The Parish of Fitzroy Harbour is a community inspired and strengthened by the Holy Spirit, guided through spiritual discernment, to support, share and serve in the World.
Morley Paget Director. The Parish has a part-time choir comprised of singers from both churches. The choir sings at Christmas and Easter services, as well as on other occasions. New members are always welcome. A quartet performs occasionally at both churches. Contemporary music is provided on a monthly basis by a volunteer band.
St. Thomas’ Woodlawn
On January 12, 1872, St. Thomas was given one quarter acre of land on the farm of James and Susan Abbott. This land was never used by the church; perhaps because of the location which was between Woodlawn and Dunrobin. The present site (Woodlawn corner) was transferred to St. Thomas on January 18, 1876 by John Hedley and his wife. A document was forwarded to the Rt. Rev. John Travers Lewis requesting him to consecrate St. Thomas Church and Cemetery. On December 20, 1882, Bishop Lewis consecrated the first St. Thomas church. However, it is interesting to note that six years passed before Bishop Lewis was able to come. No doubt, this was because of the difficulty of transportation at the time.
Unfortunately this building was destroyed by fire. St. Thomas was re-built in the same location and consecrated in 1915. St. Thomas is located in Woodlawn forty kilometers west of Ottawa. The church is set in a rural environment with members of the congregation living in the countryside surrounding the church or in the nearby communities of Constance Bay, Dunrobin, Kinburn or Shepherd's Grove.
Some members of St. Thomas congregation have families who have lived in this area for generations. Some are still farming, some operate businesses in the area, while many others work in Ottawa or Arnprior. With many new homes being built in the area, and throughout the township, new concentrations of young families are moving into the area.
Excerpts of the history of St Thomas' have been taken from
Torbolton By The River, by Helen V. Wilson
St. George’s Fitzroy Harbour
The story of St. George's Anglican Church starts in 1852, when Alexander Shirreff donated land to the Anglican congregation. Construction began in 1857, although the congregation had collected only a quarter of the £1000 required to pay for the building. By 1863, the foundation, with walls but no roof, had taken shape at a recorded cost of £2000. There were no pews and no heat. The completed building was consecrated on October 2, 1872.
Major renovations were recorded in the 1950's and the church hall was added in 1968. But it was not until 1981 that a belfry and spire were erected. In 1988, St. George’s 125th anniversary year, other extensive repairs and enhancements were undertaken. In 2000, the original stained glass was cleaned and restored, preparing it for another hundred years. At the same time, the stonework on the building was re-pointed.
Since our 125th anniversary, new garden beds have been created around the church and new signage has been erected. Ecumenical activity has grown with the annual vacation Bible school, Advent and Lenten services and the World Day of Prayer service hosted in rotation by the three denominations in Fitzroy Harbour village.
Monthly outreach collections support local and overseas projects. Each Christmas, two families receive a food basket and gifts. St. George’s members initiated a project to grow crops for Canadian Foodgrains Bank, in partnership with other churches and local suppliers.
Music is an important part of our worship. Our services are sung, and we have a cantor for the psalms. Our parish choir and our mixed quartet provide special music at Christmas, Easter, and other services.
We have recently purchased additional land for our cemetery, and will open this new section soon.
We celebrated St. George’s 150th anniversary in 2013 with a look back at our history. We now look forward to continuing the work of the Church in the years to come.
For more information on Fitzroy Harbour, please visit http://www.fitzroyharbour.com/