Project Canterbury

The Church on the Prairie

By H. H. Montgomery, D.D.

[London:] Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, 1910.

Chapter IV. Letters from Our Men on the Prairie

THOSE who wish to read letters from the men actually at work will like to peruse the following pages. I have given no names purposely:--

"We are waiting for our bronchos, and have been living in the Town-hall of Saskatoon up to a week ago. Now, as our tents have turned up, we are in camp on the prairie about a mile from the city. The horses will arrive unbroken straight from the ranches in Alberta, so you can imagine that there will be some fun. They are to be in the hands of proper breakers for two days only, then we get them, and those of us who know the driving end of a horse are to finish their education before the others have them. . . . Directly the ponies are here and are fit I am to be one of the first to go and drive twenty miles and find my way across the prairie as best I can. I am turning out some wonderful and awful dishes in my first attempts at cooking. . . . We have lectures every day and also matins and evensong, and I have had one examination already. Included in my work will be the taking of burial services and preparation of candidates for confirmation, and I shall have to hold, if possible, three services each Sunday with perhaps eight or nine miles between each. I am [25/26] to give a short address in church to-morrow before the Archdeacon, two or three clergy, and all our fellows. Don't you sympathise with me?"

Archdeacon Lloyd's account of the adventure includes a personal contribution:--

How an S.P.G. Man was "Fired Out"

In the West of Canada to be fired out" is the corresponding slang term to the English "bounced"--in other words, a man "fired out" is not needed any longer, at least in that particular sphere of activity. This, however, is not what happened to B., an S.P.G. catechist in Saskatchewan. He left England with that large party of fifty catechists who sailed in April with Archdeacon Lloyd, and he, like all the others, had made up his mind to face any hard field of work and do his full duty by it. Yet he was hardly on his field before he was fired out.

It came about in this way.

To the north of Prince Albert, in the Diocese of Saskatchewan, there has been for many years a large forest reservation, in which the lumber companies occasionally cut timber, but the whole district for many, many miles round remained forest. During the spring and summer of 1906 a good many settlers came into Prince Albert, and, finding homesteads somewhat scarce, they went into this uninhabited forest territory and "squatted". This year the Canadian Government sent in several groups of surveyors to survey and open a large number of these townships, so that settlers might legally go in and homestead. So, when Archdeacon [26/27] Lloyd's party of catechists arrived in Saskatoon, the Bishop had already decided that one man ought to be sent into this new country north of Prince Albert. B. was the man selected for what was not likely to be an easy field of work. The tents had not yet arrived, but that made no difference--he would pull through somehow; and so off B. started to found a new mission. To quote his own words as nearly as possible this is what happened:--

"When I arrived at halfway house to stay over Monday night, I heard of a shack which was likely to be empty. Out I went to search for it, and found that the owner was leaving the next day. The man intended to take away all the flooring, door, windows, joists and shelves, leaving only the bare logs, because they were not worth much and were too heavy to take away. The shack was about twenty-two feet by sixteen feet, and as it seemed to be in a central position I decided to try and get it.

"After some talk with the man, he said that as it was for the Church he would sell it to me and would sell it cheap. So I got the floor, four windows of twenty-four panes, door, lock, shelves, and a large wooden box, all for five dollars, and you will agree with me that I got a bargain. I thought that if a shack had to be built for me in the fall that these things would all work in, and so I took possession. Then I went over to some people a mile away and moved over my books and some of my luggage. That night one of the H----- boys came over to sleep with me, and helped bring over some blankets, four hay bags to sleep on, and two hay pillows.

[28] "The next day (Sunday) I went off early in the morning to take my first service, some seven miles away, near the mill. During the time I was there a great bush fire, which had been burning for some time up north, was driven down by the wind, and although a fireguard had been made round the shack it was not enough; the fire was so fierce it caught some of the hay in the kitchen part of the shack (which I had intended for a stable), and from that the hay on the roof caught, and the result was that I lost all that I had, including the shack. My five dollars' worth of flooring, door, windows, rugs, blankets, eyeglasses, and several other things all went together. At least £5 10s. worth of my own stuff, and also about £1 worth of the H------'s blankets, pillows, etc., for although he was very nice about it, yet I felt it my bounden duty to replace them. I was seven miles away at the time that it happened, and when I came back and found the shack in ashes the loneliness seemed unbearable and I was very much down in the dumps, but no doubt I shall pull through somehow."

