Project Canterbury

Christ Church
Sorel, Quebec

Years of History

Sanctuary of Christ Church,



The 175th Anniversary History


The Parish of Christ Church

Sorel, Que.



The Rev. Edward P. Vokey, L.Th.



Text reproduced with the permission of the missioner and community of Christ Church, Sorel

Transcribed by the Right Reverend Dr. Terry Brown
Retired Bishop of Malaita, 2009

Church Officers: 1959

Mr. H.H. Sheppard     Senior Warden
Mr. R.S. Miller     Rector's Warden
Mr. A.P.T. Edwards     People's Warden
Mr. R.B. Young     Treasurer
Mr. N. MacLeod     Envelope Secretary
Mr. A.L. Bickford     Vestry Clerk

[5] --:--PREFACE--:--

Since my association with Christ Church, I have been deeply interested in her long history going back 175 years to the first settlers of Sorel. The church played an important role in the growth and development of that early colony, and shared in the political and military history of later years. Our present buildings stand as monuments to those who laboured for the truth of the Gospel.

But more than this, the history of Christ Church stands as a symbol of the future. We follow in the steps of others and it is ours to carry on their painstaking labours, and strive for the increase of faith. The history of the church is important, as it charts the course of our endeavours. This small volume is intended to serve as such a chart. Many have laboured to provide us with our lands, our buildings, and our endowments. Our church stands as a witness to saints of old, and as an invitation for us to follow their good examples, knowing that our labour in the Lord is not in vain.

In compiling this history, I am truly grateful to many for their interest and assistance. The substance and fact, has been verified as closely as possible, and interwoven with the drama of Christian endeavour of the Parish of Christ Church. It was intended to be brief.

I would acknowledge the assistance of Canon A.E. Kelley of Montreal for his advice and for the loan of the following documents, "Digest of S.P.G. Records 1701-1892'', "Church and State Papers (Quebec), 1759-1786; 1787-1791", "Jacob Mountain, Correspondence and Papers 1793-1799". Other sources of information include a printed sermon by Canon William Anderson (1884), the booklet "Christ Church at Sorel, 1784-1934", the Montreal Diocesan Archives, and the vestry minute books and records of Christ Church. The assistance of Mr. Antoine Pelletier of the Quebec Provincial Archives was much appreciated.

[6] This booklet is published in honour of the 175th Anniversary of the Parish, and I am indeed grateful to the Church Corporation for their encouragement and approval. I would acknowledge my appreciation to Mrs. J.A. Wright and Mr. Walter White, of Sorel, for their assistance in providing documents and information. My special appreciation to Mr. Harold H. Sheppard for his thoughtfulness in making possible a visit to the Quebec Provincial Archives.

My personal thanks to Mr. Neil MacLeod for the typing of manuscripts, and to Mr. R.S. Miller for proof reading the original copy. Above all, I wish to express my gratitude to my wife for her encouragement and assistance.

Edward P. Vokey

Christ Church Rectory,
SOREL, Quebec.
May, 1959.



The Rev. John Doty, Rector     1784-1802
"     James Rudd, Rector     1803-1808
"     Richard Bradford, Rector     1808-1811
"     John Jackson, Rector     1811-1836
"     William Anderson, Curate     1836 - 1839
"     William Anderson, Rector     1839-1901
"     W.M. Seaborn, Incumbent     19016-1906
"     R.D. Irwin, Incumbent     1906-1914
"     J.W. Martin, Rector     1915-1921
"     R. Emmett, Rector     1922-1940
"     T.J.W. Ligget, Rector     1940-1954
Mr. Edward P. Vokey, Student     1955-1956
The Rev. Edward P. Vokey, Deacon     1956-1957
"     Edward P. Vokey, Rector     1957-present


The Rev. Puncelle S. Williams     1852-1857
"     Joseph De Mouilpied     1857-1859
"     Octave Fortin     1865-1869
"     L.N. Tucker     1878-1879
"     Alfred Bareham     1880-1882
"     C.J. Machin     1882-1883
"     L. Vitalien Lariviere     1884-1886
"     Walter Windsor     1887-1890
"     Edgar T. Capel     1890-1892
"     Wm. Neibour Duthie     1892-1893
"     Lestock DesBrisay     1893-1900


1784 - Christ Church at Sorel established as S.P.G. Mission
1785 - Opening of the first "Christ Church"
1787 - Grant of present land opposite the Royal Square
1790 - Erection of the second "Christ Church"
1821 - Parish created a "Crown Rectory" by Letters Patent
1834 - Consecration of first cemetery
1843 - Erection of present Church and Rectory
1875 - Land grant of 10 acres by Letters Patent
1885 - Consecration of present cemetery
1909 - Installation of present organ (125th Anniversary)
1911 - Deconsecration and sale of first cemetery
1929 - Installation of present altar, reredos, and panels
1934 - Celebration of 150th Anniversary
1957 - Complete renovation of the Rectory
1959 - Celebration of 175th anniversary

[11] Chapter I

In The Beginning

The Seigneury of Sorel

Sorel, situated on the east bank of the Richelieu River at its junction with the St. Lawrence River, had its beginning in 1609 with a visit by Champlain and again in 1610 when he fought a battle with the Iroquois. This river formed their eastern boundry line and was a natural highway to the St. Lawrence.

Owing to continued use of this road by the Indians to harass the various French Settlements along the St. Lawrence, M. de Montmagny with 100 men, seized Sorel and constructed a fort in 1642 to check the Iroquois. For many years the settlement was an important strategical point, and the scene of many a stirring incident in which soldier, Indian, voyageur, and trader figured. It went through varied misfortunes and in 1617 the fort was burned by the Iroquois and abandoned.

In 1655 M. de Tracy led an expedition from Quebec and again seized the place. M. Pierre de Saurel who accompanied the expedition, rebuilt the fort and remained in charge, giving his name to the settlement. M. de Saurel, a native of Grenoble, France, born there in 1628, was granted the Seigneury which was confirmed by Louis XIV in 1672. This included a domain of two and one-half leagues of land extending on each side of the Richelieu, and then back inland a distance of two leagues together with several islands. The site of the fort is still distinguished by a monument near the water's edge.

The settlement begun in 1665 became permanent, but chiefly military in character. Discharged and retired soldiers were encouraged to take up land with the idea of their being easily mobilized in case of war. They were, however, constantly harassed by the Iroquois, and were almost in despair. Similar raids were also taking place at St. Ours and Contrecoeur. The king of France finally came to their relief by sending the famous Carignan Regiment to Quebec, comprising of 1,200 [11/12] hand picked men. The Canadians were now able to live in some security and to pursue their work progressively. Pierre de Saurel had no difficulty in finding colonialists. The men of his company asked for grants of land to clear. Abbe Despres, a member of the royal Society, tells us in his book "that the greater part of the other ranks of the Carignan Regiment established themselves with their officers, not only at Sorel, but at St. Ours, at Contracoeur, and at Chambly." Sorel continued as a military reserve until the American Revolutionary War of 1766.

The American Revolution

As the War of Independence drew to a close, it became evident that the British Regime in the thirteen colonies in the states was nearing an end. Thousands of Britons had come to America a century before. Many of them, such as the Quakers, had established comfortable colonial homes in New England, in New York, in Virginia, and in Pennsylvania. They had prospered beyond their highest hopes. Now they staunchly refused to take up arms against the mother country, and found themselves in an unenviable position. Their contentment and material prosperity had come to an end. A family quarrel, one might say; or a civil war, but it was a case of a house divided against itself, and the British flag, ceased to wave over the thirteen colonies.

Britain was exhausted after the Seven Years War, and colonizing, always a difficult art, was comparatively new at the time. Mistakes were made on both sides. More than one officer had reported to the Home Government that New Englanders had practically ceased to recognize any tie with Great Britain. Shop owners, merchants, lawyers, professors and ministers formed a modified aristocracy in New England. Unrest arose and the Loyalists in New England found their position very uncomfortable.

Who would have thought that large numbers of these proud colonists would later find refuge at Sorel on the Richelieu!

As soon as they saw how things were going, many Loyalists returned to the mother country. The British Government of the day made every effort to have the reinstatement [12/13] of the Loyalists as part of the treaty of peace, but in vain. Their estates were confiscated, and they gathered in thousands awaiting evacuation. Large numbers had lost everything except the clothes they wore. As fast as ships could he secured, the Loyalists embarked for Canada.

In 1783 seven thousand Loyalists, men, women, children, and servants, gathered in New York under the protection of the British Garrison commanded by General Carleton, who insisted on evacuating them before turning over the city to the Americans. The passage from New York to Halifax averaged seven days. Those who came up the St. Lawrence to Sorel, therefore, were much longer en route. They settled in all parts of Canada: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Upper and Lower Canada. Before the American Revolution there were only two thousand English speaking Canadians and one hundred thousand French. By the end of the war, however, some thirty or forty thousand refugees had come into French speaking Canada, as well as seven ship loads of all ranks of disbanded regiments with their families. Many came to Sorel.

This presented problems for the home government. The primary problem was the provision of land for these new settlers. By this time the Seigneury of Sorel was owned by Messrs. Greenwood and Higginson, merchants in London. Governor Frederick Haldimand, in the name of the King, purchased the Seigneury for three thousand pounds on November 13th, 1781. Many Loyalists settling in Sorel, did not have money, securities or household goods. A rude log hut by the side of the river or lake, where poverty was their lot, was the refuge of thousands, many of whom had enjoyed every comfort in well built houses or even stately mansions.

When hostilities in the colonies looked unfavourable for Britain, George III had hired seventeen thousand mercenaries from his neighbouring German states. Toward the end of the war, some of these under General Reidesill settled in Sorel. The "Governor's cottage" was built in 1781 and Baron Von Reidesill and his wife were the first to occupy the building, spending Christmas there in that year. It was spent partly in German and partly in English, with a German Christmas tree and English pie.

The future history of the Governor's cottage itself is [13/14] interesting. It was afterwards occupied by Prince William, later William IV; Prince Edward, Duke of Kent; Governor Frederick Haldimand; Sir John Cope Sherbrooke; Charles Lennox, Duke of Richmond, and the Count and Countess Dalhousie, as well as many others. It was Countess Dalhousie who gave her name to the street in front of the cottage, Rue de la Contesse.

After the surrender of General Burgoyne's Army at Saratoga in 1777, the war began to draw to a close. During the remaining years, there was savage warfare along the borders, which recalled the French and Indian race of an earlier period. The war ended with the treaty of peace in 1783, with the colonies of Quebec and Nova Scotia both firmly under British control.

The Church

The Anglican Church in Sorel owes its foundation to the Reverend John Doty, a missionary of The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, in England. It was at the close of the American Revolutionary War in 1784 that John Doty came to Sorel to establish a mission.

Before this, however, he had an interesting and varied career. He played an active part in the American Revolution and was one of the first Loyalist clergy to enter Canada.

John Doty, a native of New York, was educated at King's College in that city (now Columbia). As there were no Anglican bishops in North America at that time, he was ordained in England in 1770 and returned to become rector of Peekskill, New York. In 1774 he moved to Schenectady. By this time hostilities in the thirteen revolting colonies were increasing. John Duty, professing his loyalty to Great Britain, was twice taken prisoner. By 1777 his church was closed and n October 23rd, he sought refuge with his family in Canada.

He arrived in Montreal and General Carleton placed him as chaplain to the Royal Regiment of New York. At this time, the Reverend John Stuart was in charge of the Mohawk Indian mission at Fort Hunter. As he was taken prisoner, and as many of the Mohawks had moved to Montreal, John Doty was able to serve them also.

[15] This man had many capabilities and was fired with the missionary zeal of the Gospel, wherever he was needed.

The Mohawks had an allotment of land about six miles from Montreal, and in 1778 built a few temporary huts for their families and a log house for the sole purpose of a church and a council room. In it, Reverend John Doty officiated "to the whole assembled village who behaved with apparent seriousness and devotion". On his admonishing them to remember their baptismal vows, and assuring them of his readiness to do anything for them in his power, one of their chiefs answered for the whole "that they would never forget their baptismal obligations, nor the religion that they had been educated in, and that it revived their hearts to find once more a Christian Minister among them and to meet together, as formerly, for the worship of Almighty God". So far as Mr. Doty could ascertain, these Mohawks from the Mission at Fort Hunter were more civilized in their manners than any other Indians. (S.P.G. Report 1701-1842, Page 139).

In the meantime, John Doty's regiment was moved to Quebec and Sorel, and in August 1778, he visited Sorel for the first time. He wrote that he lived with his family in Montreal, but visited Sorel as often as possible.

During this time, three men endeavoured to serve the Protestants at Sorel, but without lasting success. The first of these was the Reverend Lewis Guerry. He was appointed to the Parish of Sorel, and came to Quebec in 1775 or 1776. After spending a year in that, city, he returned to England, being unable to occupy the Parish of Sorel because of the American War, but apparently received his salary prescribed by the Royal Instructions of 1775.

