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St George's Anglican Church, Fairvalley

St George's Anglican Church, Fairvalley


Anglican worship came in Fairvalley led by a pioneer preacher, Adam Elliot in 1833, even before the establishment of the Diocese of Toronto in 1839.

In 1832, Captain Elmes Steele and his 15 year old son John, arrived on their 1000 acre wooded estate, which was a land grant allotted to British officers. The next year, his wife and other four children arrived. They built a log house and called it Purbrook. Captain Steele donated 100 acres as an endowment for a parish church and eight acres for a church building and cemetery. In the meantime, services were held in his home, led at first by the traveling missionary Adam Elliot. In 1846, Mrs. Steele died. Several years later, Captain Steele married again and they had six children. In 1859, when the eldest of the second family was 8 years old, this Mrs. Steele also died. The eldest child of the second family was Samuel Benfield Steele. He served in a variety of military roles throughout his life and in 1914 he was Major-General Sir Sam Steele serving in WWI. There are Steele memorials on the site of the old Steele home in Fairvalley, a short distance from the church and cemetery.

In 1835, the Rev. George Hallen emigrated from England to Medonte with his wife and ten children. The Hallen home served as church for over seven years. On a trip back to England, Mr. Hallen solicited donations to build a church at Fairvalley, to be called St. George, after his home church in England.

The first Church of St. George at Fairvalley was a log structure located on the crest of the hill overlooking a ‘fair valley.” Services began there on July 30, 1843. This is the first site of Anglican worship in a church building in the Deanery of Huronia. It was consecrated on July 18, 1846, by Bishop Sweatman.

The current brick church building was erected beside the log church in 1886. The log church is no longer standing.

On Sunday, August 6, 1933, the congregation celebrated its centennial with three special services. On Monday several hundred people came out to an anniversary picnic on the grounds. The incumbent was the Rev. W. J. Carson.

On October 4 and 5, 1953, the congregation celebrated 120 years with a special service, a historical display and a reception in the parish hall. The incumbent was the Rev. W. Craven.

On April 30, 1978, the church marked 145 years of ministry. The Rt. Rev. Allan A. Read led the service. The incumbent was the Rev. Richard Tanner.

On Sunday, June 27, 1982, the congregation celebrated its sesquicentennial. The Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, the Most Rev. E. W. Scott was the preacher. Also present were Ontario Lt. Gov. JohnBlack Aird and his wife, as well as local dignitaries. The incumbent was the Rev. Philip Morley.

In July 1989, A History of the Church of St. George Fairvalley Medonte was published by The Artbook. The information in the brief history provided here was taken from this 42 page book. The incumbent at time of compiling the book was the Rev. Patrick Yu. Currently, he is Suffragan Bishop, Diocese of Toronto, serving as Area Bishop of York-Scarborough.

St. George (Fairvalley) joined with St. John (Matchedash) St. Matthias (Coldwater) and Christ Church (Waubaushene) to form the parish of Coldwater-Medonte, several decades ago.

2000s + Onward

In October 2016 St. John (Matchedash) closed. Currently, Coldwater-Medonte Parish consists of St. George (Fairvalley) and has two active cemeteries: St. George (Fairvalley) and St. John (Matchedash). The parish is no longer officially yoked with the parish of Washago-Price’s Corners.

66 Fairvalley Church Rd
Coldwater, ON

Sunday Service
11:00 am

· · ·

Priest in Charge
The Rev. Ron McLean

John Hipwell
Joanne Reid

Deputy Warden
Don Walker
Robert Spears

Lay Delegate to Synod
Bruce Goss

Eucharistic Assistant
Joanne Reid

Parish Treasurer
Rosemary Athron

St. George's Treasurer
Eleanor Trimble

Brenda Goss

Special Honours
Don Walker & Evelyn Reid, Order of the Diocese of Toronto 2015

· · ·

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