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Saint Andrew's on the Red - A National Historical Site by Larry Trupp
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Canadian Historical and Pioneer Sites group on 6 December 2009

Rural Canada Coast to Coast to Coast group, pre 1960’s..4 december 2009

Location: On River Road just north of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Make: Canon Model: Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XTi 55mm lens, F stop: F/9.0 Exposure: 1/250 sec. Focal length: 22.0 mm Iso 100

This humble but beautiful stone building, located just north of Winnipeg along River Road, is the oldest Anglican stone church in Canada, west of the Great Lakes. Built between 1845 and 1849, the church is still used by local parishioners (check out the kneelers—that’s well-worn buffalo hide!), but also recognized as a provincial heritage site under the Heritage Resource Act in Canada. Just across the road, a National Historic Site, St. Andrews Rectory, houses a tidy collection of period artifacts in a stone house that was one of the historic Red River settlement’s first permanent homes. The church was consecrated on December 19, 1849 by Rev. David Anderson, the first Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Rupert’s Land. The Venerable William Cockran designed the church. The stonemason was Duncan McRae.

The church’s history and architecture have been recognized both by the Dominion of Canada and by the Province of Manitoba. In 1970 the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada recommended that, “St. Andrew’s Church is of national architectural and historical importance” and a plaque was unveiled at a special service in 1974. In 1990 St. Andrew’s was designated as a provincial heritage site under the Heritage Resource Act and a plaque was unveiled at a special service on November 30, 1991. Both plaques are now fixed to the stone monuments in front of the church.

The people of St. Andrew’s Parish have worked faithfully over the years to enrich and preserve their church. In modem times this has required a series of major and extensive repairs to the building. In 1931 the east wall was dismantled and rebuilt. Additional work was done to the other walls, windows, the tower and the balcony. Flagstones were installed on the floor of the tower. The area under the balcony was partitioned off from the main church to become a small chapel for winter services. All this work cost $4,000.00.

In 1932 the southeast corner of the church collapsed. The work to repair this catastrophe was completed in 1934 at a cost of $1,500.00.

Further repairs were needed in the following decades. In 1942 concrete piles were placed under the southeast, southwest and northeast corners at a cost of $600.00. In the 1950’s the narthex floor was replaced with new boards laid over concrete pads and beams. In the 1960’s the wooden spire was rebuilt and repairs to the tower and balcony were carried out. A major restoration of the church planned in the late 1960’s did not come about. In 1979 further work on the church repaired cracks in the walls, repaired the roof, fixed the chimney, painted the spire, enlarged the furnace room and installed a new furnace.

In 1978 the governments of Manitoba and Canada signed an agreement for recreation and conservation on the Red River Corridor. This agreement provided funds for major repairs to the church in 1983. The roof was replaced with cedar shingles, the roof trusses were reinforced, a four-foot crawl space was excavated beneath the nave, and the floor was re-installed on an independent foundation and a new carpet installed. Rev. R.L. Brownlie was rector of the parish at this time.

In the late 1980’s serious cracks began to appear in the walls of the church. This led to a careful study of the building and a recommendation that a maj or intervention would be necessary to preserve the building. In 1988 the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada noted that the church was in “an advanced state of decay” and recommended that the church be a candidate for funding through a cost-sharing agreement. After careful negotiations involving St. Andrew’s Parish, the Diocese of Rupert’s Land, the Province of Manitoba represented by the Historic Resources Branch, and the Government of Canada, represented by the Canadian Parks Services/Parks Canada, a cost-sharing agreement was signed. The agreement included Rev. S.C. Sharman, Incumbent and Hugh T. Reid and Ron Tocholke, Churchwardens on behalf of the Parish and the Hon. Pauline Browes, Minister of State for the Environment, on behalf of the Government of Canada. The Most Rev. Walter Jones, Archbishop of Rupert’s Land, and David Bjornson, MP for Selkirk-Red River witnessed it. Now the work could begin.

When the project was completed, almost one million dollars had been spent. Part of it, $426,000, came from the Government of Canada through the cost-sharing agreement, the Province of Manitoba contributed $75,000 and the Thomas Sill Foundation $10,000. A large number of individuals and organizations, including the Knights of Columbus and the Manitoba Grand Lodge of Freemasons made generous donations. The rest came from the parishioners who held a series of fund-raising events and dug deeply into their own pockets.