The second was the Reverend George Gilmore, Doctor of Medicine, Minister of the Secession Church (Presbyterian), and a Loyalist. Mr. Gilmore was a former schoolmaster at St. John's and was moved to Sorel in September, 1783. On January 15th, 1784 he preached in the schoolroom to the "Lodge" at Sorel. He left the city in May of the same year.

The third was the Reverend Thomas Charles Heslop Scott, who was the Chaplain of the 34th Regiment in 1777. He officiated at a marriage in Sorel on July 3rd, 1779, and following this was supported privately by a small group. He was [15/16] dismissed as Chaplain on October 24, 1781 but continued his ministrations to this group "secretly", and "without licence" until 1788, when he left Sorel.

It is of further interest to note that in the resisters kept by the Reverend John O'Gilvie while stationed at Montreal, he records that on the 19th of February 1761, he baptised at Sorel, "William, son of Hiram and Mary Watson". This is the only entry of this register relating to Sorel.

In 1781 the Mohawks were joined by their old pastor, the Reverend John Stuart. Between the years 1781 and 1783 the Reverend John Doty paid two visits to England. The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel had been made acquainted with the religions needs of Canada, through Mr. Doty and in January 1783 he drew up "Minutes of the present state of the Church in the Province of Canada." He wrote:

"There is not one English clergyman settled in all the Province (excepting an independent minister, who has for some years passed resided at Quebec, where he has a small congregation), nor is there a single Protestant church, the Protestants being obliged to make use of the Romish chapels. The most destitute places arc Sorce1 and St. John's. The former is a flourishing town, pleasantly situated on a point of land at the conflux of the Rivers Sorel (Richelieu) and St. Lawrence. It is the key of Canada from the southward and bids fair to be in time one of the largest places in the Province. The number of Protestant families there at present is about 40, besides the garrison which is middling large. It is just fifteen leagues below Montreal." In submitting this report, Mr. Doty added, the Society "will not have the rank weeds of Republicanism and Independency to root out, before they can sow the pure seeds of the Gospel, as was too much the case heretofore in the colonies, but on the contrary they will find a people (like the good ground) in a great measure prepared and made ready to their hand. The Protestants to a man are loyal subjects, and in general members of the Church of England."

[17] The Reverend John Doty acquainted the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel with his desire to return to Canada, and to Sorel in particular. To gather the many Protestants into congregations and to build them up in the faith, was an object to which the Society now directed its attention.

Also in the year 1783, a petition was sent to the Society from the Loyalists in Sorel, begging them to send if possible, a Minister of the Gospel to reside at Sorel. The following is a copy of the record taken from the vestry minute book of the church, of the reply of the S.P.G. to the petition: The Venerable Society incorporated by Royal Charter for the propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts taking into the serious and Apostolic consideration the deplorable state of the Protestant religion in the Province of Canada--Resolved in the year of our Lord 1789 to pay due attention thereto, and as the Reverend Mr. Doty, late the Society's missionary at Schenectady then in London, did freely offer his services to them, they judged it fitting to endeavour the establishment of a Church at Sorel, and accordingly appointed him their missionary at that place." (Societie's abstract for 1784, Page 43.)

John Doty sailed from Gravesend, England, in April 1784, destined for Sorel, Quebec.


[19] Chapter II

The First Anglican Mission

Having sailed from Gravesend, England, in April 1784, John Doty landed at Quebec on the twelfth day of June. In a letter to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel dated September 30, 1784, he described his voyage:

"Our passage was rather tedious, especially at the beginning of it. Ten days after our departure from Gravesend, we were obliged, by contrary winds to put into Tor Bay where we remained for eight days more: on the eighteenth of April, the wind favouring us we weighed anchor, and in four or five days cleared the land and entered the vast Atlantic. On the 12th day of June with inexpressible pleasure we set our feet once more on "terra firma". (Quebec).

John Doty arrived in Sorel the 30th day of June, and conducted Divine Service, preaching for the first time on the fourth day of July, 1784, This service was memorable thenceforth, and for all time in the annals of the Canadian Church as "the place of the first mission which the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel established in Canada." (Old Canada; Provinces of Quebec and Ontario).

On his arrival in Sorel in 1784, the Reverend John Doty found that nearly three hundred families of Loyalists, chiefly from New York, after spending the winter at Sorel, had just moved to Cataracqui (Kingston) in Upper Canada. There remained seventy families of Loyalists and other Protestants within the town and district. He writes that these "though a mixed society consisting of Dissenters, Lutherans, and churchmen, all attend Divine worship. The Dissenters conforming to the liturgy, and the Lutherans, without exception, declaring to be members of our church."

For the first five or six weeks he performed Divine Service in the Roman Catholic Chapel, until a barrack house was offered by the Commanding Officer. Mr. Doty, together [19/20] with two other Loyalists, went to work and fitted it up to accomodate nearly 200 people. They worshipped in this building every Sunday in numbers of 150, fifty of which were from the garrison. He preached a sermon in the morning and lectured on the Creed in the evening. There were eighty-three souls in the town, and two hundred and fifteen in the whole district. He had brought some prayer books and tracts which were gratefully received, but more were requested from England.

The Reverend John Doty came to Sorel as a missionary, with a salary of fifty pounds a year, and a gratuity of thirty guineas to pay the expense of his voyage. Up was lodged in a barrack house built with logs, which he said "provides a tolerable defence against the weather." A portion of his income was derived from a "small farm of sixty acres" within six miles of the town, for which he paid two hundred and sixty-five pounds rent. He paid four pence a quart for milk, a shilling a pound for butter, and three to six pence for meat. In common with the Loyalists, he drew provisions front the King's stores; otherwise the cost of living would have been beyond his purse. His mother and grandson arrived front England to take up residence in the new world in Sorel. A negro boy was also assigned to him as servant.

The nearest settlement to Sorel was five miles, and the farthest nine miles. This made it difficult for them to attend Divine Service in Sorel, but ''as they all had horses and Canadian carriages", Mr. Doty hoped the situation would be surmounted.

It is interesting to note that at this time John Doty received an invitation from the Wardens and Vestry of the church at Albany to take charge of their congregation. He admitted that Albany had many attractions but declined the offer, as his work at Sorel claimed superior regard. Albany, no doubt would have been more comfortable, but because of the diligence of the flock at Sorel, John Doty wished rather to pursue his calling as a missionary, among them.

On Sunday, June 19, 1785, at a regular meeting, it was determined that the legal title of the congregation thus regularly formed should be "Christ Church at Sorel, in communion with the Church of England as by Law established." Men who had sacrificed property and exposed lives for the sake of [20/21] religion and loyalty were chosen as Wardens and Vestrymen, viz. David Castle, Ruben Hawley (Wardens), Jacob Goelet Dies and Daniel Scott (Vestrymen). It is with thankfulness that the first Rector was prompted to give the name of our Blessed Saviour to the Parish. This name has become precious to many, as the Parish has stood through the years as a monument to the glory of God.

The early residents of Sorel were truly grateful for the presence of John Doty among them. At a vestry meeting held on Sunday, October 2nd, 1785, the following resolution was passed and a copy sent to the Reverend Dr. Morrice, Secretary of the Venerable Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts:--

"The Wardens, Vestrymen, and members of the Church at Sorel, in communion with the Church of England as by law established beg leave to approach the Society with the purest gratitude for their Apostolic charity in appointing a missionary to reside at this place. The sorest evil attending our settlement here is the want of those inestimable means of Grace, to which we have ever been accustomed, but blessed be the God of all comfort that evil is now by the Societie's benevolence happily removed. We lament no longer our benighted condition, nor fear lest our children should fall a prey to ignorance, superstition or impiety. We have only to lament our present inability to bear our proportion of the just demands for the support of our Minister; and we entreat the Venerable Society not to measure our zeal for religion, nor regard for him (our Minister) by any deficiency in that respect, but to believe our fixed resolution of contributing all in our power for the prosperity of the one, and for the care and comfort of the other. The Bibles, Common Prayer Books and religious tracts distributed among us, we receive with all thankfulness, and we trust the pious zeal of the Society in thus disseminating the pure word of Truth in this very needy part of British America will be productive of the most salutory and permanent fruits. That such may be the happy case, and [21/22] that their truly primitive labours of ordaining Elders, in every city may be as effectual is this, as in other provinces to the glory of God and the salvation of souls, we most fervently pray through Jesus Christ the great and good Shepherd and Bishop of Souls. Amen."

It is interesting to note that two of the large desk copies of the Book of Common Prayer, mentioned above, are still in our possession at Christ Church.

Thus, John Doty had formed a Parish consisting of retired officers and disbanded soldiers of the British army, together with several United Empire Loyalists who sought refuge in Canada. They were truly grateful for the Parish life of Christ Church.

In 1785 Mr. Doty had the opportunity to buy one of the best houses in Sorel. He visioned this building as their new church, and travelled to Montreal to collect funds from his friends for its purchase. He received donations from thirty-two persons among whom was James McGill. (Two years later James McGill, along with John Molson, obtained parcels of land in Sorel.) He returned with over thirty guineas, and was able to buy the house valued at 150 guineas for only 15 guineas, it "being part of a bankrupt's effects." It was fitted for a church, so as to accomodate above 120 persons. It was opened for service on Christmas Day, 1785, and Mr. Doty described the day as one never seen before in Canada. "The house was crowded and all were elevated with devotion". Not all of the congregation being Anglican, thirty-two received Communion.

Soon after, Brigadier-General Hope, Lieutenant-Governor and Commander-in-chief, gave five guineas; Captain Barnes of the Royal Artillery gave a bell; and Captain Gother Mann, Chief Engineer at Quebec, gave some boards and timber. This encouraged them to add a steeple to their church, which was finished about midsummer, 1786. This is the same bell which hangs in our steeple today, and calls the faithful to worship. Also, they hoped in another year to complete the inside by ceiling the upper part and building galleries. At this time there were ninety members of the church. Such was the creation of the first Anglican church in Old Canada.

General Baron Von Reidesill's Brunswickers and other [22/23] Lutherans were now settled in Sorel, and desired to take an active part in the church. Their inability to read English hindered them in joining in the services of the church, and Mr. Doty requested the Society to provide some German Prayer Books. He suggested that a Dr. Wachsel might be able to help them by reading from charitable Christian Authors of the Lutheran church. The German Prayer Books were subsequently received and followed faithfully by the Lutherans.

The year 1787 brought many interesting events both to the Parish of Christ Church, and the town of Sorrel.

It was in 1787 that Lord Dorchester, Governor General of British North America, granted the Parish a new lot of land "in the most convenient and conspicuous part of the town for the purpose of building a church, and another lot adjoining the same for a parsonage." This is the present land which we still occupy on the east side of the Royal Square. The new land was granted, following a survey of the town which placed the old church on one of the main streets. It was originally located at the end of the present King Street, near Augusta. They continued to worship in the old church, however, for another three years. Together with this grant was promised a small glebe of 60 acres of woodland, a few miles from town.

It was also in September of 1787 that His Royal Highness, Prince William Henry, Duke of Clarence, afterwards King William IV, visited Sorel. The "Sailor Prince" was then serving in the Royal Navy, and stopped at Sorel on his way up the St. Lawrence. He was honoured with a royal salute by the garrison as he entered the Seignorial Mansion. The Honourable Samuel Holland, Esquire, Surveyor General of the Province, presented him with a new plan of the town drawn up by the military engineers, whereupon His Royal Highness graciously consented to honour the town with his name, "William Henry". After dining at the Mansion, His Royal Highness was conducted to the Royal Square where he was again saluted by the garrison. John Doty wrote "I had the honour of being introduced to and dining with His Royal Highness, who appears to be a very intelligent and amiable young personage.. His engaging manners have made him the idol of the people." As from this occasion the town took the name of "William Henry", a name it conserved for three-quarters of a century, and the name of the French officer, Pierre de Saurel, which it had [23/24] borne for over a hundred year became part of its past history.

Also in the year 1787, British North America was to have its first Anglican Bishop. Dr. Charles Inglis was duly consecrated Bishop of Nova Scotia, at Lambeth Palace, London, on Sunday, August 12th. His area of jurisdiction was extensive, including all of British North America.

While serving at William Henry, John Doty was concerned with, and sought to serve, the whole church, wherever and whenever he could. In 1788, he had heard that a number of Germans, chiefly from the remaining troops, had formed themselves into a distinct congregation at Montreal, and with the Governor's permission, assembled on Sundays in the court house. They numbered 158 (113 men), and though very poor, paid Mr. J.A. Schmidt 40 a year to read the scriptures to them and instruct their children. As they were unacquainted with the English language, Mr. Doty sent them one of the Society's German Prayer Books from William Henry. Within twelve days they sent Mr. Schmidt to William Henry, with two of their people, to request more, as "they had unanimously determined to conform to it". Mr. Doty was able to obtain a sufficient supply from the Society in England.

