St. John's Anglican Church Bedford
St. John’s Anglican Church is an old parish with a new building. The first service of the Parish of St. John’s Anglican Church was held at Three Mile Inn near the Bedford Basin on June 12, 1839. Sunday evening services were established at the schoolhouse near Three Mile Inn until November of 1840. On May 1, 1841 it was proposed that a church building be erected and on June 22 of that year, land for the original church and cemetery was donated by St. Paul’s Church. St. John’s Chapel was built through the dedicated efforts of the Reverend William Uniacke who was part of a sub-committee to oversee the property and building of the new church. The dimensions of the church (44’ X 28’) were established and six tenders were accepted for consideration. On September 8, 1841, the church’s frame was built in Dartmouth and was subsequently floated up the Basin for placement at the site. The building of the church was completed in a mere six weeks after the frame was raised.
The decision to change the site occupied by the first St. John’s Anglican Church to its second location resulted from the area’s population growth and a generous provision of property donated by the late Mr. Henry Deal. This second parish complex was constructed at the intersection of Dutch Village Road with Bayers Road and Joseph Howe Avenue. The cornerstone of the second St. John’s Anglican Church was laid in December of 1959, and the building, designed by Keith L. Graham and Associates of Halifax, was built by MacDougall Construction Company Limited of New Glasgow. The church was constructed of steel and masonry with glass panels. A striking architectural feature of the day was the interior breadth of the sanctuary as well as the height of three crosses near the main entrance. The ‘Opening and Service of Dedication’ was held on Friday, February 26, 1960 with a consecration on April 25, 1973.
The third manifestation of the church started with a service of ‘Celebration and Thanksgiving’ by the Right Reverend Fred Hiltz, fourteenth Bishop of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, on Sunday, March 25 2007, during which sentences of consecration were revoked. The property was sold and the complex was demolished to make way for a new commercial development. The parishioners moved on to temporary locations in the Clayton Park West area including a long period using the J.A. Memorial Chapel within the facilities of Snow’s Funeral Home. It took several years to seek out suitable property and several months to construct the new church complex. The new building was designed by architect Foster MacKenzie and constructed by Jetco Contracting Ltd. on land purchased at 2187 Larry Uteck Boulevard in the West Bedford development area. The parishioners rejoiced as they took possession of the building in December of 2013 just in time to hold the first worship services during the last Sunday of Advent and then Christmas Eve of that year. The ‘Blessing of the New Church Building’ took place on February 23, 2014 with the Right Reverend Sue Moxley, fifteenth Bishop of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, presiding.
Location: 787 Kearney Lake Road, Bedford
Contact: Rev. Randy D. Townsend