History of St. Saviour's, Orono, Ontario


Compiled by Grace Haldenby


In the early days the Anglicans living in Orono and on the farms along the sixth line of Clarke Township had no church building in which to meet. This did not dampen their enthusiasm and places were found in the area where services could be held. They worshipped occasionally in Newcastle and sometime s at Walsh’s schoolhouse in Newtonville. For a time services were held at the Starkville school house and in the old Presbyterian church on the fifth line known as “Mulligan’s Church”.

Eventually services were held regularly in the Sons of Temperance Hall in Orono. It was just south of the present day United Church parsonage. During these years services were taken first by the Rev. J.A.Hanna from Perrytown and later by the Rev. A.B. Chafee also from Perrytown.

The first congregational meeting of which there is any record was held on Aril 21, 1883 in the Sons of Temperance Hall with the Rev. A.B. Chafee as chairman. Present at that first meeting were Mr. John Stewart, Mr. Hallet, Mr. Morton and son, Mr. Watson, Mr. Jamieson, Mr. Coatham and Mr. Odell. Mr. A.Odell was the first vestry clerk. John Stewart was appointed as rector’s warden and Henry Odell was elected as the first people’s warden.

The building which served as St. Saviour’s Parish hall until recently was the first church built in Orono. It was erected by the Bible Christians in 1845. By the late 1860’s their congregation had outgrown the little wooden church and plans were made to build a larger one on the same site. On Jan. 7.1869 the Clarke Township Council granted the Managing Committee of the Bible Christian Church in Orono “the free passage of drawing material through the toll-gates for the erection of a brick church”.
In Professor Squair’s book “the Townships of Clarke and Darlington” there is more information about the Bible Christians.

“Bible Christians originated in Devonshire, England in 1815. In 1831 they sent missionaries to Canada,-to Prince Edward Island and Cobourg Ontario. Circuit preachers changed every year or so. At an annual conference held at Little Britain in 1879, the official report showed concern for ‘too much conformity to the world: family devotion much neglected’; notable decline in piety amongst the young”.

James Eddy built the church in 1869 and it was use by the Bible Christians until July 1, 1884 when they united with three other Methodist churches and disappeared as a separate organization.

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