The rest of the story comes through the Bishop. B. tramped into Prince Albert, and going to the Bishop's house he rang the bell, and when the Bishop answered the door himself B. with a very woebegone face, held up a small key and announced to the Bishop "that was all that remained to him of all his worldly possessions". However, the Diocesan Women's Auxiliary happened to be in session at the time, and after Mrs. Newnham heard of the burning out she laid the whole matter before the W.A. The response was [28/29] instantaneous. The Prince Albert members went out to find blankets, pillows and sundry other things; the out-of-town members made a collection of some thirty dollars; the Archdeacon took a set of S.P.C.K. books from their original purpose; and somebody in Prince Albert paid for the glasses.

The tents, ponies and rigs having come in by this time, the Missionary catechist who began by being "fired out" was promptly "fired in" again, and the next day started off for his mission in thoroughly good heart and not a whit the worse off for his burning. In fact, it is whispered that he went back in real luxury, inasmuch as he had two sheets, which is more than any of the other men had.

A Great Trek (being the Original Start from Saskatoon)

(By Archdeacon Lloyd)

It is all over now, and the men have long since been in their districts at work. But it was interesting while it lasted, that trek from Saskatoon, all along the line of route where the Grand Trunk Pacific is being built and where next year the steel will be laid and trains will be running.

When the fifty-five catechists who came out to Saskatchewan this year reached Saskatoon they had to wait for some time the arrival of their carts and ponies. Both of course ought to have been there, but until the railways can bring up the stuff you simply have to wait. When once the car arrived containing [29/30] the fifty two-wheeled red things (now known all over the province as the "English preachers' rigs") there was a general bustle in camp to get them fitted together.

Putting the wheels on and screwing up the shafts looked an easy matter, and every catechist was absolutely sure he knew all about such a simple thing as that. But when some of the wheels absolutely refused to turn, and other badly behaved bolts definitely decided that they had nothing to do with the ready-made holes apparently two inches out of plumb, it was felt that when the S.P.G. start that Colonial College of Divinity, carriage-building must be put before dentistry, because the want of such knowledge is liable to bring on heart disease or apoplexy.

Two or three days more had to be spent breaking the ponies into the rigs, and then one hot day everybody began to load ready for the journey. As this would take any time from two weeks to a month, and the light two-wheeled carts could not carry any baggages, a waggon and team belonging to a German had to be hired to follow the carts and carry tents, stoves, food supplies, and as much baggage as could be allowed each man. The rest had to go round by train, and was afterwards freighted down South from Lloydminster.

One very necessary thing each morning before the start can be made is the "rounding up," and generally one special horse is kept for that purpose. Ponies break away from the picket line and race all over the prairie, leaving their unfortunate owners gazing helplessly after them.

[31] At last everything is ready, and the catechist is in his rig waiting for the others. To-day the harness looks clean and new, the rig as red and nice as possible, and the man perfectly confident, worlds to conquer, and he quite ready to do it. I took a photo of one man on the day of the start. When I saw that man again the rig was not so clean and span. It had run a good many miles since that first day, and the man did not look at all the same. The green Englishman had largely gone, and now a firm determination to tackle the work had settled on him instead. He had found out what "a country of magnificent distances" really means.

On the trail. Between Saskatoon and the western part of the diocese the men will traverse all kinds of country. Some beautiful wide open prairie, ready for the plough; other parts covered all over with sloughs and broken land. In other places the trail will lead, as it frequently does, through miles of hill and valley, bluff and scrub, known as the park lands. The English settler nearly always seizes upon this kind of land because of its park-like beauty. It is so like home. The American, on the other hand, passes it by and goes on ,to the bare prairie. He thinks there is too much scrub to clear away.