The year 1789 was memorable for the first visit of an Anglican Bishop to Old Canada. In 1788 Bishop Inglis visited the Maritime Provinces, and in 1789 made an extensive tour of the Province of Quebec. He included William Henry on this visit. The following is taken from his report:--

"Tuesday, June 30, 1789.. Crossed the St. Lawrence to Sorrell, now William Henry. Lodged that night with Mr. Doty. The town stands on the east side of the River Sorrell (the Richelieu River) and the ground is sandy. The house purchased for a church is small, and the floor sunk in. A lot for a church and parsonage, and a glebe given here by Lord Dorchester. Also some timber to build a church, but the people are so poor that they will scarcely be able to finish it.

Wednesday, July 1, 1789. In the evening recrossed the St. Lawrence in Capt. Smith's boat, who with Messrs. Doty, and Cox of the Artillery, accompanied me to Berthier, called on Mrs. Cuthbert [24/25] whose husband possesses a valuable seigneury here, and proceeded with Mr. Doty seven miles towards Montreal."

There is reason to believe that the Bishop held confirmation and preached in the church at this time. John Doty wrote in the previous October (1788) to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, that he expected to have children ready to be confirmed when the Bishop arrived. Canon Anderson, in his centennial sermon preached in Christ Church, in 1884, relates an oral tradition that the Bishop also consecrated the Burial ground. This latter is not authenticated, but seems probable.

On his way back, Bishop Inglis stopped again at William Henry on July 16th, before proceeding to Quebec City. He arrived "in an open boat with few hired hands and a Dr. Moseley who had requested passage to William Henry." They arrived at 7 P.M. and slept at Mr. Doty's, leaving the next morning at 5 A.M.

In August, 1789, Bishop Inglis held his primary visitation in this province, at the Recollet Church in the city of Quebec. The full complement of Anglican clergy were present, including:

The Rev. David Francis De Montmollin, of Quebec
The Rev. Philip Toosey, of Quebec
The Rev. L.J.B.N. Veyssiere, of Three Rivers
The Rev. John Doty, of William Henry (Sorel)
The Rev. D. Chabrand deLisle, of Montreal
The Rev. James Turnstall, of Montreal
The Rev. John Stuart, of Kingston
The Rev. John Langhorne, of Ernest and Frederickburgh

The visitation met on August 5th and continued four days, on each of which Divine Service was solemnized and a sermon preached by one of the above mentioned clergymen, in the Recollet Church.

Mr. Doty preached on Friday, August 7, 1789, and the Bishop confirmed 130 persons, Again, Mr. Doty preached on the following Sunday. During this time, the Bishop prepared and read to the clergy a set of injunctions for regulation of their conduct, as well as examining letters of ordination, and [25/26] issuing licenses for this province. The church in Quebec was growing and expanding.

By 1790, William Henry had a Protestant School taught by Mr. Alex. Bissett. John Doty reported to the Society that there were only 22 pupils and most of the 124 Protestant children were growing up in ignorance. Thought was now given in a more adequate education.

In 1790, the Parish of Christ Church were told that they must now vacate the old church, as it obstructed the thoroughfare of a new street. They had been informed some years before, but now work was underway for the new plan of the streets as they presently exist. The members were sorry to vacate their old church, but sought to construct a new one, on their new land located on the east side of the Royal Square. This was to commence a new era in the history of Christ Church, William Henry.


 [27] Chapter III

The Second Church

Having sold the old church to the best possible advantage, the congregation of Christ Church proceeded to erect a new building on the land previously granted by the government. John Doty again travelled to Montreal to solicit funds from his friends. This time .he received donations from 23 persons, including Sir J. Johnstone, K.C.B., and the Rev. James Turnstall, Anglican priest at Montreal. Construction began, and the new church was opened for Divine Service on Sunday, October 3, 1790.

The Second "Christ Church" 1790-1843

The church was situated on the present land on the east side of the Royal Square, in the centre, The building measured 35 x 45 feet deep, built of wood, filled in with clay and mortar, upon a slight stone foundation, and without the slightest pretensions to architectural beauty or design. It was surmounted with a belfry and spire, the old bell having been [27/28] preserved from the former church. We are told that there was a gallery over the door, and that the church was well lighted, especially by a Venetian window over the chancel. The Communion Table, prayer books, etc. were similarly brought from the old church.

By 1791, the church had been pewed. The ground floor contained 34 pews, exclusive of a government pew, and of a so-called baptistry. But this latter simply designated a vacant corner near the door in which stood a small pine table, surmounted by an ordinary white crockery bowl.

In a letter to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in England, John Doty described the church as a "very decent and commodious place of worship". The people were in general "observant of the sacred institutions of the church; their children were sent to be catechised, they themselves were regular and serious in their attendance, and the garrison were no less exemplary".

This building was designated as the first church erected in Old Canada. The previous building was not built as a church, but was, in fact, a converted house. The cost of this new church was £300, of which half was paid at the time of construction. Mr. Doty reported, that he and two others were bound for £100 of the remaining debt. Thus, second church of the Parish of Christ Church came into being. This church was the first on the present land opposite the. Royal Square.

While the parishioners of William Henry were building their new church, both the government and the Church in Old Canada were undergoing changes. After the conquest of Old Canada by Great Britain, the existing church was guaranteed undisturbed possession of its rich endowments. Under the terms of the Quebec Act of 1774, the, small English population that had settled in Canada found itself living under a regime of law that was French in character. There was provision only for the "encouragement" of the Protestant religion and for the maintenance of Protestant clergy, as the Crown thought necessary.

By 1791, the English population had increased, and in fact was predominant in the country bordering Lake Ontario. It therefore became necessary to frame a new constitution [28/29] according to the English models, for the benefit of the new population. This was done in the year 1791, and on Christmas Day of that year the Quebec Act came to an end, and on the following day the Canada Act came into effect. The country was divided into Lower Canada (Quebec) and Upper Canada (Ontario). The new law which was commonly called the "Constitutional Act", contained provisions that were intended to "establish" the Church of England in the new provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, together with the liberal endowment of Protestant clergy out of Crown Lands.

This led to the formation of the Diocese of Quebec on June 28, 1793, by letters patent from King George III, and for the appointment of the Rev. Jacob Mountain as Bishop. Thus on Sunday, July 7, 1793, Dr. Jacob Mountain was consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, in Lambeth Palace, London, as the first bishop Nova Scotia was now relieved of the jurisdiction of the province of Quebec, but still presided over a huge territory. It was now the difficult task of Bishop Mountain to interpret the Constitutional Act, and to establish the Church of England in the province of Quebec.

One of time primary tasks the first Bishop of Quebec was to face, was the preservation of peace, in the Parish or Christ Church, William Henry. The Rector of Christ Church had become involved in civic administration, which brought about a great deal of friction between himself and the community. As well as being the Rector of Christ Church, John Doty was also Justice of the Peace. Of necessity, he made decisions which rendered him not the most popular person in the town. It became increasingly difficult for him to maintain his position as Rector while acting as Justice of the Peace. (This era was symbolized by heated arguments concerning property possessions and rights in the Seigneury of Sorel).

In the mouth of August, 1793, John Doty and his wife visited New York. While there, he was asked to remain and to take charge of one of the vacant churches. This was unexpected by him, and after much deliberation he decided to accept the charge of the Church of Brooklyn, Long Island, the people having exerted themselves to provide for his support. Due to the fact that the new Bishop of Quebec had not yet [29/30] established himself in this province, John Doty wrote to the Bishop of Nova Scotia informing him of these plans, and requesting his resignation from the Parish of Christ Church to take effect March, 1794. He also wrote to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in London.

Mr. Doty went on to say that the situation in William Henry was disagreeable and unfortunate. He had become the centre of much controversy which reduced his work in the Parish to little value. It would have been impossible for him to continue, under these conditions of animosity and strife. He suggested that perhaps some other person could continue to work on the foundation already laid, but at present it would do more harm than good for him to continue at William Henry.

John Doty returned to William Henry in September and planned to continue his ministrations until March when he was expected at Brooklyn. A large group of the parishioners at Christ Church, however, were concerned about the welfare of their church, and no less of their pastor. A petition was drawn up und signed by 26 persons on January 7, 1794, requesting that Wardens call a meeting of all parishioners of the church. The purpose was to "deliberate on business of the greatest consequence to the parishioners, for the better preservation of peace, good order, and unanimity in the Parish".

The meeting was held and they immediately conferred with Dr. Mountain, the Bishop of Quebec, requesting that Mr. Doty be retained at William Henry. The Bishop found that the ill feeling in the Loyalist colony was brought about by the influx of many different racial factions, with corresponding differences in religion. The party spirit and the rivalry were difficult to settle in the young colony, and it was not the duty of a minister of the Gospel to fulfill this function. The only remedy for the good of the church was to relieve Mr. Doty of his duties as magistrate. The way was paved by the Bishop of Quebec by March, and John Doty remained in charge of the Parish of Christ Church. This was a great satisfaction to both Mr. Doty and the parishioners.

Bishop Mountain made his first visit to William Henry on July 16, 1794, when he confirmed 28 persons. He remained two days and on the 17th of July was received at the Governor's house by the Governor, Sir Guy Carleton, (Lord [30/31] Dorchester).

By this time, John Doty reported that the parish was three leagues square, containing 300 houses, with only 100 in the town and the rest dispersed throughout the settlement. One quarter of the town were members of the Church of England.

During the year 1795 the parish of Christ Church found themselves in financial difficulties. In an effort to alleviate the situation the Rector, Wardens, and Vestry sent a petition to Lord Dorchester, the Governor, asking whether, as a corporation, they had the right to assess the parishioners. The matter was placed before the Attorney-General of the Town of William Henry, Jonathan Sewell. He reported that the ancient law of Canada recognized tithing within the Church of Rome, but not within Protestant institutions. They must look to the British Parliament or the Provincial Legislature for guidance. He realized that the matter was of primary importance and deserved action. This spread enthusiasm throughout the province but no action was forthcoming, and the Protestant Church in Canada did not assess the people. They depended rather on the freewill offering of the faithful for existence.

John Douty was concerned with the welfare of the church throughout all of Lower Canada. As early as 1794 he visited Dorchester, now called St. John's, sowing the seeds of religion among the Protestants.

In March 1798, lie visited St. Armand (Phillipsburg) which he described as "a new and flourishing settlement", about 90 miles from William Henry. He was received with "much affection", and had "a serious and crowded audience". He promised to visit them again during the ensuing summer but was prevented by an injury sustained when his carriage overturned. He was able to make the trip by January, 1799, and stayed with them twelve days. He described the settlement as 18 miles long and 4 miles wide, with a population of 1,200 to 1,500 souls all "Protestants, and a considerable part professing the Church of England." They were very earnest to have a missionary and subscribed £30 a year towards a stipend. Mr. Doty continued his ministrations among them whenever possible. He baptised many children, performed several marriages, and administered the Sacrament to many.

[32] John Doty had also established contact with Protestant settlements at Christie's Manor (Clarenceville), Caldwell's Manor (Noyan), and L'Assumption in 1799. By this time be had also commenced a mission at Berthier, across the St. Lawrence River from William Henry.

Edward, Duke of Kent, son of George III, was appointed General and Commander-in-Chief of the Forces in North America in 1799. He generally resided in Sorel at this time, and took an active interest in Christ Church. The Royal Coat-of-Arms of Britain, painted in oils, was sent out from England to hang over the Duke of Kent's pew in Christ Church. This still exists and hangs in the present church, a valued possession of earlier days.

It is interesting to note that the Masonic Order appears to have become established in Sorel at an early date. A sermon was preached by John Doty at Christ Church, on St. John's Day, December 27, 1798, before the Richelieu Lodge number six of the Ancient York Masons; under the patronage of His Royal Highness Duke of Kent, father of Queen Victoria. The Duke of Kent was, at the time, Commandant of the Forces at Quebec.

In the year 1800, two new missions were established in Lower Canada: St. Armand and Dunham which were served by the Rev. R.Q. Short, and a new mission at Quebec served by the Rv. James Sutherland Rudd.

John Doty continued his ministry in William Henry until January, 1803. After nineteen years of incumbency, he resigned the Rectory and retired to Three Rivers, where he died at a very advanced age sometime after 1826. Mr. Doty appears to have been a man of superior attainments, living in stirring times, and leaving the impress of his own marked individuality of character behind him, both in the country which he had left and the country to which he had come. He had firmly planted the seeds of religion in William Henry. Now it was the task of another to care for them and to encourage their growth.

