At the turn of the century (1800) the Rev. Christopher Milner of Sackville N.B. was zealously engaged in traveling the surrounding areas of Cumberland and Westmorland countries and setting up churches where groups of Anglicans were gathered. Interestingly enough, there were many more Anglicans in the Shediac and the North Shore area than there were at the Bend. William Hannington, the first Englishman to settle in Shediac Cape and have been holding services of worship in his home. The Rev Milner encouraged Mr. Hannington to consider building a church, and this dream of both men came to fruition in 1821 and St. Martin-in-the-Woods opened for services in 1823. At the same time, a few families in Moncton were busy building the Free Meeting House. In 1826, the Rev John Inglis, Bishop of Nova Scotia, traveled the length and breadth of New Brunswick and consecrated some 44 Anglican churches built by the growing population. In 1836 the Rev. George Jarvis became Rector of Shediac Cape. In addition to his duties there he traveled the stage coach line from Shediac to Chatham and stopped off to minister to Anglicans living at the Bend, including the Botsfords, the Chandlers, and the Taylors, to name three families.
In 1847 the Rev. William Boyer arrived at the Bend on his way to take charge of the mission station at Molus River in the parish of Richibucto, Kent County. While there he met the 67 year old Dr. Guimaron, a family doctor who had been traveling the highways and byways for some years before. The two men because friends and Dr Guimaron told him of The Bend which was pulsating with a new shipbuilding industry and many other commercial opportunities. He suggested to Mr. Boyer that The Bend would make a tremendous mission field. So it was that Mr. Boyer expressed this idea to the Bishop and obtained permission to locate himself there. By 1848, at the Free Meeting House, the Parish of Moncton was constituted and Rev. Boyer was installed as the first rector. In 1850 Judge Bliss Botsford donated a piece of property at the corner of Queen and Church Streets for an Anglican church. Judge Botsford became the first Warden at St. George’s and both he and his wife were very active in church life there. On August 12th, 1852 the Anglicans held their first service in this new location and the following year the Right Rev. John Medley came down from Fredericton and consecrated the new building as St. George’s Anglican Church. The Rev Boyer left the parish and was succeeded by the Rev. William Walker in 1870.
St. George’s Church burned in 1873 and Anglicans met at Dunlap’s Hall at the corner of Pleasant and Main Streets until a new church was erected. By Easter of 1875 a new church was built and Services of worship continued in that structure until 1932 when it was decided to enlarge the Church. During this time the Parish was cared for by the following Rectors namely: E.W.S. Pentreath 1874-1882; Arthur Hoadley 1882-1886; James H Talbot 1886-1889; E. Bertham Hooper 1889-1907 and when J.J. Alexander (1932-1966) was inducted as the Rector that the third church was built on the lot where it stands today. Mr. Ambrose Wheeler was the contractor who built the present church. The architects designed the church and specified that it be built of brick. Mr. Wheeler, a faithful member of St. George’s, said “My church will be built of stone, not brick, and I will pay the difference,” and so it was done. The Church opened on June 18, 1935 and the Service was broadcast on CKCW Radio (the first such broadcast from a Moncton Church).
Mr. Wheeler served St. George’s as warden for 5 years and the vestry for 27 years. At the same time he was building the church, Mr. Wheeler was on the hospital board, (later chairman) and was the manager of the Moncton Hawks who later won the Allan Cup (National Championship).
The two previous churches were constructed on a north to south basis, while the new church as placed on a east to west direction made possible when the rectory located to the east of the second church was demolished to accommodate this change: the Rev. J.J. Alexander. It is noteworthy that the last four Rectors, namely: Hooper, Sisam, Alexander and Crowther served the parish for 101 years.
This post has already been read 133 times!Follow MyNB on Social Media