But the journey is not by any means all plain sailing. There are creeks in the way, and these often have very soft muddy bottoms. Then the trouble begins. The baggage waggon is usually taken over first, and in several cases it stuck solidly, and began to settle down in the soft bottom. Then the team is taken out and a chain is put on to the tongue of the waggon, and [31/32] getting a firm footing on the dry bank, the team can often pull out the load where they cannot move it in the water. At other times the whole thing had to be unloaded, and the stuff carried piece by piece to the bank, and the waggon released in that way. No. Trekking on the prairie is not all Henley Regatta. The missionary who travels the plains often finds out the meaning of the Psalmist's words "deep waters," stuck fast "in the mire," "where no ground is".

The only way is to take it quietly as it comes, and the longest day will have an end. The camp fire at night will dry the wet things, and the cup of tea, made in the tea billy by throwing a handful of tea into a boiling half-gallon of water, is compensation for many troubles and trials.

A good night's sleep, an early call, feed ponies, get breakfast, and then wash up and pack ready for the day's journey.

Typical prairie shacks of the first two or three years. On the prairie lumber for building is scarce and dear. The great majority of the people who come in to settle are not rich; they are poor. That is why they came. Therefore anything that will save dollars has to be resorted to at once. Logs a foot thick and less can be had within ten or twenty miles on the banks of the rivers and streams. These are hauled and built by the settlers in the neighbourhood of the Kitscoty Mission, where E------ is the catechist. The roof is made of thin poles, and these are covered over with two layers of sod cut from the prairie, one layer turf down and the other turf up. It is no unusual sight to see large [32/33] plants, weeds, wheat, and all manner of things growing most luxuriantly on top of the roof.

A small team of Indian ponies is used by the "driving" or "travelling clergyman" as he goes the rounds of an immense area. I drove behind this team yesterday to visit part of E-----'s Mission of Kitscoty, and I would not like to say how many miles the clergyman told me they had travelled that week. Something like this. Monday, 40; Tuesday, 30; Wednesday, 35; Thursday, 20; Friday, 14; Saturday, 6; and now Sunday, I am sure another 40. Of course no ponies could stand that very long, and they came into Vermilion late for service by five minutes. The settlers' team behind belongs to one of the regular Church centres in this district. By the way E------ badly wants three little churches, costing £50 each, put up in his mission about seven to nine miles apart. The people are ready and willing to haul and work, but cash to buy lumber is very scarce just now. £50 will pay for the lumber to build a place seating sixty people when the people do their own hauling and building without cost.

How a Church was Built at Humboldt (By Archdeacon Lloyd)

I have just received a printed notice of the opening of Humboldt Church next Sunday. The S.P.G. ought to be interested, because Mr. P------ C------ (who is one of the S.P.G. men who came out last April with me) is the catechist in charge there.

[34] Eighteen months ago, in response to several requests from a young lawyer in Humboldt, I went down there, a distance of 300 miles, to hold a service for them, baptise two children, and administer the Holy Communion. They had never had a service before, and the little handful of Churchmen there were almost lost in the midst of a great German Romanist population.

After the morning service had been held the Holy Communion was administered to only three communicants. On Monday we had a meeting and organised a church by electing two churchwardens and four vestrymen; but, as I remember it, when they had been elected there were no more men. Then we organised a branch of the Women's Auxiliary, without which any parish or mission out here can hardly hope to succeed. We elected a President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer, and then there were no more women.

Over the water you would hardly think it worth while to organise a congregation for so few. (But I forgot the babies: they were not counted in the above congregation.) However, that was our start. Then I urged them to get up a little building of some kind for a church, and I sent round a circular letter to help to raise $100 for them, and finally a little fourteen by sixteen church was built (feet, of course, not yards). There could be no resident clergyman or catechist. We could not afford to put a man into such a district. So the Bishop used to go down whenever he could and give them a service, and I went down a few times before coming to England. This spring Mr. C------ was appointed to take charge of all he could find in the [34/35] whole countryside, making Humboldt his centre. His territory is about thirty-three townships of thirty-six square miles each, so there is nothing small in the area at least.

