St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Hodge’s Cove

The following information was transcribed from a booklet prepared
by Rev. Gerald Peddle for the consecration of St. Mary’s Church, Hodge’s Cove.

January 21, 1973

A Short History of St. Mary’s

Hodge’s Cove today is a prosperous little community of about ninety families, of which St. Mary’s serves over sixty. Approximately 103 years ago, in the late 1860’s its first settlers came to our Cove and brought their families. They were both James Drovers, who were first cousins and came from Island Cove in Conception Bay. They must have liked what they found because soon others came, and the first houses, wharves and stores were built. This was to be the beginning of Hodge’s Cove which we know today. Because there were so few people, and they were so poor at the time, no Church was built immediately, but I am told that Services were held in the fish-loft of one of the stores. These were obviously devout Christian people who could still find time and means to worship God, despite the circumstances.

No one seems to know exactly when the first Church was planned or built, but we do know that it was torn down in 1903. This first St. Mary’s was a small building of about 25 feet long with two short ranks of seats. It also had a small vestry, and was the same style as the present old church at Hillview, except much smaller.

After this first church was taken down in 1903, work was started almost immediately on the construction of the second one. Three years were to pass however, before the work was completed. During those three years services were held in the school.

In either later 1906 or early 1907 the second new church was opened, much larger than the first, and was always referred to as “the large church in Random.” This building had three ranks of pews with two center isles, and had a slate roof which the men brought by boat from a quarry near Hickman’s Harbour on Random Island. The men from neighboring Island Cove helped in the construction, but later decided to build their own, and thus were not to use it. The first person to be baptised in this church was Eliol Drover, who is still a member of St. Mary’s congregation.

By the 1950’s, this church too began to show to effects of time. Big repairs were needed, and under the Incumbency of Rev. J.W. Taylor, the first plans were made to build the third St. Mary’s. From the report of the annual meeting held on February 1st, 1955, we read the following: “The meeting was then open for discussion on the topic of repairing the church. It was decided that instead of repairing the church the congregation proposed that a Church Building Fund be started, by George Thomas and seconded by W. J. Peddle, and carried by a majority vote.” It is also interesting to note that at the same meeting, it was also decided to build a new Hall. However, five years were to pass before concrete plans were made. At a meeting held on January 16th, 1961 during the Incumbency of Rev. G.W. Ethridge, it was decided that a questionnaire be sent to the people, to ascertain the number of people who would support the building of the new church.

Within that year, the congregation really began to move. A committee was formed, with Mr. W.J. Peddle as warden.

During 1962, the men began to cut logs for the church in the Deer Harbour Brook area, behind Long Beach. The men of the United Church congregation, as well as the men from neighboring communities, helped to haul the logs out of the woods. These logs were then sawed by Mr. Eric Vey in a mill at Long Beach. In the meantime, the land on which the church and rectory now stand was bought from Mr. Obediah Higgens. A tractor was hired and the basement was dug. The ladies of the A.C.W.A. bought the cement and the basement was poured with all free labour, sometime during 1963. Then Mr. Norman Peddle and Mr. Eliol Drover were hired to lay the foundation, as well as supervise the work being done by the other men. The basement and foundation were laid North and South, and soon the beginning of this present church could be seen.

Now the big job was to somehow try to find sufficient money to finance the project. Along with the monthly collections, a canvass was made from Southport to Clarenville, and a good sum was made. At later stages in the project, a $12,000.00 loan was necessary, and the Warden Mr. W.J. Peddle seemed to have little difficulty in getting the support of the people in this regard. Later on the women of the A.C.W.A were to stage a walk-a-ton, and even some elderly people were able to earn money in this way. In 1972 the final payment on our debt was made, and much credit here must be given to Rev. M Boutcher, as well as the wardens, Mr. Cyril Thomas and Mr. George Drover. The previous warden, Mr. Maxwell Peddle had earned over $100.00 for the church by selling the still-good wood from the old St. Mary’s. Every idea was used, and much work was utilized, but in the end, the determination of all these people was to give them their well-deserved reward.

After the building was framed and shingled, Mr. Dan Balsom and Mr. Chesley Drover were hired to complete and supervise the internal work. The organ, font and Bishop’s chair was brought from the old church. The organ was reconditioned, and paid for by the A.C.W.A. with Mrs. Ethridge giving a $100.00 donation. On November 28th, 1965 the new church was officially opened and dedicated by Rev. Can. L. Norman. All the dreams and plans were at last realized, and our new church today stands as a fitting memorial to all the labours and sacrifices put into it by the people of Hodge’s Cove.


St. Mary the Virgin

Our church is named to the honour and memory of the mother of Jesus. In the New Testament she is portrayed as a woman with very human traits, who knew suffering, heartache and victory. But yet, in her devotion to God, she became the instrument of the incarnation; the person whom God chose to become the human mother of His only Son. She, in devotion humility and perseverance should be an inspiration to us, as we strive together to work and worship in St. Mary’s Church.

The following is a list of those clergy who have served in the Parish, and at St. Mary’s from 1880 until the present. Our parish records begin in the year 1880, but more than likely at least one clergyman might have visited the area before then.

