St. Paul’s United Church marked its 100th anniversary Nov. 8 with the actual anniversary on Nov. 7. (Laura Lavin/Submitted)

St. Paul’s United Church marked its 100th anniversary Nov. 8 with the actual anniversary on Nov. 7. (Laura Lavin/Submitted)

Roots of Sidney church date back to 1920 and beyond

Church marked its 100th anniversary on Nov. 8

A Sidney church marked its 100th anniversary with one hundred rings of its historic bell on Sunday.

On Nov. 7, 1920, members of the Wesley Methodist Church completed a ceremonial march to the corner of Fifth Street and Queens Avenue (now Malaview Avenue) to officially join with the members of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church to become St. Paul’s Union Church. It changed its official to St. Paul’s United Church on June 10, 1925.

Methodists had previously worshipped in a church formally dedicated on Easter Sunday in 1914, while the Presbyterians had built a church on the site of the St. Paul’s current parking lot after two lots at the corner of Queens Avenue (now Malaview) and Fifth Street had become available in 1914.

The two congregations formally merged in 1920, holding the first joint service on Nov. 7 under the banner of St. Paul’s Union Church.

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The congregation dedicated the current building in February 1962 with the original church demolished in 1967.

The complete physical synthesis of the two congregations, however, finished in 1984 with the completion of the tower featuring the bell from the old Methodist church. After some 50 years in storage, it was finally able to ring out again in announcing the start of service.

The tradition has carried into the present with the bell ringing each Sunday before the 10:30 a.m. service.

The church underwent additional improvements with the installation of a new portico entrance.

This history points to the deep roots of the church, which reach back as far as the late 19th century, when Rev. Christopher Thompson from the Methodist Church in Victoria conducted services in the log home of Samuel Brethour and his wife.

The congregation now counts around 120 members and services have been online since mid-March.


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wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com