A little while ago Mr. C------surprised me by sending in plans for a church twenty by forty, making the first little church the chancel. This one was to have a six-foot tower as well. I sent the plans back for revision, because I did not see how they could pay for such a large building, and the diocese could not give them anything. But the answer came back, that although they could not pay for it all just now, they had arranged a way by which it would be paid off in a short time, and so the plans passed, and the printed notice which I enclose is the result.

I won't say anything more about it now because no doubt next month your readers will want to read the Bishop's account of the opening of that church. But I think this proves what I said so many times in England--if we look after the fives we shall soon get the fifties.

St. Andrews, Humboldt and district
(From the Catechist in charge)

The town of Humboldt and its surrounding district lies at the south-east corner of the Diocese of Saskatchewan. Three years ago there was no town of Humboldt; the nearest railway point was more than a hundred miles away, and the only inhabitants of the district were a small Roman Catholic German-American colony, supervised by the priests of the Mission Monastery of St. Peter [35/36] at Muenster, and three or four English settlers. Now the Canadian Northern Railway runs through the district the town of Humboldt has quickly grown to a population of some 500 or 600, and every free homestead (except seventeen) within a radius of twenty-four miles has been taken up. The population is composed of various nationalities--English, Scottish, Irish, Canadian, American, French, German, Swedish and Russian.

The first service of the Church of England for this district was taken by Archdeacon Lloyd at Humboldt a year and nine months ago on Sunday, 22nd October, 1905, in the then unfinished church of the Presbyterians. There were twenty people present, and three of them received the Holy Communion. Two months later the little band of Church people in the town, together with the help of some of the English settlers in the district, built for themselves a little chancel (sixteen feet by fourteen feet), dedicated to St. Andrew, in which to hold their worship, hoping it might be possible for the Bishop to give them a resident clergyman or catechist to minister to them, for there were some very zealous Churchmen among their number. But owing to lack of men the Bishop was not able to gratify their wish in this respect. Services, however, were held at intervals from 31st December, 1905 (when the little church was first used), till May, 1907. The Bishop himself journeyed down to this south-east corner of his diocese a few times, and spent a Sunday or holyday with the faithful little congregation of English Churchmen. Archdeacon Lloyd also visited them as often as his many calls and duties [36/37] allowed, and the Rev. C. H. Coles, of St. John's, Saskatoon, spent one Sunday in the district. Mr. H. D. Pickett, churchwarden, read the service sometimes, and for a few weeks in the summer of 1906 Mr. Pelletier, a student from Montreal College, stayed in the district and conducted services. In the meantime many changes had taken place in the residents, as is so often the case in this Western land. Some of the original Church people moved away, and others had come to the neighbourhood. And it so happened that from 4th November, 1906, till May, 1907, there was no one available to take a service. But the little church stood there as a silent witness, both of the fact that the Church had planted her standard in Humboldt and also (as it turned out) that she had several sons and daughters in her midst ready to take their part in furthering her work when the time should come to revive it.