This person was the Rev. James Sutherland Rudd, B.A., of Queen's College, Cambridge. James Rudd was formerly curate of Grantham in Lincolnshire, who in 1800 had offered [32/33] himself to the Bishop of Quebec for service in Canada, at his discretion. For the first year he served in Quebec, and then was transferred to Cornwall in Upper Canada where he remained until 1803. In February of that year he came to Sorel, to succeed the Rev. John Doty. It is interesting to note that Mr. Rudd's successor at Cornwall was the Rev. John Strachan, who subsequently became the first Bishop of Toronto in 1839.

James Sutherland Rudd was described as "attractive in personal appearance, highly musical, and variously accomplished.. at Cornwall, Sorel, and also in Montreal, by universal concurrent testimony." His reputation as a most eloquent preacher long survived him. In his centennial sermon in 1884, Canon Anderson wrote: "In fact, throughout the Church in Canada, he appears to have been the Chrysostom, the golden mouthed orator of his day. Long years ago, the late Dr. Edward Carter, whose marvellously retentive memory was well known, cited to me a portion of a sermon, which in the Doctor's own youth,... he had heard Mr. Rudd deliver, "in thoughts that breathed, and in words that burned", with the eloquence; almost of a Demosthenes, on the glorious theme of the Resurrection."

It is of further interest to note that the present Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Quebec City was opened and consecrated at this time, on August 28, 1804. It was built by the bounty of King George III, and contained an organ imported from England, which was the first ever heard in Canada.

James Sutherland Rudd was Rector of William Henry for only five years; years of mournful and tragic interest. During this period, three of his four children, and his wife at the age of 28, to whom he was devotedly attached, were consigned by him to the grave. At the age of 32, he was also laid by their side. He literally died in harness, having fainted in the pulpit. James Rudd was taken to his home and the anxious parishioners waited for news of their gifted young Rector. The news came shortly afterwards on March 7, 1808, as our present church bell broke the stillness of the midnight hour, and slowly tolled the news of the death of the Rector of Christ Church. Many a heart, and many a home in William Henry were filled that night with deepest sorrow. A mural tablet was erected in the Church in his memory, and exists in our present church today, a reminder of a short but diligent ministry.

[34] James Sutherland Rudd was succeeded by the third Rector, the Rev. Richard Bradford in 1808. In his youth, Richard Bradford was a midshipman under the famous Captain James Cook. He and his wife had come to Canada with their nine children from England at the turn of the century. He was accepted as a Missionary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, and was stationed at the Parish of Chatham and St. Andrews, Quebec. Upon the death of Mr. Rudd, Bishop Mountain requested him to go to William Henry, in which place he moved with his family on the first of June, 1808. Mr. Bradford's incumbency was even shorter than that of his predecessor's, lasting only three years. But it was marked by some external progress in the history of the church.

In 1811 the parish enlarged, as a revived trade brought many to William Henry. A grant of 100 pounds was obtained from Sir James H. Craig, Governor-General, from the Seigneury funds, and an additional 100 pounds was subscribed by the parishioners. The church by this time was crowded, and it, was now possible to construct an adequate gallery in the church for the military troops, as well as undertake general repairs to the building. This was accomplished with sufficient funds remaining to reduce the church debt from 180 pounds to 60 pounds. The new gallery and stairway in the old wooden church was a great asset. The previous "gallery" had been only a rough wooden platform which was reached by means of a ladder.

It is of interest to note the descendants of Richard Bradford: His daughter, Harriet, married the Reverend Joseph Abbott, and their son, Sir J.J. Abbott was at one time Prime Minister of Canada. Their family descendants are numerous and prominent.

Richard Bradford left William Henry in September 1811 and returned to Chatham. He remained there until 1816, and died in Montreal in 1817 after a year's painful illness.

The fourth Rector of Christ Church was the Rev. John Jackson, the assistant at the Cathedral in Quebec City. In addition to his duties at the Cathedral, Mr. Jackson was also Principal of a large classical and commercial school at Montcalm House in Quebec City, the former residence of the celebrated Marquis of that name. He came to William Henry [34/35] in September of 1811, to commence a ministry that was to last twenty-seven years.

Mr. Jackson was a man of high culture, of poetic tastes, and was the author of a small volume of poetry. As a teacher of youth, he was outstanding, his pupils reflecting in different walks of life, the highest credit on the Instruction of their early master. Among his early students was the Bishop of Quebec, Dr. George Jehoshaphat Mountain; the former Judge Gale of Montreal; and General Sir James Hope. It was Bishop Mountain who wrote the inscription on the mural tablet in Christ Church, erected in memory of his former teacher.

The Rev. John Jackson reported that the church had 37 pews and could hold 200 people, the pews having doors similar to the ones in the present church. There was no parsonage provided, and Mr. Jackson built a house at his own expense.

The streets of William Henry again resounded with the tramp of armed battalions during the war of 1812. The town was an important, strategical gathering point for the forces, and a continued state of excitement and activity led to growth in the small town. By 1815 the town had 150 houses, as well as many community buildings, and a population of 1,500 people. The Anglican Church, although a humble edifice, was visited by many noteworthy persons. The Governors-General, and Commanders-in-Chief of the Forces from the time of Sir Frederick Haldimand in 1784, resided in William Henry for the summer months, at "Government Cottage", and were all closely associated with Christ Church.

The Rev. John Jackson maintained an active parish in William Henry, and was able to take the gospel to settlements close by. In 1818 he visited Drummondville twice, and preached to large congregations, leaving them copies of the Prayer Book.

It was during the incumbency of Mr. Jackson, that the Governor-General, the Duke of Richmond met his death. Playing with a pet fox, purchased at the Sorel Market, he was bitten, and died a short time afterwards as a result of the wound.

The Duke was succeeded by the Earl of Dalhousie, as Governor-General of Canada in 1820. He occupied Government Cottage and in October, 1820, before leaving for the winter, [35/36] he offered a gift of 300 pounds from the Seigneury fund, to be used for the necessary repairs of the church. He suggested that drapes be provided for the pulpit and Communion Table; that the Lord's Prayer and the Ten Commandments be inscribed on the wall on each side of the Chancel window; and a more adequate gallery be built for the church, as well as a complete painting.

Accordingly the renovation was completed. A new spire was added, new windows were made, the old reading desks and pulpit were replaced, the church was enlarged, and a complete interior and exterior painting was accomplished by the following year. To show appreciation for this generous offer, the church officers provided a "Government Pew" in the church for the use of the Governor and his family. The following is an extract from the Minute Book of the church:

"This Pew, no Number, formerly in an unfinished state, was always understood and set apart for the Governor, his family and suite, for the time being, and subject to no rent.

"In 1821 the time worn appearance of the church, moved the religious feelings of the Commander of the Forces, the Earl of Dalhousie, who with a liberality characteristic of the true and noble Christian, bestowed the sum of 300 pounds to put this first monument of Protestantism in Lower Canada, in a state of repair and respectability. Besides the above generous donation which was fully adequate to all the purposes for which it was designed, His Lordship charged himself (the Seigneury or the Government) the rent of ten pounds per Annum for this pew, now known by the name of 'Government Pew'".

A mural tablet, containing the Earl of Dalhousie's coat-of-arms, commemorative of his gesture toward the repair of the church was sent to His Lordship from the members of Christ Church, the following year.

On November 5, 1821, Christ Church, William Henry, together with a few other parishes in the united Dioceses of Quebec and Montreal, was formally constituted, by letters patent from the Crown, a Royal Rectory. It placed the Rector, [36/37] the Rev. John Jackson, directly under the authority and appointment of the Crown, which meant not only prestige, but also financial stability for the parish. He was also to be chaplain to the forces stationed at Sorel. The Rev. John Jackson acquired a town lot upon which he built his residence. This lot is presently bounded by the streets: George, Phipps, Augusta, and Ramsay, and was sold to the Roman Catholic Church, by his estate, following his death in 1839.

Bishop Jacob Mountain died in 1825 and was succeeded by Dr. Charles J. Stewart, a son of the Earl of Gallaway, as the second Bishop of Quebec. Dr. Stewart offered himself for missionary work in Canada in 1807 and under great hardship established a flourishing mission at St. Armand, where the Rev. John Doty had made contact in 1798. Having settled one place, he went on to the next, and was revered by all who knew him. Now he was Bishop of the vast territory in which he had once travelled as missionary. He was truly a Father in God, to all whom he served.

The Archdeacon of Quebec at this time was George Jehoshaphat Mountain, who later became Bishop of Quebec. In his memoirs written by his son, Armine W. Mountain, of a visitation to all the parishes south of the St. Lawrence, he relates his visit to Sorel:

Feb. 25, 1829--"l preached at Sorel yesterday, and instituted and inducted Mr. Jackson at whose house I was quartered. It was, you remember, St. Mathias Day. There was a very good congregation, and the singing accompanied by instrumental music, was for a country church, excellent. Part of this service was chanted and an anthem was performed." (P. 117) (Note: The music at this time was supplied by a violincello.)

As a former school master, John Jackson was conscious of the need for adequate education. In 1801, an act was passed by the Legislature of Lower Canada, setting up a "Royal Institution for the Advancement, of Learning". Estates and property appropriated, were entrusted to the management of the Institution. In 1811, James McGill willed his Burnside Estate, along with 10,000 pounds for the purpose of founding a University. The Rev. John Jackson, on behalf of Christ Church, [37/38] conceded to the Royal Institution a large tract of land in William Henry for the purpose of a school building. This land facing Elizabeth Street, adjacent to the Church property, was previously granted to the parish by the government in 1799, and is presently occupied by the Sorel Intermediate School. In providing this land, John Jackson placed the educational system of Sorel on a sure foundation.

In August 1833 the parish acquired six town lots from Her Majesty's Seigneury of Sorel, to be used as a cemetery. This land is presently bounded by Charlotte, Denis, Hotel-Dieu and Elizabeth Streets. There is some doubt as to where the Parish Cemetery was located prior to this date. Canon Anderson relates the oral tradition received from his predecessor, that Bishop Inglis consecrated this land during his visit in 1789. There is no written record of this in the church books.

This land having been officially given in 1833, however, was consecrated and set aside as a Burial Ground by Bishop Stewart of Quebec in 1834. Canon Anderson intimates that the land was therefore twice consecrated, the second consecration by Bishop Stewart being a. measure of assurance, as the former consecration by Bishop Inglis was not authenticated. We are told that the old church was also consecrated at this time.

For ten years Bishop Stewart bore the burden of his vast. Diocese, doing his utmost to supply its needs. In 1836, exhausted by his incessant labours, he obtained the assistance of a Coadjutor Bishop, and sought rest in England where he died the following year. His coadjutor, and a year later his successor, was Dr. George Jehoshaphat Mountain, the third Bishop of Quebec.

One of Bishop Stewart's last acts, however, before retiring to England was the appointment of a curate to Christ Church. The Rev. John Jackson by this time, was well on in years, and in 1836 was superannuated, and provided with an assistant. Bishop Stewart appointed the Rev. William Anderson to this position.

William Anderson, a native of Quebec, was made Deacon in 1834, and ordained Priest in 1835 at the age of twenty-four. Following his ordination, he was appointed to St. Peter's

Chapel in Quebec City, where he remained until the following year when he was called to the Curacy of Christ Church, [38/39] William Henry, with the missions of Berthier and Rawdon attached. His ministry in this parish was to be a long and valuable one, for he remained closely associated with Christ Church for sixty-four years.

Bishop George Jehoshaphat Mountain visited Christ Church in January 1837, and held confirmation. There were 22 young persons confirmed; "eight were prevented from attending due to one of the most remarkable snow storms which had occurred within the memory of man''. Concerning his visit, Bishop Mountain wrote the following:

"I addressed a charge to them and afterwards preached, having no chaplain with me. Close to the church, at Sore1, upon an unenclosed level space of smooth turf is an open bocage of pines, into which I tempted to stroll."

The Rebellion of 1837 with its focus in Eastern Canada on the Banks of the Richelieu, brought many changes to parish life, and to the life of the young curate. The Rev. William Anderson was brought into closest contact, both as friend and pastor, with prominent persons on both sides in the scenes of those trouble days. Sorel was a Government Seigneury, containing the residence of the Commander-in-Chief of the Forces, and as the military headquarters of the Imperial Forces in Canada, it played an important role.

Between the civil and military services at Sorel, and the service at Berthier, four services were held each Sunday by William Anderson. Added to this, he had many other duties. By August 1838, he wrote to Bishop Mountain:

"The River St. Lawrence divides one part of my charge from the other, and I have repeatedly had to cross it both summer and winter at very imminent peril. The people, also attached to our communion are scattered over a wide extent of country, comprising six different preaching stations, in a circuit where I visit all the stations in one tour of about 100 miles... I am situated 45 miles from a clergyman of any Protestant denomination whatever."

