All Saints Church, North West Brook

Reprinted from the website Churches of the Parish of the Holy Spirit

All Saints Church

In 1960, the Anglican congregation of North West Brook and Black Brook worshipped in a chapel attached to the school. They held a meeting sometime that year and decided to build a Church. Needless to say, such a big decision did not go unchallenged by some of the parishoners. It cannot go unnoticed that there were only 12 Anglican families to take on such a task. The elders of the congregation formed a building committee with Joe (Josiah) Warren as the leader, and they were determined to get help from any and every source.

The men of the congregation went into the woods and cut logs for some of the lumber needed for the building. Eldred Butt had a small tractor and hauled the logs to the mill. The older parishoners who could not cut logs were the actual builders of the church. If one could saw off a board, measure it or drive a nail, he was a carpenter as far as the committee was concerned and expected to do his share. The Bishop, The Rt. Rev’d R. L. Seaborn, was informed of the undertaking and asked to help. Bishop Seaborn responded with a gift of $1000.00 toward the cause. This was a lot of money in 1961, and it really gave the committee a boost. Joe Warren then approached Howard Stanley in Clarenville, and they made a “Gentleman’s Agreement” that the business would supply the material to erect the building; the congregation would pay the bill as soon as possible. Mr. Stanley was paid in full and without interest.

The actual construction of the building began during the summer (July or August) of 1961. One cannot forget William Smith, John Butt, Frank Norris and John Norris. These were the elders of the congregation at the time, and each had his own way of doing things, but they learned to work together. The committee hired one man to see that the work was done properly. Almost every parishoner gave freely of his labor and money to have a place to worship. In fact, donations were given by some people from outside the parish.

Inside All Saint's

The cornerstone was laid on October 20,1962. The building was opened for worship and dedicated on November 23, 1962 with the Bishop, The Rt. Rev’d R.L. Seaborn, officiating. The presiding priest at the time was Rev’d Gordon Ethridge. The Church was merely a place to worship when it was opened for service. There was no organ or any music; no kneelers, furnace or basement. However, as the bills got paid, improvements were made to the structure, and it became a more comfortable place to worship. The Church Wardens at this time were Mr. John Butt and Mr.Josiah Warren.

It took a few years to have all the bills paid, but the parishoners took pride in having a nice building in which to worship and gave generously towards its cost. The Church was consecrated on October 24,1964, with The Rev’d Gordon Ethridge and The Rev’d H. M. Batten (RD) officiating at the service.

The first baptism was Wayne Butt, son of Betty & Caude Butt on December 9, 1962; the first burial was Florence Warren on January 7, 1964; and the first marriage ceremony was between Flora Critch and Gordon Butt on April 17, 1964. The number of Anglican families have remained low over the years. Many of the children born around the time of the construction of the Church have grown up and moved to other places. While there is no doubt a struggle for so small a congregation to maintain the building and keep it in a good state of repair, there is something good about having a place to meet and share a little fellowship. Maybe it’s the memories of marriages, confirmations, births, first communions and deaths that make them so committed to keeping their Church open.

There are 13 Anglican families being served by The Rev’d Lloyd Collett, Associate Priest, and a team of dedicated Lay Ministers. Our Priest & Rector, The Rev’d Canon Glenn Small, is currently on sick leave. In 2007, there was one burial in All Saint’s Church.