Rev. J.S. Sanderson, from October 1880 to May 1882
Rev. J.S. Thompson, from September 1882 to August 1885
Rev. W. Smith, from August 1884 to March 1885
Rev. W.S. Romilly, from March 1885 to October 1890
Rev. H. Elington, from June 1891 to November 1891
Rev. H. Petley, from January 1893 to September 1895
Rev. G.R. Godden, from October 1895 to October 1897
Rev. H.C. Johnson, from March 1897 to October 1898
Rev. H.C. Shears, from December 1898 to July 1902
Rev. A.E. Tulk, from December 1903 to December 1905
Rev. W.K. Pitcher, from November 1905 to July 1906
Rev. M.K. Gardner, from January 1907 to October 1909
Rev. J. Prescott, from January 1910 to July 1911
Rev. W.A. Butler, from August 1912 to June 1919
Rev. G. Templeman, from October 1919 to February 1920
Rev. R. Fowlow, from June 1920 to November 1924
Rev. M.B. Way, from January 1924 to October 1925
Rev. S.R. Shepherd, from February 1926 to August 1929
Rev. A.F. Rowe, from September 1929 to April 1931
Rev. C.D. Sparshott, from September 1931 to September 1935
Rev. J.L. Quinton, from November 1935 to June 1937
Rev. O.C. Dickenson, from August 1937 to July 1939
Rev. J. Pike, from October 1939 to July 1942
Rev. H.M. Batten, from July 1943 to June 1945
Rev. M.C. Jones, from August 1945 to July 1951
Rev. J.W. Taylor, from August 1961 to May 1957
Rev. J. Rodgers, from July 1958 to September 1958
Rev. G.W. Ethridge, from November 1958 to July 1967
Rev. M. Boutcher, from August 1967 to September 1972
Rev. G.E. Peddle, from September 1972

Special Gifts

Many thanks must be given to the people of Hodge’s Cove who gave faithfully every month towards the church building fund. Even though your names and donations are too many and varied to mention here, your help and dedication have made our new church possible.

Following is a partial list of those who gave special gifts towards our new church.

Litany Desk – Rev. and Mrs. Ethridge
Choir Stall – Mr. & Mrs. George Thomas
Lecturn – James & Bertha Drover
Prayer Stall – Mr. & Mrs. Hayward Drover
Altar Rail – Mr. & Mrs. Chesley Drover
Front Doors – Mr. & Mrs. Eugene Peddle
Funeral Truck – Mr. & Mrs. Fred Smith
2 Chancel Fronts – Mr. & Mrs. Fred Smith
Bridge Rails – Mr. & Mrs. Fred Smith
Pulpit – Delilah, Eugene, Roland and Max Peddle
Pew – Anglican teachers of 1965/66
Labor for lights – Mr. & Mrs. George Barfett
Font Cover – Girls Club
Visitors Book – Walter Curtis
Prayer Book – Albina Way and Mary Maher
Collection Plates – Eliza Jane Smith (Hillview)
Rope Divider – Mrs. George Thomas
Hymn Boards – Baxter Peddle
Prayer Stall – Margaret, Doris, Florence, Annie and Fred
Chimes (Planned but not installed) – Mr. & Mrs. Archer Peddle
Reredos – Mr. & Mrs. Daniel Balsom
Altar Linen – Mrs. Mary Bertha Sweetapple
Kneeler – Mr. George Thomas
Kneeler – Mr. Malcolm Vey

My sincere apologies to anyone I have missed in the above list. Many of you gave free labour, money and prayers. Although your names could not be mentioned here to be acknowledged to men, I am sure your labours will be rewarded by God.

“I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is yet day; the night cometh, when no man can work.”
John 9, 4

Note of Thanks

The Rev. Gordon Ethridge for conducting the services of preparation.

The Rev. Andrew Hall, whose assistance in the preparation of this little booklet was invaluable.

The Rev. Morley Boutcher for being our organist and taking part in our service of consecration.

The following people who supplied me with the facts in the short history of St. Mary’s Church:

Mr. W. J. Peddle
Mr. & Mrs. Maxwell Peddle
Mr. & Mrs. Obediah Higgins
Mr. & Mrs. Cyril Thomas
Mr. & Mrs. George Drover


Reprinted from the Western Star, 1907-10-09 

Visitation Voyage, 1907

On Monday morning an early start was made; but, alas., the wind failed, and at 8 o’clock we were becalmed. The people on shore seeing our difficulty manned a trap-boat and came alongside, offering to row us on to Hodge’s Cove, five miles distant. We gratefully accepted their offer, and very shortly left the Lavrock behind. As soon as we arrived we were met by all the men who are home, and escorted to the church, which is ready for consecration. The petition was read by the Incumbent, accepted by the Bishop, who preceded by the Chaplain, slowly chanted the alternate verses of the xxiv Psalm. The Holy Table was then dedicated, then the Font, the Lectern, &c. Following this service was that of Confirmation. The Bishop’s address dealt with Worship, which is the employment of angels in heaven, and ought to be the work of men on earth ; our churches were places solemnly set apart for us to prepare ourselves for heaven, where there will be no preaching but adoration. The Sanctuary or this little church was covered with a very neat and ecclesiastically patterned carpet, the gift of the Women’s Sewing Circle ; the Altar Rail and the Font are also presentations from this faithful little band of workers. The church is neat, well arranged, and it is possible to kneel down between the pews. At the conclusion of the service we bade the people good bye, and very pleased we were to see the Lavrock in the offing. A feather breeze had sprung up, which enabled her to get along side.


These transcriptions may contain human errors.

As always, confirm these as you would any other source material.