William Anderson handled most of this difficult task as [39/40] the Rev. John Jackson was seriously failing in health after 27 years of faithful ministry in Sorel. Mr. Jackson died in February 1849, at the age of 74, and was buried from Christ Church by his young assistant. Thus ended the faithful and devoted ministry of a man who was loved by all, as minister and benefactor in William Henry.

As Sorel was now a Crown Rectory, (since 1821) the appointment of a new Rector came under the jurisdiction of the Crown and not the Anglican Synod. Sir John Colbourne, the Governor-General, (afterwards Field Marshal, Lord Seaton) on behalf of the Queen, appointed the Rev. William Anderson to the vacant rectory. Thus he became the fifth rector of Christ Church in 1539. He was also chaplain to the forces. The system of Crown appointments was abolished a few years afterwards, and the parishes came under the control and responsibility of Anglican Synods. William Anderson was the last surviving Crown Rector in Lower Canada.

Sir John Colbourne, a most gallant officer, with his successors in the Command of the Forces, Lieutenants General, Sir Richard Downes Jackson; Sir Benjamin D'Urban, and Sir William Eyre, were all, not only warm friends of Christ Church, but also faithful soldiers and servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, as of the Monarch whom they served.

The political troubles of the day brought a large military force to William Henry. The little church was not only too small, but was fast decaying. Thus, the immediate task of the Rev. William Anderson was the construction of another house of God. This was a formidable, but necessary task, and the congregation commenced their great undertaking with enthusiasm, to the glory of God, and the benefit of the Church at Sorel.


[41] Chapter IV

The Present Church

The parishioners were sorry to see the demolition of their old church, dating back 51 years to the time of John Doty. But, it was necessary, and the change was to mark a new era in the history of the parish.

Faced with the enormous task of raising funds, the Rev. William Anderson commenced a "Subscription Fund toward the erection of a new brick church at Sorel" in 1841. Before the fund closed, Mr. Anderson had collected a total of 1,180 pounds from 244 subscriptions. The largest grants were from The Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge, and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, both in England, who subscribed a total of 368 pounds. All subscriptions are recorded in the church books, with many from notable persons of political and military interest. The following are a few such names:

Her Majesty "Adelaide", Queen Dowager
His Excellency Sir C. Bagot., Governor-General
His Excellency Sir C. Metcalfe, Governor-Genera
His Excellency Sir R.D. Jackson, Commander of the Forces
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Mountain, Lord Bishop of Montreal (and Quebec)
Lieutenant-General Lord Seaton
Sir James Stewart, Chief Justice
Lieutenant-General Sir James Macdonnel
The Honorable J. Molson
Legacy from the late Mrs. John Jackson
The Rev. William Anderson, Rector.

This now placed the parish in a position to proceed with construction without delay. Mr. John Wells, of Montreal, was appointed as architect, and Mr. James Sheppard, church warden, grandfather of Mr. H.H. Sheppard, present Senior Warden) was given the contract for construction. The plans having been submitted and approved, arrangements were made [41/42] for the laying of the corner-stone on the 16th of August, 1842.

The Rev. William Anderson was unavoidably absent at this time, and the proceedings were conducted by the Rev. Edward Cusack from a neighbouring Parish. The corner-stone was laid by Sir Richard Downes Jackson, K.C.B., Commander-in-Chief of the Forces, a close friend of Christ Church residing in Government House in Sorel at the time. On that August morning in 1842, the parishioners, the building committee, the architect, the builder, the clergy, and Sir Richard D. Jackson, moved in procession from the mess-house on Royal Square to the church yard. The service was simple but dignified. When all were conveniently gathered about the stone, the Rev. Edward Cusack, after prayers, read the inscription:

"The corner-stone of the foundation of this church, which is the second on this site, was laid on this 16th day of August, in the year of our Lord, 1842, by Lieut.-Gen. Sir R.D. Jackson, K.C.B., Commander-in-Chief of the Forces in British North America. There were present and assisting at the ceremony etc., Glory to God alone."

The inscription, together with other items of interest, was placed in a sealed bottle and delivered to Sir Richard, to be placed in the cavity prepared for it in the stone.

The corner-stone having been lowered into place, the builder, Mr. James Sheppard gave the hammer to Sir Richard, who striking the stone three times said, "I lay the corner-stone of the church to be erected on this foundation, by the name of Christ Church, in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen." After a short service and the playing of the "Old hundredth" by the band, this impressive ceremony came to a close.

Within less than ten months after the laying of the corner-stone, without hindrance or delay in construction, the church was completed. Built of brick, with a metal roof, and a tower and steeple, it stood on the Royal Square, as we see it today. The steeple contained the bell from the two previous churches dating back to 1784. This bell has followed the fortunes of the church and meets the boast of being "the first Protestant church bell which even sounded in Lower Canada". It is still in use today.

[43] The church was solemnly consecrated to the service of Almighty God, in the presence of the Commander-of-the Forces, and a large congregation, by Bishop George J. Mountain, on May 30, 1843. At this time he also confirmed 40 candidates. Large desk copies of the Bible, the Prayer Book, and the Altar Book, were given by the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge in England. These are still in our possession in the church. Some of the furnishings of the old church were preserved, and exist today, including the Altar Table and the Duke of Kent's coat-of-arms, painted in oils.

A government grant of 547 pounds in 1843 enabled the Parish to construct a rectory. Mr. John Wells (architect) and Mr. James Sheppard (builder) were again employed, and the work progressed rapidly. By November 1843, the present Rectory was ready for occupancy. This building now made the Parish facilities complete. It is interesting to note that timber used for the construction of the Rectory by Mr. Sheppard, came from the church glebe land. This land, in the Richelieu Southeast concession, consisting of 200 acres was granted to the church in 1790.

The church was built at a cost of 1,301 pounds, and the [43/44] Rectory at a cost of 613 pounds. Amounts collected from the two societies, personal subscriptions, the government grants, and miscellaneous income, totalled 1,801 pounds. This left a total debt on both buildings of 113 pounds, which was subsequently paid in full by a further grant from the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge in 1845.

The completed buildings stood free of debt on Crown land on the east side of the Royal Square, and enclosed by a stone fence, traces of which could be seen 40 years ago. The old coach-house and stable stood on the and behind the Rectory. These buildings, however, with their subsequent additions and improvements, have become a landmark treasured by many in Sorel, of the political, military, and community fellowship of past years.

In 1844, the Rev. William Anderson and the parishioners sought to provide an organ for their new church. Subscriptions were received from. 35 persons totalling 166 pounds, one hundred pounds of which came from Sir Richard Downes Jackson. A suitable organ was purchased and installed at the west end of the church under the gallery. The minutes of 1844 in the church books record the gratitude of the parish to Sir Richard "for his magnificent donation toward the purchase of the organ, as well as for all the previous kindness and liberality exhibited by His Excellency in promoting the interests of Christ Church, William Henry."

In June of 1845, however, Sir Richard Jackson died suddenly in Montreal. In accordance with his own previously expressed wish his remains were convoyed to Christ Church, Sorel, for interment, followed by General Lord Catheart and all the military heads of departments then in Canada. With the organ, mainly his own gift, pealing forth the solemn strains of The Dead March in Saul, and in the descriptive words of the burial service, his body was consigned to its last resting place, beneath the chancel of the church, and within a few yards of the corner-stone which lie himself had laid. The Rev. William Anderson conducted the ceremony, recorded as follows:

"Buried June 21, 1845... His Excellency Lieut.-General Sir R.D. Jackson, Knight Commander of the Most Hon. Military Order of The Bath, Col. of Her Majesty's 35th Regiment and [44/45] Commander-in-Chief of the Forces in British North America. Aged 67 years."

The Army in Canada erected a mural tablet on the wall of the church in his memory.

The following year, Mrs. Manning, daughter of the late Sir Richard Jackson, presented to the church "a Service of Communion Plate" in white gold, in memory of her father. This consisted of a chalice, paten and flagon. In addition an alms basin was also presented. These articles are still in use at Christ Church today, a valued possession to the memory of one who served the church so well.

Memorial Plaque to Sir Richard Jackson

By 1850 the parishioners had increased and were taking an active interest in the new church. The two Gothic chairs were purchased and placed in the chancel, remaining to this day. The Parish took an interest in church property, and the old cemetery one block away was landscaped and enclosed by a new fence, the following year.

The Diocese of Quebec expanded and the Protestant population had increased sufficiently by 1850 so as to merit the formation of the Diocese of Montreal. Dr. Francis Fulford was consecrated at Westminster Abbey on July 25, 1850, as the first Bishop of the Diocese of Montreal, newly formed by letters patent. Bishop Fulford made his first visit to the Parish of [45/46] Sorel in the summer of 1851. The province of Quebec, now having been divided, Sorel became the northern boundary line of the Diocese of Montreal, as it is to this day.

In 1852, the parish activity increased sufficiently so as to merit an assistant clergyman. The Rev. Puricelle S. Williams was a missionary at River David, in the old Seigneury of Bourg Marie de l'Est. His services were obtained, and he came to Christ Church as curate to the Rector, while continuing his services at River David. He remained until 1857, when he was replaced by the Rev. Joseph De Mouilpied, who maintained the curacy until 1859. While serving at Sorel, Mr. De Mouilpied apparently also ministered to a group at Pierreville, Que.

An act of Parliament in 1860 changed the name of the town from "William Henry" to "Sorel", the old name of M. de Saurel never having been totally disused. Now the name of Prince William Henry became part of the history of Sorel, identified with the early growth and development of a town.

The Parish had been granted a glebe land consisting of 300 acres in 1848. This land was to provide some financial reserve for the parish, but by 1861, it had become more of a burden than a profit to the parishioners. Thus in 1861 it was sold to Mr. Robert Nelson, a farmer of St. Victoire, for the sum of 1,500 dollars. The money was forwarded to the Synod of the Diocese of Montreal, to be held in trust for the Parish. Shortly afterward, a member of the church, Mr. W.H.A. Davies, made a gift of 1,000 dollars, which was added to the fund. After subsequent additions, our Parish Endowment Fund now totals $16,000 from which we receive the annual interest.

In 1865, the Rev. William Anderson was named Canon of Christ Church, Montreal, by Bishop Fulford, Bishop of Montreal, who was first Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada. As this involved additional duties for Canon Anderson, he appointed a succession of curates to assist at Sorel.

The first was Rev. Octave Fortin, educated at Bishops College, Lennoxville, and ordained priest in 1865, at 24 years of age. (Note: Bishops College received its charter as a College in 1843, and as a University in 1852. The foundation of the College was due chiefly to the exertions of Bishop G.J. Mountain of Quebec, its first President).

[47] Mr. Fortin came to Sorel following his ordination. While serving as curate to Canon Anderson he began a mission to the Abenequis Indians of the St. Francis Mission, Odanak de Pierreville. A church was built in 1866 and a parsonage in 1867. Among the many contributions to the building fund was as gift of 50 pounds from Her Majesty Queen Victoria. The Rev. Octave Fortin was thus the first missionary to Odanak. Later, the congregation expanded, and they became independent, being served by a number of resident missionaries, Within the last forty years, however, the numbers have decreased, anal the mission came under the care of Sorel, as it is this day. Mr. Fortin left Sorel in 1869, transferring to Manitoba. He later became the Archdeacon of Winnipeg.

Bishop Fulford died in 1868 and was succeeded by Dr. Ashton Oxenden, as the second Bishop of Montreal and the Second Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada, in 1869.

The Rev. Octave Fortin having left Sorel, Canon Anderson appointed the Rev. Alfred L. Fortin, curate in 1870. It was shortly afterwards in 1874 that the Anderson family was bereaved by the death of their son, John Colbourne Anderson, Doctor of Medicine. He died in Montreal, and was buried from Christ Church by Alfred Fortin. By 1875 Canon Anderson, well advanced in years, found the work in Sorel, and the duties as Canon of Christ Church Cathedral, Montreal, a formidable task. From this date onward, he generally resided in Montreal maintaining his right as Crown Rector to appoint curates to Christ Church, Sorel, as well as naming the appointed church officers. The curates lived in the Rectory, maintaining the greater portion of the Parish affairs.

It was on the fifteenth of Judy 1875 that the Parish obtained a further land grant. By Letters Patent of the government of Canada, under the hand of Queen Victoria, a parcel of land being a part of the old Military Reserve, south of Victoria Street, was given to the Parish. This land, described in the British North America Act of 1867, as "ordinance property", measured 367 feet by 1,187 feet, and contained ten acres. It still remains the property of Christ Church.

The Rev. Alfred L. Fortin resigned the curacy in 1878, Canon Anderson appointing the Rev. L.N. Tucker to succeed [47/48] him. In the same year, extensive repairs were completed on the church roof and steeple. Apparently the money came from a fund initiated in 1873 for the purpose of erecting a small church in the "second concession of Pot au Beurre", and in connection with Christ Church, Sorel. It was found to be inexpedient, and the funds were appropriated toward the repair of Christ Church.