When Archdeacon Lloyd arrived from England in May with his fifty clergy and catechists for the work of the Church in Western Canada the tied hands of the Bishop were somewhat released, and he was able to gratify some of the many urgent appeals made to him from every part of his great diocese. And Humboldt was not forgotten. The Bishop detailed Mr. H. P. G. C------ to go there as catechist in charge. The first Sunday, 5th May, services were held in Humboldt only, and the congregation consisted of sixteen persons. But our people at Humboldt did not take long to show their appreciation of what the Bishop and the Archdeacon had done for them, for they [37/38] rallied round their catechist and soon began "to put their house in order". For the ammunition was there, and it only required the little spark which the people of England had sent to fire the train. A congregational meeting was held, and churchwardens and vestry were elected. Congregations in the little church at Humboldt began to increase. Outside centres were fixed on for services--one six miles, one eleven miles, and one seventeen miles--out in the prairie. The local branch of the Women's Auxiliary was revived and a chapter of the St. Andrew's Brotherhood started, and soon the machinery of a parish was got into working order. And in Western Canada parochial machinery means work by the parishioners. The little church had hitherto stood on borrowed ground, and it was now decided by the congregation to authorise the churchwardens and vestry to purchase a site and to move the church on to it. As soon as the former was purchased the latter was accomplished with the help of a steam engine. The next thing taken in hand was the provision of a "Lambeth Palace" as a place of residence for the catechist. The Bishop had promised a grant of 150 dollars (£30) for the purpose. To this sum the congregation added seventy dollars (£14), and by the middle of June Mr. C------was able to move into a charming little home erected on part of the church site at the east end of the church. By this time the church was found to be too small for the number of worshippers, as, at its utmost capacity, it could only be made to accommodate about thirty people; and the discomfort experienced [38/39] when new people came to church caused some to stay away. Then it began to be whispered about: "Why should we not add a nave to our chancel?" and when this whisper had crescendoed into articulate sound it found an echo in one or two places. For it became evident that through those dark days of the preceding winter, when there was no apparent Church life in the place, some seed sown by Archdeacon Lloyd in one of his visits had been secretly living, and that one or two Churchmen had treasured up the dimensions he had mentioned as appropriate for a nave and tower to the existing chancel if ever such an event should come within the range of practical politics. The warmth of public favour caused these seeds to germinate and spring up, the result being that in a very short time plans had been prepared and submitted to the Bishop for approval, guarantors for the cost found, concrete foundations laid, and behold there is now in Humboldt a fine nave, 40 ft. by 20 ft., capable of seating 200 people, and a tower, 6 ft. square and 24 ft. high, added to the little chancel dedicated to St. Andrew. The completed church was dedicated with simple and reverent ceremony by the Bishop of Saskatchewan, on nth August, in the presence of a thankful congregation composed of Church men and women from all parts of the eighteen-mile area worked from Humboldt. It was truly a festival day to many of them.

So far we have written chiefly about what has happened in the town itself, but the work in the country district around must not be omitted. The total area [39/40] worked from Humboldt is, as has already been stated, eighteen miles square--that is, nine rural townships (as they are called), each six miles square. In this rural district there are 1,275 families. They belong to all sorts of nationalities and hold all sorts of religious--and irreligious--opinions, but as far as is known at present about 250 of these families belong to the Church of England. And they all have to be visited. Our people are scattered about, and most of them live at too great a distance from town to attend worship at the church in Humboldt except on rare occasions. Consequently services have to be held for them at centres as conveniently arranged as can be managed, and even then many have to walk or drive considerable distances. The country having become so recently populated, there are at present hardly any schools built, so services have to be held at some house or shack belonging to one of the settlers. And here again is felt the newness of the country, for very few of the people have yet had time or means to build themselves proper places of abode, and most of them live in small shacks or sod houses. It is, however, encouraging--and one might almost say wonderful--to see the good-natured way in which a sturdy settler and his wife will cheerfully clear their little one-roomed house (14 ft. or 16 ft. square) of half their household goods and set up boards on homemade trestles to accommodate their neighbours when it is the time for their neighbourhood to be visited by the catechist for a Sunday afternoon service. At two centres regular fortnightly services are held, and the [40/41] congregations at these vary from seventeen to forty-five, according to the state of the weather. At both these centres the people are talking of building themselves a little mission church next spring; but they are not so well endowed with worldly goods as the Humboldt people, and so they do not know yet whether they will be able to afford to put their hopes into concrete form--or, in other words, into lumber and nails. Services are held at other centres once a month or periodically. The eagerness with which the people attend and the hearty manner they join in the services are very striking. A year or two in the silent lonely prairie revives many a dormant affection for the old liturgy of the Church; and many a man and woman have told the writer how they now miss the privileges of their parish church far away in the old country, which they prized so lightly when they had them at their door.

And so this interesting little bit of modern Church history is told, or rather briefly outlined.

