THE REGISTER - Berwick, Nova Scotia

Thursday, October 7, 1948

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Old Anglican Church To Celebrate its "Birthday"

AUBURN, Oct. 5 – On Sunday, October 10, 1790, just 150 years ago to the day, St. Mary’s Church (Auburn) Township of Aylesford, was consecrated and opened for service by Bishop Charles Inglis, first overseas Bishop of the Church of England.

Saint Mary’s is the second consecrated Anglican Church in British North America, and There are five church buildings in Nova Scotia that are older. The first is St. Paul'’ Halifax, built in 1750. The second, is St. John’s (Lunenburg) build in 1754 at Government expense, and costing but more than St. Mary’s which was erected 36 years later. The third oldest Anglican church in the province is Christ Church, Karsdale (Lower Granville, near the Habitation) which was built in 1775 as a Congregational Meeting House, but was consecrated by Bishop Inglis on August 21, 1791. The fourth is St. George’s, Sydney, built from the stone removed from the fort at Louisburg, and begun in the autumn of 1786. The first Episcopal visitation was not made until July, 1805. The fifth is Christ Church, Shelburne, consecrated July 30, 1790.

St. Mary’s, Auburn, Township of Aylesford, was built through the tireless efforts of James Morden, Storekeeper of Ordnance at Halifax. He gave 165,13s,7d towards the total cost of 475,1s,5d , and gave the six acres in which the church stands, on condition that he and his heirs have the right to pew No. 8 forever; otherwise, the deed of conveyance to the land be null and void.

Prince and slave have worshipped within the walls of old St. Mary’s H.R.H. Edward Duke of Kent (father of Queen Victoria) was a close friend of Bishop Inglis, and on Sunday, November 5, 1797, the Prince attended Divine worship and then rode on to "Clairmont" for dinner. Only a year previously appears this item in the register of baptisms: "At Aylesford Stephen: Negro slave, property of Jas. Buskirk, born July 3, 1796". When slavery was abolished, that negro family remained with their former owner, as the following burial entry shows: "Cuff, the coloured male servant of H. Van Buskirk, Esq., May 10, 1833 aet 90"; and a decade later another entry: "Anthony Van Buskirk (coloured man) aet 78."

Dr. W. Inglis Morse in his "Land of The New Adventure" says that the frame and boards of the fabric are of native pine and were hewn and whipped in the saw pit just north of the R. R. Station at Auburn; and that the doors and windows were brought by horse from Halifax; also that the hand-forged nails were done up in packages of 10 and 15 pounds and carried by a company of infantry from the capital, a distance of 90 miles. The plaster was made from the lime manufactured near St. John, N. B., and supplemented with quohog shells left by the Acadians at French Cross (Morden) in 1755.

"The tower and turret", says the book, "are quite masterly pieces of construction ... this feature would have been the first to attract the attention of a passerby, and having once attracted his attention, to invite him to examine the structure as a whole". Sunday night at 7.30, the one hundred and fifty-eighth anniversary of historic St. Mary’s will be combined with the traditional harvest Festival service. Monday, the men of the parish and friends are invited to make the holiday a work day in the churchyard, and so make the eleven acres in which the church stands a credit to the community.


See also: http://www.rootsweb.com/~canbrnep/stmaryp3.htm and http://www.rootsweb.com/~canbrnep/stmaryp2.htm


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