Bishop Oxenden resigned as Bishop of Montreal in 1878. His successor, William Bennet Bond, was third Bishop of Montreal, and became Archbishop and fifth Metropolitan of the Province of Canada in 1901, and Primate of All Canada in 1904.

The Rev. L.N. Tucker resigned the curacy in 1879, going to the Mission at Sabrevois and later accepting the curacy at St. George's Church, Montreal. Mr. Tucker had grown up in Sorel and having many relatives here, he visited Sorel as often as possible in years to come. His successor in 1880 was the Rev. Alfred Bareham.

It was decided at this time to paint the interior of the Church, thus completing the renovation, the exterior having been repaired two years earlier. The colours were decided by Mr. J.J. Browne, an architect from Montreal. The walls were painted chocolate, the ceiling blue, and the cornice straw colour. The organ was moved to the front of the church„ and the gallery was fitted up for the Sunday School. During the period of the painting, the church services were held in the Market Hall.

In the fall of 1880 the Rev Alfred Bareham, curate, was, ordained Priest in Christ Church, by Bishop W.B. Bond of Montreal. It was the first ordination held in Sorel. The minute book of the church records the event: "the thronged church and hearty worship will long be remembered by those who were privileged to take part in it." The Rev. Alfred Bareham resigned the curacy in 1882 and was replaced by the Rev. C.J. Machin.

The year 1883 brought about an important change in the educational system of Sorel. Back in 1877 the Roman Catholic School Commission had purchased a parcel of land adjacent to the church property in the Old Military Reserve, for the purpose of erecting a classical college. The Government [48/49] promised assistance, and the trustees borrowed $25,000 from the Canada Investment Company, and constructed the new building as we see it today. The assistance, however, was not forthcoming and by 1880 the trustees were forced to sell the building for the modest sum of $13,050 to the Abbot funnily of Montreal.

In June 1883, Mr. Henry J. Lyall, principal of the McTavish School of Montreal, and in the name of Bishops College, Lennoxville, took over the building and opened it as an Anglican High School, under the name of Lincoln College. During this Period there was a considerable English population in Sorel. The garrison was still active and the sons of the officers formed the nucleus of pupils at Lincoln College, others coming from great distances: England, British Columbia, Boston, New York and Chicago. The Inauguration Service was conducted by Bishop Bond of Montreal in the fall of 1883, and Lincoln College opened its doors.

The Rev. C.J. Machin resigned as curate in 1883, and was replaced by the Rev. L. Vitalien Lariviere. During this period, the Rev. Louis G. Wurtele, a son of Sorel, and missionary at Actonvale, assisted from time to time with the services at Christ Church.

The year 1884 brought the 100th centenary of the foundation of the Parish of Christ Church. The minute bunk of the church records the event: "After discussion it was unanimously resolved that the fourth day of July next being the centenary of Christ Church, the event be celebrated by a religious observance, the Lord Bishop of the Diocese kindly consenting to be present, and a collection to be afterwards taken up in aid of the funds of the Society in England for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, the Society which first established and has for so long a period generously supported the church in Sorel."

The service was held on Friday, July 4, 1884. The Rector, Canon Anderson preached a sermon based on I Samuel 7:14, "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us", tracing the history of the church throughout the past century. In his sermon, he paid tribute to Lincoln College, "From the splendid structure of the College, from its position and health-giving surroundings, from its well equipped professional staff, composed of the men of [49/50] highest academic distinction, and intellectual calibre, Lincoln holds forth educational advantages this day not to be surpassed, if indeed anywhere equalled, throughout the whole Dominion of Canada." Several copies of Canon Anderson's sermon, in printed form, exist today.

Following the service, a banquet was held in Lincoln College for the members of the congregation, their friends, and visiting dignitaries. At two o'clock in the afternoon the large assembly room at the College was filled to capacity, and the guests seated around the well laden tables took the opportunity for renewing old acquaintances and reminiscing on the past. The banquet was presided over by Judge Armstrong, and the guest speakers were the Rev. Mr. Armstrong, Mr. Lyall (President of Lincoln College) and the Rev. Messrs. Dixon, Bareham, Wurtele, McManus, and Garout. Thus ended the first century of the history of Christ Church, Sorel.

The old cemetery, a block from the church, opened in 1833, was still in use at this time. The town had grown considerably, and the cemetery was not only within the town limits, but on one of the main streets. The authorities deemed it best to have a cemetery further removed from the church, and the town.

In 1885, the parishioners looked to their property of 10 acres adjacent to Lincoln College, and arranged for a small section of it to be used as a cemetery. The standing timber was sold, the proceeds of which were used for a fence. Bylaws, drawn up by the Rector and the Wardens, designed the cemetery as we see it today. The land, 150 feet by 230 feet, was solemnly consecrated on the 7th day of June, 1885, by the Rt. Rev. William Bennet Bond, Lord Bishop of Montreal. As well as caring for the new cemetery, the Parish were responsible for the preservation of the old one, in the town.

The Rev. L.V. Lariviere left Sorel in 1886 and was replaced by the Rev. Walter Windsor.

In 1888 Lincoln College suffered a set-back with the closing of the garrison at Sorel, and with the gradual withdrawal of the officers, registration decreased rapidly. On the fifth of November, 1888, Mr. Lyall was obliged to close the college. The building and the furnishings were disposed of by public auction, and the name of Lincoln College passed [50/51] into the annals of time. The building remained closed for eight years, and in 1896 was sold to the Brothers of Charity of Montreal for $12,000. They opened it the following year under the name of "College Mont St. Bernard", and it remains to this day a seminary for young postulants.

In 1889, the town of Sorel became a city. A weekend of activities for local citizens and numerous visitors, comprised the celebrations. From reports in the newspapers of the day, it was truly a festal occasion. The Rev. Walter Windsor and many of the congregation represented Christ Church at the banquets and receptions, as Sorel was numbered with the cities of Canada.

The Rev. Walter Windsor accepted the Rectorship of St. Luke's Church, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, the Cathedral Church of The Diocese of Algoma. He resigned his charge of Sorel in 1890, much to the regret of the parishioners.

The Rev. Edgar T. Capel became curate in 1890. The church now sought to dispose of the old cemetery in the center of the city of Sorel, as it was now disused and costly to preserve. Communications were soon underway with Strachan Bethune, Chancellor of the Diocese, and Dr. L.A. Davidson, Advocate of Montreal. No action was taken at this time.

The Rev E.T. Capel was succeeded by the Rev. William Neibour Duthie in 1892. Mr. Duthie remained as curate only fifteen mouths, after which time he retired.

The Rev. Listock DesBrisay became the last curate and occupied the Rectory in 1893. The following years were years of difficulty for the small congregation. Since the removal of the garrison in 1888, the English population had diminished considerably. The maintenance of the Parish together with the two cemeteries fell heavily on the faithful few who supported the church. Under the guidance of Mr. DesBrisay they encountered these difficult times, and maintained their self-supporting status as a Rectory, continuing all the offices of parish life.

By 1899, however, the care of the old cemetery had become a financial burden. A petition was drawn up by the Rector, the Wardens, and the parishioners, and sent to the Secretary of State for War, the, Most Hon., the Marquis of Landsdowne. The substance of that petition is as follows:

[52] "The cemetery known as the Old Burying Ground belonging to this parish and situate within the limits of the City of Sorel, afforded for a period of nearly a century a burial place for soldiers of the British Army quartered in Sorel, at least one fourth of the said cemetery having been set apart for that purpose, and free of all charges of any kind whatsoever.. though a period of fourteen years the congregation has become steadily diminished in numbers and resources, owing to the removal of almost all the English inhabitants from the City and neighbourhood.. That in consideration of these facts your petitioners humbly pray that Her Majesty's War Department would be pleased to grant a small amount, sufficient to put and keep the said cemetery in a proper state of repair."

The petition received little or no attention, and the upkeep of the old cemetery, as well as the new, remained the responsibility of the Parish.

The Rev. Listock DesBrisay resigned in the year 1900, and was succeeded by the Rev. W.M. Seaborn. Mr. Seaborn, retired front the Diocese of Huron, was a close friend of Canon Anderson, and had been a frequent visitor to Sorel. He came to Christ Church, as curate, in 1901. Canon Anderson was well advanced in years, and failing in health at this time, and within three months of Mr. Seaborn's appointment, he died in Montreal. This was a great loss to the many friends he had made in Sorel and Montreal. The minute book of the church records their regret of the loss of one "who has been so many years Rector of Sorel, and under whom so many had been baptized, married, and laid to their rest."

The death of Canon Anderson marked the end of his sixty-one years of Rectorship, and the close of another era in the history of Christ Church, Sorel.


[53] Chapter V

The Twentieth Century

At the turn of the century, the Diocese of Montreal was expanding rapidly. By 1902 James Carmichael was consecrated Coadjutor Bishop. He occupied that position until the death of Bishop Bond in 1906, when he became the fourth Bishop of Montreal.

The Parish of Sorel, however, was suffering a serious decline. Following the death of Canon Anderson, they were obliged to meet the financial requirements of a full time resident Rector. This demand fell very heavily on the small congregation, and for the next few years the Parish received financial assistance from the Diocese. They relinquished their status as a "'self-supporting Rectory" and became a Mission church, the Rev. Wm. Seaborn remaining as Incumbent.

Parish life and lay enthusiasm were not lessened by the decline in the status of the Parish. Much to the contrary! There was indeed a spirit of fellowship in the Parish, and attachment to their old church. Under the guidance of the Incumbent, and the Wardens, extensive repairs and renovations were made to the church, the Rectory, and the cemeteries, during the next few years.

In 1905, the lighting of the church was converted to electricity. The previous lighting had been provided by gas lamps, installed in 1878, replacing the oil lamps of the day.

After six difficult years of Incumbency in Sorel, and failing in health, the Rev. Wm. Seaborn resigned in 1907. He retired, as the minute book states, "to the rest he had earned by long years of faithful service in the vineyard of the Lord''. His ministry in Sorel was greatly appreciated and his retirement was received with great regret.

The Wardens communicated, with the Bishop's commissary, the Very Rev. Dean Lewis Evans, requesting the appointment of a new Incumbent. After much correspondence, the Rt. Rev. James Carmichael, Bishop of Montreal, announced [53/54] the appointment of the Rev. R.D. Irwin to the parish of Sorel. Mr. Irwin, recently retired, became Incumbent of Christ Church in 1907.

Bishop Carmichael died the following year and was succeeded by John Cragg Farthing, as fifth Bishop of Montreal in 1909. Bishop Farthing was to remain in that office for thirty years.

One of the principal lay organizations in the church at this time was "The Order of the King's Daughters and Sons". This was an international order composed of members from all parts of Canada and the United States, devoted to social service work of the church. On the Parish level, each group was known as a "circle".

At Christ 'Church, Sorel, "The Willing Circle of King's Daughters and Sons" was organized in 1890. As the English community was small, having no hospital and few poor, the Circle devoted their interests to parochial and mission work, their aim "being ready to do whatsoever my Lord, the King, shall appoint". They raised funds for the painting of the church and Rectory at various times when needed. A Parish library was another project, and contained almost seven hundred volumes. Later during the war years, they formed a branch of the Red Cross. Perhaps the following, taken from one of their reports can best describe their intentions: "We cannot enumerate the different works we do in a small way, but we know that little words of sympathy, little nameless acts of kindness are threads of gold which, when woven together, gleam so brightly in the pattern of life that God approves."

In 1908 the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the Parish, "The Willing Circle of the King's Daughters and Sons" presented Christ Church with a new Casavant pipe organ, the same instrument presently in use. This expensive and valuable gift was joyfully received by the Incumbent and Wardens and was installed in its present location. This necessitated the removal of the elevated pulpit, with the spiral staircase. It was lowered to balance with the reading desk on the north side as it remains this day. The organ was recessed into the room formerly used for the parish library.

On June 19, 1909, the Rt. Rev. John G. Farthing, Bishop of Montreal, visited the parish. He dined at the Rectory with [54/55] the Incumbent, the Rev. R.D. Irwin, the Wardens and vestrymen. Confirmation was held in the church, at which time Bishop Farthing consecrated the organ to the service of Almighty God. A reception was held in English School following the service, when the congregation had the opportunity of meeting their new Bishop, consecrated only six months earlier.

Interior of Christ Church, Sorel

In the following year, the basement was excavated and a hot air furnace was installed. This replaced the two stoves previously located in the church proper, and was of great comfort to the parishioners.

The Parish in 1911 was still burdened with the care and preservation of two cemeteries. That responsibility however was soon to be relieved. In 1911, the City of Sorel expressed a desire to purchase the land of the old cemetery for the sum of $4,500. After much deliberation and consultation with the Bishop, the Parish deemed it advisable to dispose of the land. The sum of $4,500 however was not considered adequate, and they requested $10,000. They contemplated enlarging the new cemetery and transferring the bodies to it, from the old one in the centre of Town. It was here that many soldiers and distinguished officers of the British. Army, together with many who played an important role in the history of our country, were buried.

