Long and colorful history across four centuries

by Hollis Hiscock

St Mark's Copy of ft_george_navy_hall-2 (1)
St. Mark’s in 1804 – detail from Walsh’s painting of Niagara from Fort Niagara.

An induction, several concerts, special worship and other activities highlight the 225th anniversary at St. Mark’s Niagara-on-the-Lake.

The celebrations began on St. Mark’s Day (April 23) with a combined morning worship for people to meet and hear from Niagara’s Bishop, Michael Bird.

Later the same day, William Roberts was inducted as Rector.

At a book event in May, St. Mark’s Archives Committee launched 1791–2017, its 10th publication about its people and its history.

St_Mark's 1911 Staples-2-2
St. Mark’s in 1911- painting by Owen Staples.

St. Mark’s began when two residents wrote to Bishop Inglis of Nova Scotia requesting a clergy be sent to minister to the residents of the new village. The following year, the Reverend Robert Addison was commissioned as missionary and minister at Niagara.

Throughout their long and colorful history across four centuries, St. Mark’s people have remained true to their calling. They have worked together to sustain and enhance their buildings and property, and have worshiped together in times of stress and celebration.

The 225th celebrations continue throughout the coming months. On Saturday, June 10, at 7:30 p.m. a 50 voice choir and orchestra, conducted by Michael Tansley, performs Vivaldi’s Gloria and other selections at an anniversary concert. The next day at 11:00 a.m. at a Festival Choral Eucharist, Bishop Ralph Spence will lead a service of thanksgiving for all who have served God in ministry at St. Mark’s over the past 225 years.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
St. Mark’s today.

For details of St. Mark’s ministry and mission and information about upcoming events, visit their website at stmarks1792.com.

St. Mark’s historic facts

St.Mark's 1911 interior
St. Mark’s 1911 interior

1792 – 

Missionary Robert Addison arrives, first recorded baptism, Addison becomes Chaplain to first Legislature and church construction begins;
1812 – Addison conducts Brock’s funeral;
1813 – 
Town occupied, burned and church gutted;
1828 – Church restored, church and bell installed;
1829 – Addison dies and Creen named Rector;
1839 – 
Addition of transepts and east window (oldest stained glass in Ontario);
1843 – High pulpits installed;
1858 – Rectory constructed;
1863 – Addison’s library given to St. Mark’s;
1877 – Carillon of six bells presented;
1891 – Galleries and box pews removed;
1917 – Ladies Guild adds three bells;
1963 – Interior modified;
1991 – Heraldic coat of arms presented;
2000 – Publishing of parish history;
2004 – Addison Hall and Ontario’s oldest library dedicated;
2007 – Nine bells added;
2017 – William Roberts inducted as Rector.