It cannot be but a matter of great satisfaction to the Societies at home, who sent men out to the Bishop, and to those who by their support enabled the Societies to do so, to see how useful each agent they send to this new country can be, and the secret of the thing is they are helping those who are willing to help themselves. This is only one case out of many. The people arc here; they want the Church and her services; and if they can get them--even in the humble agency of a catechist--they will combine under his leadership and build themselves into solid little missions or parishes. [41/42] For the simple outlay of the stipend of one catechist the return to the Church in this single instance in three and a half months has been the drawing together of many isolated Churchmen and Churchwomen scattered over a large area in a new country, the building of a church and house, and the accumulated force for further operations. Money invested in Church organisation in Western Canada at the present time will produce interest per annum which can compare favourably with any other investment in the world.

From another of our Catechists

June, 1907.--I am staying with my greatest chum, who has not long taken a homestead here. He was in pretty low water when he arrived, as he had to go into residence to qualify for the homestead. Well, it so happened that last year the winter lasted into May--almost an unknown thing--and he was just wondering how long it would take a man to starve when I arrived on the scene and told him that I had come to live with him for the next month, and that I had not a single dollar and wouldn't have till the end of July. This was a cheering piece of news, but, as he said, it would be more interesting starving together than alone; we would compare notes. We knocked along somehow, living very much on potatoes and lard, and occasionally on potatoes without the lard. I earned a little money by tuning pianos at five dollars each; and once I got two dollars for playing "agitated" and "plaintive" music during a performance of "East Lynne" by a [42/43] travelling company. My district is nearly 288 square miles. The people are extremely nice hearty folk, and amazingly keen to get to their services and church. I want a church built at Islay before the winter, and £50 will do all we want. [Then the writer, who is a St. Paul's choir boy, asks St. Paul's to help him, and St. Paul's has responded with .£70.] I had two children at my service on a recent Sunday, about seven and nine years old, and they could neither of them say the Lord's Prayer--they "had forgotten it". The family came out from England five or six years ago, and had never till last Sunday attended a Church service. You will wonder why so small a building should cost so much. I will tell you. It has to be built to keep out the intense cold, as the thermometer goes down 60 degrees below zero. The floor is double, with felt between, all boards are tongued and grooved to keep out the wind. The windows are double. I do everything here a clergyman would do in England, excepting of course celebrate, marry and absolve. Last Sunday I got up at 6.30, cooked lard and ate breakfast, caught and saddled my pony, and rode eighteen miles acioss prairie. I held morning-prayer, and had to lead the singing. Then I rode another four miles to visit a family where a woman was very ill. Then another twelve and an afternoon service. Then after a meal another six miles, where I took evensong, after that one mile and a half out here. I was a good deal tired. I love the life--it is simply glorious!

[44] October 14, 1907.--I have been visited by both the Bishop and the Archdeacon, and they were anxious that I should build two churches, and promised grants of 240 dollars to each church. I accepted, and started begging. Thanks to you I can now build. In one place the site is given by a homesteader, in the other it is bought from the Canadian Northern Railway for 140 dollars, half-price because it is for a church. The vestry have chosen the name St. Paul's Church, I slay, and the Bishop has officially sanctioned it. The congregation is hauling stones for the foundation. . . . We are having a "Box Social" to help us out. People come from all directions in waggons and buggies, "democrats" and buckboards, and on horseback. Every woman brings a box which she has made herself, inside which is an excellent meal for two, prepared by her own hands. There is nothing on the box to say whose they are, but the name of the owner is put inside. The boxes are all sold by auction and the men buy them. The fun is immense, and quite a few dollars are the result. The churches will be absolutely devoid of furniture at first, and the seats will be bits of board on kegs. My district has been enlarged to 360 square miles and two more townships.

We wrote to the Archdeacon to ask him how the men fared. Here is the answer:--

"You ask me what kept me so long getting to the mission field. The reason was this. When I arrived at B. I found that Mr. R. had my pony down at W. Our travelling clergyman was going to drive me down [44/45] there, but his extra pony was very sick, and so I decided to start on foot. I had to walk all the way to S. and back, as I had left my cart there. This was seventy-six miles. Then I had to drive to my new mission, 120 miles.