[55] Eventually the city of Sorel accepted the offer and purchased the land containing six town lots, for $10,000. The remains of all resting there were exhumed and placed in the present cemetery, with the same head stones and monuments, many dating back to 1784. The land was deconsecrated on the fourth day of July in a simple but dignified ceremony conducted by Archdeacon J.G. Norton, of Montreal, acting for the Bishop, and was turned over to the city of Sorel. It presently houses the police and fire station.

The present cemetery was enlarged 60 feet by 200 feet to receive the remains from the old cemetery. The new section was consecrated by Bishop Farthing on October 20, 1911, and set apart forever as a burial ground. The total area of 211 feet by 232 feet, enclosed by a new wire fence, comprised only a small portion of the church property of 10 acres.

The amount received from the sale of the old cemetery, after the deduction of expenses, totalled $8,500, and was forwarded to the .Synod of the Diocese of Montreal to be placed in the Parish Endowment Fund.

During the next few years under the guidance of the Incumbent, many repairs and renovations were made to the church and Rectory, including the placing of cement sidewalks. These were years of deep concern and interest in Parish affairs. After eight years of faithful ministry, the Rev. R.D. Irwin resigned the Incumbency of Sorel. In appreciation of his ministry, the members recorded his retirement with great regret in the minute book.

A committee was appointed to confer with the Bishop requesting a minister to serve Sorel. Parish income had increased, and after fourteen years of mission status, they were now able to assume the position of a self-supporting Rectory. This gave them the Right of naming their future Rectors in accordance with the approval and appointment of the Bishop.

After a long line of Curates and Incumbents, the Rev. John William Martin became the sixth Rector in 1915. Mr. Martin came to Sorel from the Parish of Iron Hill, Quebec.

During these next years, parish members and church income increased. Under the guidance of Mr. Martin, the [56/57] parish, well established itself as a self-supporting Rectory, serving the Protestant community of Sorel. They were years of added interest and concern for the affairs of the church.

Mr. Martin, after six years of faithful ministry in Sorel, took seriously ill and died shortly afterwards. He was buried from Christ Church on November 1, 1921, by the Rt. Rev. J.C. Farthing, Bishop of Montreal. The church officers rendered their condolences to Mrs. Martin "in her very great loss of her well-beloved and truly devoted good husband". His passing was truly a loss to the parish. Shortly before his death, Mr. Martin composed the appropriate poem inscribed on the Memorial Tablet to George L. Lemoine, in Christ Church.

A committee was formed to confer with the Bishop of Montreal on the appointment of a new Rector. After much deliberation, the Rev. Robert Emmett of Buckingham was appointed seventh Rector in 1922. The Rectory was repaired and decorated, and Mr. Emmett began his duties in May of that year. With the appointment of Mr. Emmett, Bishop Farthing wrote the following: "I feel that one call congratulate the Parish of Sorel upon securing Mr. Emmett... It is a great relief and comfort to me to know that your parish is now so happily settled and I trust there will be many years of faithful cooperation for Christ and His Church... I should like to express my great appreciation for the care and the trouble to which your committee went and the interest that was taken in the appointment to the Rectory."

On Thursday, July 11, 1922, at a special service, the Rev. Robert Emmett was inducted as Rector of Christ Church, by the Ven. Archdeacon Longhurst of Granby, acting as Bishop's commissary. The People's Warden handed Mr. Emmett the keys of thee church, in token of their acknowledgment of him as lawful Rector. The occasion of this dignified service is recorded in the minute book, as it commenced the ministry in Soul of one who was to remain through eighteen years of faithful ministry. These years were to be difficult years, but years of importance and progress in parish life.

In the month of December, 1929, Mr. & Mrs. Frederick Bridges presented the church with a most attractive hand-carved oak altar, reredos, and panels. Designed by Turner and Thacker, architects, it was dedicated in memory of the parents [57/58] of Mr. & Mrs. Bridges. This new altar replaced the old Communion Table which was inscribed "I.H.S. Christ Church Communion Table l784-1929, and placed near the rear of the church, the position it occupies with reverence to this day.

A brass cross was given to the church by Mr. & Mrs. J.H. Gordon of St. Hyacinthe, Que., during the same year. This cross was placed on the new altar in memory of Mrs. Gordon's mother, formerly Miss Fosbrooke of Sorel.

The Woman's Auxiliary of Christ Church has long been a very active group in the Parish. Their field of labour is along well defined lines, being a branch of the Woman's Auxiliary of the Anglican Church of Canada, with the motto "The love of Christ constraineth us." In 1929, this same group collected funds to make a suitable presentation to the church. Their gift consisted of three sets of frontals in rich silk figured damask, of the colours white, green and violet. Each was embroidered with ecclesiastical designs and were placed on the prayer desk and pulpit. In addition to the three sets of frontals, three corresponding stoles were also given. The Sunday School pupils, wishing to share in this presentation provided three sets of matching book markers. These gifts are all very much prized by the church members as they contribute to the richness, beauty, and dignity of the church.

The year 1934 marked the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the parish, and a committee was appointed to provide for a suitable celebration. A fund was originated which enabled the committee to carry out extensive repairs and renovations on both the Church and Rectory. Many parishioners, old friends of the parish and French Canadian fellow citizens who were deeply interested in the work of the church, contributed to this fund. The amount was sufficient to unable the committee to carry out the renovation without incurring a deficit. A gift of two attractive electric, lanterns was given by Mr. E. deGrey, of Montreal. These were hung over the Prayer-Desk and Pulpit.

The church, resplendent in its new beauty, opened its doors for the sesqui-centennial Anniversary on Sunday, July 1, 1934. The Bishop of Montreal, the Rt. Rev. John Cragg Farthing, was in attendance. The day began with a celebration of Holy Communion at 8 o'clock, the Bishop being the [58/59] celebrant, assisted by the Rector, the Rev. Robert Emmett. At 11 o'clock special thanksgiving services were conducted by the Rector and Bishop Farthing preached a powerful sermon, tracing the history of the church from its foundation though 150 years. Confirmation was administered in the evening when the Bishop again preached, a large congregation being present.

Many former friends of the church travelled from afar to attend these special services. The musical portion of these services was under the direction of Miss Lily T. Wright, organist, who for many years had given faithful and valued service to the church.

Bishop Farthing retired as Bishop of Montreal and was succeeded by Arthur Carlisle, as sixth Bishop of Montreal, in 1939.

The Rev. Robert Emmett, advanced in years, announced his retirement as Rector of Christ Church in 1940. His eighteen years of ministry in Sorel were difficult and strenuous, yet under his kind, sympathetic, and efficient Rectorship, the church upheld its high traditions and records of the past.

On February the fourth, 1941, Christ Church and the Rev. Robert Emmett had the honour of the visit of His Excellency, Lord Athlone, Governor-General of Canada, Her Royal Highness Princess Alice, and their daughter, Lady Abel Smith. After signing the guest book, they expressed a great interest in the history of the church, and on leaving thanked M r. Emmett for his courtesy, and the souvenir booklets of the 150th anniversary.

Mr. Emmett was succeeded by the Rev. Thomas Ligget, as eighth Rector of Christ Church. Mr. Ligget, a native of Ormstown, Quebec, received his training at the Montreal Diocesan Theological College, and was ordained in 1933. He was inducted as Rector of Christ Church, Sorel, on November 23, 1941.

The following years were again years of difficulty and strain. During the war years, the English population became transient, and the church income decreased. In spite of many difficulties and a serious decline in the English population, Mr. Ligget faithfully maintained the affairs of the Church in Sorel to the Glory of God.

[60] In 1943, after the death of Bishop Carlisle, the Dean of Montreal John Harkness Dixon became the seventh Bishop of this Diocese. Four years later the Diocese was again saddened by the death of Bishop Farthing, who had retired in 1939 after 30 years of faithful service to the Diocese.

In 1949, due to the influx of industry, the English population of Sorel began to grow. Indications pointed to the future growth and development of the Parish. In 1954, the old Sorel Model School had outlived its size and usefulness, and was replaced by the modern brick building, "The Sorel Intermediate School" we see today.

After thirteen years of faithful and devoted ministry in Sorel, the Rev. Thomas Ligget resigned the Rectory in 1954. Shortly afterwards he took up his duties as Incumbent of Bondville and Foster, in the Diocese of Montreal.

By 1955, Mr. Edward P. Vokey, a divinity student at the Montreal Diocesan Theological College, had been appointed to maintain the services of the church. During the summer of that year, Bishop Dixon visited the Parish when he confirmed 25 candidates. At this service a set of frontals for the Prayer Desk and Pulpit, a stole, and bookmarks, all in red, were dedicated by the Bishop. This set completed the furnishings of Christ Church. During his final year in College, Mr. Vokey continued as student minister of Christ Church. He was made Deacon in Christ Church Cathedral in Montreal, on May 7, 1956, and came to Sorel as Deacon-in-charge.

The second ordination service in the history of Christ Church was held on Saturday, March 16, 1957, (the first being held in 1880). The Rt. Rev. John Dixon, Bishop of Montreal, officiated. Mr. Anthony M. Reid of Montreal was made Deacon, and the Rev. Edward Philip Vokey was raised to the Priesthood, in a service of dignity to be long remembered by those who were present. The candidates were presented by the Rev. Dr. R.H.L. Slater, Principal of the Montreal Diocesan College. The Rev. John Bonathan sang the Litany, and the Rev. Joseph Vokey, a relative of the Rector, preached the sermon. Twenty-two clergy and several Diocesan lay readers were in attendance, and formed the procession. Several gifts were dedicated at this time, including a private Communion service, two crystal cruets with a silver tray, and a new altar book. Two sets of [60/61] burses and veils were also presented. These gifts were given by the Woman's Auxiliary and the Ladies Guild of Christ Church.

Ordination Service, March 16, 1957

Following his ordination, Mr. Vokey was appointed as the ninth Rector of Christ Church.

As a result of the growth of industry, parish members increased and the enthusiasm of former days was manifested in the church affairs. By Easter, 1957, the choir were robed, in gown and surplice. Several alterations were made to the interior of the church, including the provision of a robing room in the balcony.

A building committee was formed in the summer of 1957 to confer with the Bishop regarding the construction of a new Rectory, or the renovation of the old one. They had the advice of a similar committee, who after extensive investigation two years earlier, had deemed it more advisable to renovate the existing Rectory. Details of the extent of renovation were examined thoroughly, and the result was discussed with the Bishop. On September 4, 1957, a contract was signed by the Synod of the Diocese of Montreal, and the Rector and Wardens of Christ Church, initiating a loan of $18,000, Two weeks later a contract was signed with the contractor, and the work began.

[62] During the next few months, extensive repairs and changes took place, including a new roof, new windows and floors. Extensive renovations were made to the plumbing, heating, and wiring, as well as to the structure of the house itself. The project concluded with a complete decorating scheme, on the interior as well as painting the exterior. This was the largest and most thorough renovation that had taken place in the Rectory in all its 114 years of history. In short, when the Rev. Edward Vokey moved in in January of 1958, it was almost a complete new house, still preserving the ancient architecture of former days.

The year 1958 brought stability and progress to the parish of Christ Church. Devotion increased and the townsfolk took an added interest in parish affairs. The living room of the Rectory, not required by the Rector, was furnished appropriately and temporarily given to the use of parish groups. This added facility gave rise to a more active lay participation and a closer association with the church. The Bishop, along with the Ven. Archdeacon J.F. Morris visited the parish on May 21, and administered confirmation to 21 candidates. Following the service, a reception was held in the Rectory when the Bishop and Archdeacon had the pleasure of meeting old acquaintances and new friends.

By 1958 the educational system in our Protestant School had become well established. The growth of industry and the increased enrolment in the new school was encouraging. Under the guidance of Mr. R.S. Montague, Principal, the teaching staff was doubled to fulfill the needs of the community. The church, in order to meet these needs, organized a more adequate Sunday School. Week-day activities for groups, young and old, became well established, as the community expanded.

Last, and by no means least, is 1958, the Rev. Edward Vokey entered into Holy Matrimony with the former Carol Ann Hayden on September 6, at Christ Church, Cathedral, Montreal.

This year 1959 brings us to the 175th Anniversary of the foundation of the Parish. A committee has been formed to provide suitable celebrations on Sunday, May 17. Special services will be held, God willing, on that date, in thanksgiving for His many blessings so freely bestowed upon us. [62/63] Major-General J.M. Rockingham, representing the military interest and association of the east, and the Rt. Rev. John Dixon, Lord Bishop or Montreal, will be with us to share in this great milestone of Christian endeavour. The special anniversary service will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Sunday, May 17, and we anticipate a large attendance including many former friends of the parish. Following the service, a reception will be held in the recently renovated Government House, where all will be given an opportunity of reminiscing on the past. Confirmation will be administered in the late afternoon when the Bishop will give us his address.

