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From May 21 2023 to our anniversary, November 12 2023, check social media every day (FaceBook, Instagram) or this page, to see new historical tidbits about our church’s life, growing up in Brighton Ontario. 

What to expect

Section one: Building History 

Section two:  Members Stories

Section three:  Evolution Of Our Faith

Section four:  Impact On Our Community

Section five:  Why Do You Like Coming

Section six:  Indigenous Relations

Section seven:  Where Are We Going.

Building history

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Building again…….

The Clothing Depot and meeting rooms operated from the house in 1965 when they realized a much larger space was needed.   The house was raized in 1972 with the Clothing Depot relocating to the Scotty Broughton Youth center while the old house was demolished.  The new Christian Service Centre was built then dedicated July 2, 1972 opening on July 7th, 1972. The current building has housed the clothing depot on the main floor with the upstairs used as a Sunday school, aa meeting room, girl guides, horticultural society and today the model train club.  The clothing depot underwent a full remodel in 2014.

Building history

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In the early 60’s a local health unit nurse Vera Clark approached the minister Rev. Charles McLaren, wife Elda and a new to Brighton UCW member Lucy Scott.  The discussion centered on looking after the needs of community children who did not have adequate clothing.  The idea was hatched to open a clothing depot allowing families to purchase good used clothing at low cost.  

Building history

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Filling a need……

In 1964 the church purchased from a Mrs. Edwards for $7500 the house and property at 58 Prince Edward St.  The house was a white two-story home with a balcony and outside staircase to the second level.   Mrs. Edwards was allowed to live in the upper level as long as she wanted with the lower level used for church purposes.  

Building history

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The manse of many uses

After 1990 the manse was used as offices for the minister and church secretary and meeting rooms. A downstairs washroom and full kitchen was added allowing the 7 UCW units to hold their meetings there.  In 2012 the manse was renovated and redecorated to provide a much need rental unit for our community.  This enabled the church to bring in a small income that would contribute to financing the new hall. 

Building history

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Is it a Parsonage or a Manse?

A parsonage was built a short time after the 1849 church was built  (the actual date is unknown).  The two-story

building is also a gothic design built with a field stone foundation and clay bricks similar to the church.  It was

occupied by ministers and their families up to 1990 with Rev. Fred Edmondson and his family being the last.  This stone is found at the back entrance to the Parsonage.

Building history

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From near and far…….

Did you know that our church had a barn to house the horses?  Trustees gave permission in 1903 to build a drive shed to shelter the horse and buggy’s allowing people from the country to drive their horse and buggy to church.  The cost was $214.44 to build.  The old drive shed was located on the North corner of Chapel and Prince Edward (today there is a yellow house which was moved to that location in 1910 from the CNR right a way).  A newer drive shed was built south of the church.

Building history

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Bring on the children….and the food…..

A Sunday school hall was built in 1902 attached to the west end of the church.  The hall was used as a Sunday school room, meeting room and gathering hall with a small kitchen at the South end.  A more modern kitchen was installed in 1959 with the idea of preparing meals in the kitchen. This developed into the “Meals on Wheels” program in 1974. Meals were prepared and delivered in the church kitchen every Tuesday with volunteers rotating from area churches.  The meals program evolved and today operates in our commercial kitchen serving delivered and sit in meals feeding 100 or more per week.

Building history

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The organ gets charged…….

The 1905 organ had mechanical Bellows and someone had to crouch behind the organ and manually pump the bellows.  (Imagine the sign-up sheet for that task). When the church got electricity in the 1920’s the bellows no longer required manual pumping.  In 1945 the organ was modified to allow the action between the organ and pipes to be electrically operated.  The organ was then moved from under the pipes to its current location.  This was all done in time for the centennial celebration of the church in 1948.

Building history

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In the early days of the church a reed organ was installed; in 1902 when the Sunday school hall was added, ladies aid of the church met with the trustees and offered to repair, paint and install

carpeting in the sanctuary if they would put in a tracker pipe

organ.  The ladies held a concert in the Town hall charging 35 cents admission and canvassed the congregation and netted $900.  In 1905 the new organ built by R S Williams and Sons was installed beneath the organ pipes in the church. 

Building history

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The mystery……????