"On the way the pony shied at something on the trail, which turned pony, cart, baggage and myself into a deep lake. I very nearly lost the pony as well as myself. It was very near death's door for both of us. Nearly all my books were spoiled, and I had to cut the harness under the water in order to get the pony free. We were in the water for an hour and a half. It was a fortunate thing that I had been taught to swim, or else I must have been lost. I managed to get on to the next mission, and stayed a few days there to rest the pony before going on."

I do not think my readers will consider these extracts dull. They are chronicles of the early stages of a great work. In our S.P.G. House we find that the simplest details of pioneer work in the 18th century are greedily sought after by Americans and others who seek to recreate the past. I have given the actual words of the first pioneers but without their names. The writers would themselves consider this to be invidious. The facts recorded give a picture of the life of the whole band who live in "Lambeth Palaces" and are busy constructing "Canterbury Cathedrals". These are the names used and it may be as well to give an extract which explains the "Cathedrals" of the prairie. [From Western Canada by Dr. Norman Tucker (Mowbray, 2s. net).] [46] "'The Canterbury Cathedrals' are to be thoroughly ecclesiastical in design, with tower, Gothic windows and high pitched roof, and to cost the enormous sum of 250 dollars. They seat sixty people. Their dimensions are 16 ft. by 20 ft.; side walls, 10 ft. high; rafters 14 ft., raising the roof to a height of 20 ft.; tower 26 ft. by 2 ft. 6 in.; 1 ft. raised, the Holy Table is to be 3 ft. by 4 ft. The tower which costs about fifteen dollars, serves as a storm-porch in bad weather, conceals the chimney, and serves as a hall-mark of the Church of England in the Diocese of Saskatchewan." A sum of £50 suffices to purchase the timber, the hauling and erection being left to voluntary local effort. "All the specifications have been so carefully worked out that any local carpenter or handy man could become architect of these buildings. There are 5,000 shingles and 30 lb. of shingle nails; 400 ft. of flooring (1 by 4); 22 rafters (2 by 4 by 14), 40 studding (2 by 4 by 10), etc. When the community. increases so as to crowd the building, the west end is taken down, the tower removed and a nave 20 ft. by 30 ft. or 40 ft. added, to accommodate 150 or 200 people, the original church becoming the chancel of the new building."

Here are the details of the "Lambeth Palaces" taken from Dr. Tucker's excellent book. "This structure is 12 ft. by 18 ft., with sloping roof, the wall at the back being 10 ft. high, that in front 12 ft. It contains two four-light windows of 12 by 20 in. glass; one door 2 ft. 8 in. by 6 ft 8 in.; 13 joists, 2 by 6 by [46/47] 12. The floor is tar-papered, side and roof double papered. The materials cost .£30 and the building is put up by local effort. When a better house is needed then the ' Palace' becomes the kitchen at the back of the Parsonage. I believe this plan was evolved by the Rev. D. T. Davies of Saskatoon, who is a skilful carpenter. Here then you have the minimum cost of an ecclesiastical establishment on the prairie. One Catechist, £80; one Cathedral, £50; one Lambeth Palace, £30; total £160. But no one should suppose that this means luxury; we believe it is close to the starvation line in the sense that the Cathedral cannot be lined with wood for the sum indicated, and cannot be properly warmed in consequence in the winter. The Catechist cannot buy his furs for winter use unless he obtains further assistance. All these details have been considered and provision is made for them. So small is the stipend--some forty dollars a month--that every stick of furniture has to be won by effort. The authorities suggest that by degrees, in a new district, parish furniture should be bought: a dining-room table one day, an arm-chair two months afterwards, a chest of drawers or a sideboard after six months, or a better cooking stove. At all events settlers in a new land can appreciate the delight of a catechist or a bush parson when he notes such acts of thoughtfulness. It gives a sense of comfort, and the happy possessor gloats over his new luxury half the evening." I do not think the aesthetic sense of my readers will be shocked by this narration of the [47/48] cut and dried system of building. These are days of existence on the prairie; art has not yet come to stay. The first requisite is the knowledge on how little the church can be founded. Many places build larger churches; but we rejoice to note how the authorities on the prairie think out the smallest details and try to make the money go as far as possible.

Project Canterbury