With the assistance of the Diocese of Montreal, the church will be completely painted and redecorated for the occasion. This is of great joy to our parishioners. It is of further interest to note that the Quebec Commission for the Preservation of Historical Sites and Monuments, has expressed a desire to "classify" the Church and Rectory as sites of historical value in the Province. This would mean that the commission would undertake a financial contribution toward our debt on the renovation of the Rectory, as well as take a future interest in the welfare of the Parish. Discussions are presently underway between the Church Corporation, the Bishop, and the Quebec Commission on the matter.

This concludes the history of Christ Church, Sorel. We see our present Church and Rectory, 115 years old, standing majestically opposite the Royal Square on land the church has occupied for 169 years. These buildings represent 175 years of devoted Christians. But all of this is the external history! The real history took place in the hearts and souls of all who laboured for Christ and His Church, and have entered their place of eternal rest. Let us never forget, that the internal progress of the Church takes place in our hearts, as we grow daily toward Him, whom we serve.

In the words of Canon Anderson, late Rector of this parish, "Any and every church under the whole heaven will only be blessed of God, will only become the glory of the earth, as she is spiritual in her worship; and as she is both in her ministers and in her worshippers, the reflection of heaven."


Gifts and Memorials in Christ Church showing Old Communion Table 1784-1929


It has been my pleasure to compile this present history of Christ Church. Our parishioners, like most others, are deeply interested in the past history, as well as the future achievements of our Church. Knowing something of our predecessors serves as a guide for that future. I feel truly honoured to have followed in the steps of those who faithfully ministered to the spiritual needs of this Parish. This Parish certainly has a long list of loved and honoured men who sought the service of God and the welfare of souls. And yet, they were assisted by laymen from all walks of life, some prominent in history, and others little known in the service of their Blessed Lord. They all laboured together, and by their labours the work of the Lord was continued in this part of God's world. Their names are numerous, and the minute books of the Church contain the record of these men, who laboured quietly and devotedly for the work of God, and now rest in God's Kingdom.

Just as we follow in their tradition, we also follow their example, which reflects the example of our Lord Himself. Since my arrival in Sorel, I have been constantly assisted by many who have laboured with me for the Glory of God's Kingdom.

Mr. Harold H. Sheppard represents the third generation of devoted service to the Church. At the Annual Vestry Meeting [64/65] of 1957, and by nomination of the Bishop of Montreal, he was appointed Honorary Senior Warden. His advice and guidance in Parish affairs has been a constant source of encouragement.

The extensive renovation of the Rectory in 1957 was the result of the work of many. The Building Committee was supervised by Mr. H.H. Sheppard, Senior Warden, Mr. G.E. Wagner, Rector's Warden, and Mr. J.L. Boyd, People's Warden. This Committee was assisted by Messrs. R.A. Green, Treasurer; P.C. Neil, Vestry Clerk; P. Vennor, Envelope Secretary. The Committee received assistance from many including the guidance of a complete parish canvass organized under Mr. A.P.T. Edwards, and the advice of a group of ladies in the Parish who chose the colouring and interior decoration. We are indeed grateful to all of these persons for the completion of a valuable project.

There are many active and valued organizations that have contributed to church life. The Ladies' Guild of Christ Church work for the welfare of the Parish, and provide valuable assistance in raising church funds. On several occasions they have provided hospitality for confirmation receptions, St. Lambert clericus meetings, and in 1958 a two day clergy retreat. Their numerous social enterprises have brought the parish together in the fullness of family life.

The local branch of the Women's Auxiliary of the Anglican Church, while small in number, are great in devotion. Their area of activity is primarily the missionary work of the church, and by their labours they have created a fuller parish life. On occasions they have assisted with gifts and memorials for the church. In 1958, two of their members, Mrs. H.H. Sheppard and Mrs. J.A. Wright were made "Life Members" of the Woman's Auxiliary, for their years of long and devoted service. This appointment came from the Bishop of Montreal.

The teaching of the young has been carefully directed by Mrs. J.L. Boyd and her staff of enthusiastic teachers of the Sunday School, The facilities of the Sorel Intermediate School Hall, and the devotion of the superintendent and teachers has provided adequate spiritual education for the leaders of tomorrow's church. Midweek activities for the teen-agers take place in the Rectory, in the form of the High Seas Club and the Fireside Club. These clubs bring the teenagers together in [65/66] a spirit of Christian Fellowship.

The Altar Guild under Mrs. A.S. Wallace has tended the chancel with care and efficiency. The recent pulpit and reading desk hangings together with the Communion veils, etc., are the excellent work of Mrs. Wallace. The Altar Guild, little recognized, provide us with a chancel which is both neat and worshipful for Divine Service.

The music of the church has been for a long time under the care of the organist, Mrs. J. Riopel. Mrs. Riopel has devoted much time and effort to the training of the choir, and has made the church music a credit to the Parish. The choir members themselves are faithful and devoted in their service to God. In recent years Mrs. Riopel has been ably assisted by Mrs. W. Houghton.

Church publications have increased the facilities of the Parish. Our weekly church bulletin provides guidance in the Liturgical worship of the church, as well as making announcements of church activities. The recent "Christ Church Newsletter", published monthly, provides a valuable means of parochial communication. Industry has taken an important share in this work, by printing these publications.

At the present time, Mr. R.A. Green, Chairman of the Anniversary Plans Committee, is preparing for the suitable celebration of our 175th anniversary. As always many of our parishioners are working together for the Glory of God, to make this an occasion of dignity and thanksgiving for Christ Church Sorel.

There are many who have contributed to the corporateness of Parish life in Christ Church. The church serves all denominations of Christians who worship together, and strive for the Glory of God. Many names of those who have laboured to promote the Gospel of Christ are not written in this book. Nevertheless they are written in Heaven, a glorious history of countless hundreds who have gone before us having humbly served God in this life.
Your author feels humble and grateful to follow in the steps of loved and honoured men, men who have not ceased to teach and to preach the truth as it is in Jesus; the glorious Gospel of the Blessed God and our Saviour, the grand old story of Jesus and His Salvation, as all-sufficient and sufficient for all.

May we be found acceptable in the sight of God!

[67] List of Memorials and Monuments in Christ Church at Sorel


North Side "In memory of Eliza daughter of Timothy H. Dunn Esq., of Quebec, died May 25th 1857 aged 9 years and six months".

Centre "Sacred to the memory of Catherine. Augusta von Iffland died June 19th 1863 aged 22 years".

South Side "Sacred to the memory of Emily Jane daughter of T.H. Dunn Esq., died June 6th 1857 aged. 8 years and 3 months".


"To the Glory of God and in memory of their parents this altar and reredos was presented to Christ Church, Sorel, by Frederick Bridges and his wife Gertrude Winifred Elizabeth Edwards, Christmas 1929. P.J. Turner F.R.I.B.A. and A.D. Thacker F.R.I.B.A. joint architects".


"To the Glory of God and in loving memory of Fanny Fosbrooke daughter of the late Capt. Edmund Fosbrooke of H.M. 56th Regiment".


Organ "This organ the gift of many kind friends was presented to Christ Church by the Willing Circle of Kings' Daughters and Sons. Consecrated by the Right Reverend J.C. Farthing M.A., D.D., D.C.L. Lord Bishop of Montreal, June 14th 1909".

First Window "To the Glory of God and in memory of Margery wife of C.L. Armstrong aged 18 years died 9th April 1822".

Mural Tablet "Within this sacred edifice of which he himself [67/68] laid the foundation stone are deposited the remains of Lieut. General Sir Richard Downes Jackson, K.C.B. Commander of the Forces in British North America, etc., who departed this life on the 9th June 1845, aged 68 years. Revered and beloved by all who knew him".

Second Window "In Christ Mary Anderson aged 79 years died 28th, Jan. 1867".

Mural Tablet "Sacred to the memory of a sincere friend, a kind mistress, and affectionate daughter, sister, wife and mother, a pious Christian, Selina Harriett Cotton the beloved wife of Major Francis Ringler Thomson, R.E., daughter of John Carisbrooke Esq., and Marianne Brooker. She died June 16th 1843, aged 43 years. "The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away blessed be the name of the Lord" Job. C. 1 v 21, Eugenia Carisbrooke Thomson daughter of the above died at Bytown Nov. 1st 1843 aged 7 years and 11 mouths. "Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not for of such is the kingdom of Heaven". Mark C. 10 v. 13".

Third Window "To Christ and his Church and in memory of William Buttery died June 9th 1868 aged 51 years, also his wife Jane Wallace McNie died Nov. 27th 1868 aged 42 years".

Mural Tablet (Upper) "This simple tablet is erected to the memory of James Sutherland Rudd, Clerk, B.A. of Queen's College Cambridge who during nearly five yours was Rector of William-Henry during which period he endeared himself to his flock by a diligent and conscientious execution of the duties of his high office. He departed this life on the 7th day of March 1808 aged 32 years. "He found redemption in the Blood of the Lamb". Reader hast thou. Erected by his nephew E.J. Lundy."

Mural Tablet (Lower) "To the Glory of God and in loving memory of George Louis Lemoine Corporal 60th Batt. C.E.F. who fought in the Somme and at Vimy. He was wounded at Avion June 8th 1917 resulting in his death April 12th 1921. Buried at Christ Church Cemetery."


And if my own dear Country,
Needs a victim such as I.
I am nothing more than others
Who for her would live or die.
On her bosom let me slumber
On her altar let me lie
I am not afraid dear mother
In so great a cause to die."

J. W. M. Rector''.

Fourth Window "Sleeping in Jesus Jane Dies Nelson aged 79 years died Sept. 3rd 1846 also her daughter Elizabeth Nelson aged 69 years died July 15th 1869".

Fifth Window            "In Memoriam J. Wurtole aged 63 years died Nov. 19th 1853".


First Window "In hope Edward Armstrong aged 75 years died 5th May 1844, also his Wife Elizabeth Dunn aged 73 years died 27th Jan. 1849".

Mural Tablet "Sacred to the memory of Ross Cuthbert Esq., of Lanoraie, born Feb. 17th 1776 died August 28th 1861. "Here we have no continuing city but we seek one to come". Heb. C 13, V. 14. "For as in Adam all die even in Christ shall all be made alive." 1 Cor, C 15, V. 22.

Second Window "In peace Rachel Messervey wife of D. Armstrong aged 74 years died 16th August 1868."

Mural Tablet "Sacred to the memory of Emily Rush wife of Ross Cuthbert Esq., of Lanoraie born Jan. 1st 1779 died April 27th 1850. "I heard a voice saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth." "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again even them also which sleep in Jesus will he bring with him."

Third Window "To the Glory of God and in memory of George Bramley died in England July 28th 1827 aged 55 [69/70] years, also his wife Lydia Mary Hughan died 12th November 1852 aged 67 years."

Mural Tablet (Upper) "In memory of the Reverend John Jackson late Rector of this Parish of which he held the charge for upwards of twenty seven years. He died at the age of seventy four on the 9th day of February 1839. Regretted by many friends and others who had long loved him as their Minister and Benefactor. "Be ye also Ready".

Mural Tablet (Lower) "In loving memory of Geoffrey R. Milne who died while trying to save another's life, Sorel, 23rd April 1937, 1901-1937." "Greater love hath no man."

Fourth Window "To the Glory of God and in memory of George Johnstone M.D., 88th Regiment died at Corfu 8th September 1833, also of his wife Mary Anne Carter died 25th September 1841."

Under Fourth Window The Old Communion Table: "I.H.S. Christ Church Sorel Communion Table 1784-1929."

Fifth Window "In the hope of eternal life Peter McNie aged 67 years died 20th May 1868, also his wife Jane Wallace Craig aged 62 years died 22nd Aug. 1864."

Altar Book "This Book was presented to Christ Church, Sorel, P.Q., by the Sorel branch of The Woman's Auxiliary of The Anglican Church of Canada, and dedicated to the Glory of God, on the sixteenth day of the month of March in the year of our Lord 1957, by the Lord Bishop of Montreal, the Rt. Rev. John Dixon, at the ordination service of Priest, the Rev. Edward P. Vokey".

Offering Plates "To the Glory of God and in memory of Rev. Robert Emmett and Mrs. Jessie Emmett, Christ Church Sorel, 1922-1940, presented by their daughter Mrs. J.V. Walters, 1956."

Wafer Box "To the Glory of God. In loving memory of the Reverend Robert and Mrs, Emmett, Rector of Christ Church Sorel 1922-40. Presented by Freida, Carl, Robert, 1956."

Private Communion Set "Presented to Christ Church by the Woman's Auxiliary 1957."

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