The project placed a new foundation of concrete piles under the existing foundation. The walls were strengthened and repainted. The interior was repainted. The woodwork in the tower was strengthened. A kitchen area, a washroom and a new furnace were installed. Throughout all this work services continued Sunday by Sunday, as well as weddings and funerals.

The consultants for the project were the architectural firm of Geremia Blackie and the engineering firm of Boge and Boge. The foundations were installed by Subterranean (Manitoba) Ltd.

A large number of people contributed hours of their lives to the project. They were Margo James, Hugh Reid, Josh Milne, Roger Staff and Rev. S. Sharman for the Parish. William McKay for the Diocese of Rupert’s Land, David Firman for the Province’s Historic Resources Branch and Susan Algie and Greg Thomas for the Canadian Parks Service. Behind them were the untiring work of the parishioners, the staffs of the Historic Resources Branch, the Canadian Parks service and all the friends of the church who supported the project with their time, energy and money.

On Sunday May 4, 1995, we celebrated with a special service and a party to rededicate the church. The Rt. Rev. Patrick V. Lee, Bishop of Rupert’s Land presided and brought greetings from the Province of Manitoba. Ron Fewchuk, MP, represented the Government of Canada. The work was done.

Information obtained from The Rural Municipality of St. Andrews.

A self taught amateur photographer who resides in beautiful Winnipeg, Manitoba, which is a prairie city in the center of Canada. My dear wife Marg and I have been married for 52 years, and we have 2 married daughters and 3 grandchildren to share our busy lives.I love to read, practice photography, spend time with my family, play around on the computer, and volunteer a lot of my time at our local Nature Center, where I serve as an interpreter for kids programs.

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Comments

  • andreisky
    andreiskyabout 5 years ago

    Great composition and colors Larry!

  • Thanks Andrei
    I appreciate your kind remarks

    – Larry Trupp

  • bioman
    biomanabout 5 years ago

    amazing capture Larry, the color is so vivid and rich. Thank you for the bit of history behind the church!

  • Hi John
    Thanks for your kind remarks
    Much appreciated Sir

    – Larry Trupp

  • PapasGirl
    PapasGirlabout 5 years ago

    your colors are so true and beautiful..great work..Did you ask God for just the right moment?

  • Hi PapasGirl
    Yes it was a sheer delight to be inside this Holy place for sure I appreciate your remarks

    – Larry Trupp

  • CraigsMom
    CraigsMomabout 5 years ago

    Lovely shot, Larry

  • Hi Mary-Anne
    I appreciate your kind remarks here

    – Larry Trupp

  • worldtripper
    worldtripperabout 5 years ago

    Hi Larry ! This colouring surely invokes a sense of reverence! Beautifully done! Marita

  • Hi Marita
    The inside of this church has a lot of class for an oldie, I appreciate your kind remarks here

    – Larry Trupp

  • Mike Oxley
    Mike Oxleyabout 5 years ago

    Absolutley beautiful shot of this lovely old church, Larry. Extremely fascinating write up to go with it, too.

  • Hi Mike
    I appreciate your kind remarks here, thank you very much my friend

    – Larry Trupp

  • Al Bourassa
    Al Bourassaabout 5 years ago

    Your wonderful HDR work makes me very envious in getting those colours to POP like that!

  • Thanks Al
    Always appreciate your support my friend
    Thanks ever so much

    – Larry Trupp

  • Dawn B Davies-McIninch
    Dawn B Davies-...about 5 years ago

    fabulous shot, such wonderful colours,dawnx

  • Thanks Dawn
    Much appreciated indeed

    – Larry Trupp

  • CeePhotoArt
    CeePhotoArtabout 5 years ago

    Larry, your composition is awesome in this capture!

  • Thanks Cee
    I appreciate your most kind remarks here.

    – Larry Trupp

  • carlosramos
    carlosramosabout 5 years ago

    Perfectly captured in every aspect,like the enhanced hdr !

  • Hi Carlos
    Thanks for the fave
    And your most kind comments

    – Larry Trupp

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