2004.

With Bishop Shane Parker presiding, the anniversary celebration featured a service of Eucharist with confirmation and the reaffirmation of baptismal vows, followed by a potluck luncheon. “The service was beautiful and very meaningful for me” said Lynn Williams, who along with Marsha Fisher reaffirmed her baptismal vows in the service. “We even sang two hymns that we had 45 years ago in the U.K. when I was baptized and confirmed.”

For Margaret Anthony, a fellow parishioner, the “celebration service was topnotch! It was a joyful experience made even more so by the attendance of so many familiar faces from the past. I was particularly moved by Tabea [Silverthorne]’s confirmation. It reminded me of my confirmation in May 2022, which I considered to be a huge step in claiming publicly and proudly that I am a Christian.”

The Rev. Canon Stephen Silverthorne and Judy Marples. ]
The Rev. Canon Stephen Silverthorne and Judy Marples holding dedicatory plaque. Photo: Colin Mackenzie

In gratitude for their past service, two former incumbents and their spouses were honoured through the rededication of different areas of the church building. The late Canon Rick Marples and his wife Judy were honoured with the rededication of the parish nursery in their name, while Canon John and Gayle Bridges were honoured with the rededication of the parish chapel in theirs. Both couples were instrumental in the parish’s growth over the past three decades.

The Rev. Canon Stephen Silverthorne, Gayle Bridges and Canon John Bridges holding a plaque.
The Rev. Canon Stephen Silverthorne, Gayle Bridges and Canon John Bridges holding dedicatory plaque. Photo: Colin Mackenzie

The service also celebrated the parish’s history with an extensive display of photographs and other artifacts from the church’s past and with greetings shared from past clergy. “I was here when they broke ground for this church,” said Bishop Peter Coffin (ret.). “This has always been a faithful and a passionate congregation, and so you built a new church.”

Parishioner Heather Colls agreed, noting the church’s involvement with the Kanata Food Cupboard (KFC) as an example. Founded in 1985, “it started actually as an inter-church council referral line. We wanted the community to tell us what they wanted or needed,” she said. With the volume of grocery requests going up dramatically, St. Paul’s partnered with other local churches to start a food bank in the church’s basement. It remained there until the Food Bank outgrew the space in 2020. Heather still coordinates the St. Paul’s contingent of volunteers who help at the KFC’s new space.

St. Paul’s plans to keep up an emphasis on the parish’s history over the coming year with a number of events and pictorial displays.


Keep on reading

Skip to content