St. Andrew’s Grimsby 225th anniversary – Still going strong

St. Andrew's interior
 on April 29, 2019

The Rector writes …

The Ven. Max Woolaver
The Venerable Max Woolaver is Rector of St. Andrew’s.

Every once in awhile, when preaching at St. Andrew’s, I feel as if I am speaking into history. It is impossible not to be aware that one is speaking where others have spoken, standing where others have stood, praying where others have prayed.

Yet, this is not speaking into a distant, dusty past! The history spoken into is a living, unfolding revelation of a present vitality. This history is alive in the faces of those with whom we journey in this present day.

It has been this way, in this place, for 225 years! The Love of the Risen Christ makes our history an ever-present Grace.

May St. Andrew’s long continue to speak into history – to speak, to stand and to pray, alongside the memory of those who came before, and alongside those with whom we journey in this anniversary year!

“You desire truth in the inward being; therefore, teach me wisdom in my secret heart.” (Psalm 51:6)

“Rhythm and harmony find their way in the inward places of the soul.” (Plato.)

The Venerable Max Woolaver.

Our 225-year-old Church

What St. Andrew’s means to me …

Although I’ve been adopted from the late parish of St. Philip-by-the-Lake, St. Andrew’s is now my Anglican home. The clergy and people are my family. The warmth I feel is one reason why this parish has sustained a long history.

Dorothy Turcotte.

St. Andrew’s is not only a beautiful historic building, but inside there is the fellowship of our congregation that makes it special. We all enjoy celebrating our faith in the Anglican way. Those at the 10:00 a.m. service get to enjoy most Sundays the wonderful organ music. I enjoy being part of the choir with Tom’s leadership.

It is nice to be part of this community where I can just show up at a church event and feel that I belong. Each one of us has gifts that we share to make our community special. 

Ruth Emerson.

Sanjoy Archyra at the annual peach peeling.
Sanjoy Arychara displays the peaches St. Andrew’s peeled for the Winona Peach Festival where the peaches are baked into pies and sold. The peeling of the peaches is a fund raiser for St. Andrew’s.

Sunday School

We use the Godly Play curriculum ( It is an innovative method of faith formation for childhood and beyond. Godly Play allows participants to experience faith-building stories through intentional storytelling and imaginative wondering.

We gather weekly with our children in a Sacred Space to hear stories that teach children the art of using Christian language – parable, sacred story, silence and liturgical action – to help them become more fully aware of the mystery of God’s presence in their lives. 

One Sunday a month, our Sunday School leads the worship in Church. During this Family Service, the lesson is presented as a Godly Play story, bringing the story telling model that our children experience to the rest of our church family. Our Family Service is an evolving all ages liturgy bringing forth and exploring new music and prayer, reflecting an intentional formation of a multidimensional faith community. 

Melita Veinotte

The Rev. John Ripley, Palm Sunday 2015
Honorary Assistant the Reverend John Ripley preparing palm crosses for Palm Sunday worship.

Women’s Special Missions

The women of St. Andrew’s are proud to have instituted two special missions. 

The first, begun seven years ago, is called Ruth and Naomi. It is an ongoing series of monthly luncheons for widows. It is not a support group with speakers or professional guests. It is simply lunch for women who share an experience. Over their food, they talk about whatever they want.

The second is the Prayer Shawl Mission. About 20 knitters meet weekly in the church hall to knit shawls which are distributed to those who are ill or grieving, and to babies who are being christened. The patterns all incorporate the number 3 representing the Holy Trinity. 

Since 2005, this group has produced hundreds of afghans. In 2011, four members travelled to England to help parishes there begin similar projects. They have also helped many local parishes to do the same.

Deacon Jean Ruttan-Yates, Christmas 2017
The Reverend Deacon Jean Rutten-Yates lighting the Advent candles.

Another innovation

On Thursday mornings at 11.30, “Coffee on us” is offered in the lobby of the church hall. 

This outreach event provides coffee and snacks to parents picking up their children from the nursery school held in the parish hall. It is a great opportunity to get to know those families, and to introduce them to St. Andrew’s.

Our oldest parishoner, Alfreda Jeffries, descendant of those pioneer founders
Alfreda Jeffries, St. Andrew’s elder historian, is descended from most of the pioneer families who started the parish. Most of the information here came from her book, From Generation to Generation.

St. Andrew’s history

Settlers arrived at The Forty and began worship in private homes, led by layman Andrew Pettit.

Log church was built on land donated by Robert Nelles.

Log church replaced by a frame church. The Reverend Robert Addison visited.

The Reverend Robert Addison visited for the last time. The Reverend William Sampson arrived as the first missionary to St. Andrew’s. The first marriage in his records was his own. On August 21, Robert Addison presided at the marriage of William Sampson to Maria Eliza, 17-year-old daughter of Catherine (Ball) and Abraham Nelles. 

Foundation stone laid for third stone church.

Tragic accidental shooting of William Sampson and his death when there was no doctor to treat him. Despite his short tenure, over 300 people attended his funeral. Maria Eliza was a widow with three children at age 22.

Stone church completed. Consecrated by Bishop Charles James Stewart, second bishop of Quebec on July 28, 1828. 

Cypress Inn adjoining churchyard purchased for a rectory.

The Reverend Francis James Lundy conducted the first Anglican midnight service in Upper Canada. The organ was played for the first time. 

New rectory built. 

New parish hall built.

Lychgate added in memory of Linus Woolverton.

Bicentennial Celebrations. Publication of Alfreda Jeffries’ book From Generation to Generation.

225th anniversary celebration – and still going strong!

St. Andrew's historic churchyard

Thanks to Dorothy Turcotte for coordinating and preparing this special presentation celebrating the 225th anniversary of St. Andrew’s Grimsby.

Contact information

St. Andrew’s Church

7 St. Andrew’s Ave, Grimsby, ON L3M3R9

Office: 905-945-8894

E-mail: [email protected]

Worship service times

Choral Eucharist: Sundays at 10:00 a.m.

Said Eucharist: Sundays at 8:00 a.m.

Eucharist: Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

Eucharist: Thursdays at 11:15 a.m.

Said service:
A healing Mass the second Wednesday of each month

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