History of Trinity
This is from the Book A Polite Parallelism of St. Thomas
by: Leroy Harvey
Trinity Anglican Church
55 Southwick Street
The first Church of England in St. Thomas was that of the pioneer church at number 57 Walnut Street which opened 1824. Due to its overwhelming growth, a new site was sought, and found at the Northeast corner of Southwick and Wellington Street in the latter portion of 1876. On “Trinity Sunday, May 27, 1877”, four years before St. Thomas became a city, the new Trinity church with a seating capacity of 600 was opened for service. This spacious, Gothic edifice is still one of the most beautiful churches in this part of Canada.
Property was donated for this new church by the late George KIains, George Lloyd of Detroit was the architect, who also installed the “Celtic Cross” at the peak of the brick surrounding the Wellington Street entrance door. This ‘Cross” is a reminder of the antecedents in England—that is, “anti-St. Augustine” and his Roman Mission of the sixth century. Messrs. Brainard and Moore were the builders with an estimated cost of $21,000.
The Sunday school still met at the old church, later moving to a rented building on Centre Street near Southwick, until the “Parish Hall” was erected in 1886.
The bell from the Walnut Street church was moved to the new Trinity Anglican Church where it still calls worshipper on Sunday mornings.
TrinityChurch was consecrated and the mortgage burned on Trinity Sunday, May 30, 1915. In those early days, the choir sang the hymns, not the clergy, or the congregation. The “Sidesmen” wore brown kid gloves when collecting the offerings, a custom called deregueur.
The central window in the “Chancel”, directly over the altar, is a memorial to the be- loved rector of St. ThomasChurch, “Stephen Benson Kellogg”, under whose guidance, the planning of Trinity was carried out. The stained glass windows in the “nave” were attributed to the wisdom and foresight of the late “Archdeacon J.W.J.Andrew.
There are many other artistic forms of various crosses within the rest of the TrinityChurch, symbolizing its ethnic beginnings in the English culture. Colours of the “91st Battalion of Elgin”, as well as the colours of the “Elgin Regiment”, are displayed as a tribute to the fallen heroes of both the First and second World Wars. The first rector of Trinity Anglican church was “T.C. Des Barres from 1877 until 1878.
The “100th Anniversary” was held on Trinity Sunday, June 5, 1977, with Reverend “Canon Michael R. Griffin”, a former rector, as guest speaker.