The mystery that is still not solved.  How did they get this large bell 40 feet in the air and placed inside some 30 years after the steeple was erected.  The bell assembly is larger that any opening in the steeple and the hatch from the sanctuary is only 30 x 24 inches.  Remember, the bell and assembly weighed 1200 lbs. 

Building history

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The gift…………The thankyou……

Dr. Whittier, elder with the Methodist congregation of Brighton and friend of Mr. Butler who together owned vast areas of land and many businesses.  Dr. Whittier left the area in 1836 to reside in St. Louis USA.  In 1871 Dr. Whittier donated a large bell with the inscription “The fatherhood of god, the brotherhood of man, presented by Clarke Whittier 1875”.  A letter of thanks and gratitude was sent in 1871 from the Brighton congregation. 

Building history

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The bell was cast in 1870’s by the company Meneely and Kimberley Bell Co., located in Troy New York USA.  The bronze bell measures 24 inches high with a 34 inch diameter at the mouth.  The bell is hung  from a cast iron yoke supported in a cast iron frame.  The estimated weight of the whole structure is 1200 pounds.  When the rope is pulled a large wheel rotates pivoting the bell assembly making it ring. 

Building history

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The central mass projects upwards about 40 ft.  There are eight poles that rise from the base forming a pyramid shape.  The eight sides allow for heavy winds to blow around the steeple sides, creating a back pressure to prevent the steeple from wind damage.  (Survived the tornado of 73). The workman signed the centre mast with HTB Aug VI, 1849.

Building history

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The steeple built in 1849, stands about 60 ft tall. The base (broatch) is an 8x8 ft structure rising about 20 ft above the church. This part of the steeple houses the bell. Today you can see the louvers which allow for ventilation and allow the sound of the bell to be heard by the community.

Building history

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Sloping Floor

To get the slope of the sanctuary floor the crossbeams and stumps are sized starting at the front entrance. This allows the floor to be level with the front entrance. As the floor progresses west to the choir loft, the beams and stumps are decreased in height to create the downward slope.

Building history

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Seven stained glass windows in the church were installed by Robert McCausland of Toronto during
1942-1989. These windows are memorials to the Morrow, Dunnett and Maybee families. The last
window in memory of the Britnell family depicts a woman to honour all Christian women through the
ages. (Many assume it is the Virgin Mary however this was not the intention).

Building history

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Wooden pews are estimated to be original to the first 1849 build with more crafted with the expansion
in 1871. Pews were constructed using joinery and glue. The nails and screws you see today are from
later repairs. A novel practice in the early days, was to rent the pews to church families. This is thought to
be tithing to raise money for the life and work of the church. This practice stopped in 1921.

Building history

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Construction of the transept began in 1871, adding wings to the west end of the church. This was done
to accommodate a very large and growing congregation, estimated to be about 500 members. On June
10, 1871 Rev Dr. Wood of Toronto, former president of the Canadian Wesleyan Conference laid the

Building history

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Beneath the floorboards there is a dirt crawl space. The floorboards sit on heavy beams that rest on
wooden stumps that sit on the dirt. The uniqueness - the floors float between the exterior walls and are
not secured to them.

Building history

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The roof structure is primarily post and beam and consisted of mortised and tenon joinery and fastened
with a tapered wooden peg. This was common practice of the day in homes, barns and buildings in the
area. Metal nails weren’t popular as they had to be made and were very costly.

Building history

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Pine timbers used to create the roof and steeple were harvested from “Bear Hill” (McConnell Farm in Spring Valley). The large beams used were hued by hand and axe (axe marks can still be seen) and the boards were cut at the Butler sawmill.

Building history

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Using field stone sourced from local farms a five-foot deep trench was dug in the outline of the church. Stones were stacked to create the foundation walls to a width of 16 to 18 inches, using a lime mortar mix to bind the stones making for a strong foundation.

Building history

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Clay used to produce the bricks was harvested from Brighton Bay. It was formed and fired in kilns located on the Butler farm now owned by the Tobey family. If you look at the old bricks on the church today, you will see the different colors caused by the temperature changes in the kilns.

Building history

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Mr. Workman, a builder, from England and his helpers started construction of the Gothic style church taking an estimated two years to complete.

The original footprint of the structure was 38 by 50 ft.

Day 1

Tiring of holding outdoor saddleback services the Elders decided it was time to build a permanent Methodist/Wesleyan worship church. The Butlers responded by donating a parcel of land and $100 to start construction in the late 1840’s

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