A Short History of St. James
by Ken and Beryl Balcolm
"Notes on the Development of the
Anglican Churches in the Area Now Served by the parishes of St.
Peter's New Dublin and St. Michael and All Angels, Petite
Riviere. A report produced in celebration of the 175th
Anniversary of the founding of the first Church, St. Peter's in
record of a Church of England church at Lower Dublin (now LaHave and
Dublin Shore) is in Bishop Hibbert Binney's record at the Diocesan
Archives. It reports the "Consecration of St. James the
Apostle Church at Lower Dublin, May 23, 1861.”
At that time the
Parish of New Dublin still extended to the Medway River and now
included - five churches - St. Mark's at Broad Cove, St. Michael's
at Petite Riviere, St. John's at LaHave Islands, St. James' at Lower
Dublin, and St. Peter's at West LaHave Ferry, plus two Anglican
congregations at the Union Churches in Mt. Pleasant and West Dublin.
An early picture
shows a small church, 25’ by 40’, with a side entrance porch, narrow
lancet windows, a roof-top belfry and board-and-batten cladding.
According to Muriel Bishop it had box pews and a centrally located
stove for heating.
division of the Parish into two units (St. Peter's Parish, New
Dublin and St. Michael's Parish, Petite Riviere) in l868 regular
parish meetings were held twice a year. We are fortunate to
possess the minutes books from 1868 to 1894, 1897 to 1906, and 1925
to 1935. These give an idea of the problems being faced in these
meeting was held at St. James' Church-on the 13th of April, 1868 the
Rev. Abraham Jordan in the chair. Thomas Smith of Lower Dublin was
elected as one of two church wardens, and Solomon Publicover,
Frederick Smith and James Publicover, Esq. were voted vestrymen for
At the meeting
of 1st. January, 1872 held in the school-house at Pentz's
Settlement, it was moved by Mr. Lewis Publicover, seconded by Mr.
James A. Publicover that "Hereafter the Annual Parish Meeting be
held in Pentz’s School House as heretofore - but that the
Easter Meeting be held in St. James’ church, Lower Dublin. Passed"
At the Easter
meeting of 1878 it was voted that Mr. Lewis Publicover and Mssrs.
Thomas Smith and Simon Pentz be the church wardens. William Bell,
Geoffrey Publicover and Lewis Publicover were elected vestrymen for
St. James' Church.
At the January
1880 meeting "the amount of Expences and amount of Tea Meeting at
St. James’ carried by the Society of Church Workers, Lower Dublin
were submitted for examination and approved.”
In 1881 Thomas
Smith retained his office as Church Warden but resigned as
"Collector" for St. James' and Mr. Martin Larkins was asked to
accept the position.
The Tea Meeting
held at St. James' (Christmas 1881) cleared $100.75 from which the
following expenses were paid:
borrowed from Mrs. Thos. Smith
The 1884 Tea
Meeting at St James' netted $118.00 and that same year Mr. Martin
Larkin collected $46.50. He was appointed to "take charge of St.
James’ Church to make all business arrangements.”
1887 a Sunday School was established at St. James' as the Rev. Chas.
Mellor reports that he created a New Library at St. James for the
Sunday School during his incumbency.
At the Easter
Meeting of 1887 (the first held since 1884 due to the retirement of
the Rev. Abraham Jordan), ‘It was moved by Mr. Spearwater and
seconded by James Frazer that Daniel Getson and Fred’k Smith be
authorized to take down the names of boys and young men who make a
practice of talking and disturbing the services in St. James’ church
by their bad conduct, and hand a list of the names of the offenders
to the Church Warden, Mr. Solomon Publicover, to be further dealt
with before a Magistrate.” This stern measure must have had the
desired effect as the matter is not referred to again.
At his first
Parish meeting on Jan. 9th, 1888 Mr. Mellor reported that during the
past six months he had held 19 services at St. James' with an
average attendance of 192. Mr. Mellor had come as a recent graduate
and made enthusiastic plans for the Parish, including "a hall for
St. James’, for holding meetings, Bazaars, entertainments, etc.”
He also did a
census of the religious affiliations of almost the entire population
of the New Dublin area noting their denominations and if baptized,
confirmed and a regular communicant. Lower Dublin had at that time
over 30 church families, many of whose names are still listed there…
meeting of 1889 was informed that $37.00 had been deposited in the
bank towards the 'extension of St. James,' but this plan is
not referred to again in the Parish minutes. An unusual item
was passed at the April, 1890 meeting when "at the request of Mr.
Mellor a vote of thanks was passed to the Scattered Working Party of
England for a supply of Altar Linens furnished by them for St.
years various churches fell into arrears in their financial
commitments, especially to the minister's stipend. The rectors made
frequent complaints about salary owed them and some felt forced to
resign, including the Rev. Mr. Mellor.
By the turn of
the century the small church at Lower Dublin was crowded and in 1905
a new building was erected by Boehner Bros. a mile east of the old
site. The original church was sold to the Presbyterian
congregation and moved 1/4 mile to the west where it stands today,
renovated as the Knox Church Hall.
The new St.
James', which has the largest seating capacity of the parish
churches, has been beautified over the years through monetary gifts
and endowments. Many plaques adorn the walls in remembrance of
parishioners or their forebears. Two of the earliest are Tryphena
Finale (1872) and Percy A Smith (1880).
On March 20,
1988 Service of Confirmation was held at St. Alban's, Vogler's Cove
with Bishop Arthur Peters officiating. The evening was warm with
the approaching spring. However while the service was being held a
severe snowstorm swept down on the shore and the congregation found
several inches of snow awaiting them when they left the church.
Conditions quickly worsened to a point where driving became
extremely difficult. Those on their way home were witness to
two flashes of light which lit the surrounding countryside.
The flashes proved to be two bolts of lightning, one of which struck
the steeple of St. James, setting it afire. Although weather
conditions were extreme the fire was put out without damage to the
nave of the church. A new steeple was built in the style of
the original and now towers above the church pointing the way to
years many beautiful furnishings have been placed in St. James to aid
in worship. One of the more notable being the chancel
lamp which was brought from Jerusalem and dedicated in memory of
Capt. H. A and Abegail Conrad. Others include:
Litany Desk and
Book in memory of Walter C. Delaney
memory of Stedman Richard
Chalice and Paten in memory of Doris Mullock
in memory of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Richard
Cross in memory
of Walter J. Publicover
Missal Stand and
Alms Basin in memory of Helen Getson
Cross in memory of James D. Bishop
in memory of Eugene Mullock
Church Bell in
memory of Catherine Getson
Chancel Rail in
memory of Ann Getson
beautiful appointments and accessories enhance St. James', all given
to the glory of God and in memory of loved ones.