History of St. George's Anglican Church, Kitchener, Ontario


St George's, Kitchener Exterior Exterior of St. George's

St George's, Kitchener Sanctuary Altar and sanctuary

St George's, Kitchener Memorial Gardens Memorial Gardens

St George's, Kitchener Chapel of the Transfiguration Chapel of the Transfiguration

November 2007 photostory by
Fr. Michael Atkins
 


Luther Rose WindowThe Second World War was over. The population of Kitchener-Waterloo was growing dramatically, and there were only two Anglican parishes in the area. The “building bishop”, the Rt. Rev. George Luxton, decided that there should be eight parishes in the area, and so the parish of St. George's was born. It started in a brick house at the corner of Highland Rd. and Roxborough, where now sits a small apartment building, across the street from Sobey's. The first Sunday School was held on Advent Sunday, 1955, probably as an offshoot of the St. John the Evangelist Sunday School, and by January 31, 1957, St. George's Church, Kitchener, was formally declared a mission congregation of the Anglican Church of Canada in the Diocese of Huron, with 42 families on the parish roll and 21 students in church school.

Fischer-Hallman Road, today a fast, heavily travelled four-lane thoroughfare running north-south the length of Kitchener and Waterloo, was, in 1960, nothing more than a gravel country road running only 1.25 miles in the south-west corner of Kitchener. By 1962, the struggling congregation of St. George's had bought a 3 1/2 acre parcel of land on Fischer Road, and set about acquiring a building. The Lutheran congregation of St. Luke's had outgrown their facility, and the St. George's congregation bought the small church for the grand sum of $1.00, and the contents (stained glass windows, rose window, pews, altar, carpeting, lectern, font, lighting fixtures and much more) for the sum of $2,000.00. The sodturning for the new building was held on Nov. 4, 1962, with few people present - the site was well out of town, the road was still a dirt road full of potholes, and the people attending had to climb over a barbed wire fence and watch out for the deposits left by the horses and cows who watched the ceremony from a short distance away. The building was taken apart and delivered to the present site in pieces, where it was reassembled. Some small alterations were made, and the building now seated 150, with accommodation for the rector's office, nursery and board room.


The new building was dedicated on Dec. 24, 1962, by Bishop Luxton. Some would doubt the sanity of the decisions made during these months, as from the chosen location, the suburbs of Kitchener could barely be seen.

When the suburbs caught up with St. George's, the congregation of St. George's grew rapidly, and by the mid 70's, the church school had over 100 students enrolled, and space was at a premium. 1962 - 30 families; 1973 - 300 families; the question was: Would the fire marshal close the church down for overcrowding the facilities?

 
South Window South window overlooking the Memorial Gardens


Plans for the new addition began in 1976. The needs assessment had been done by 1978. The cost of the project was estimated to be $340,000.00, and by January of 1980, the building fund contained just slightly more than ... $10,000.00! But the Holy Spirit had been moving in this congregation, just as it had been moving since the mid-50's, and by 1983, $115,000.00 had been raised, an additional $68,000.00 plus had been pledged, and the congregation was on track to raise the rest. The present building, as the photos show, is airy, spacious, and the floor-to-ceiling clear windows let in an abundance of natural light, the beauty of God's nature, and the peacefulness of the Memorial Garden.


One Man's Answers to Prayer
by Arthur Custance
Anglican Ring Saint George
Christian martyr