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175 days of 175 years

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From May 21 2023 to our anniversary, November 12 2023, check social media every day (insert links) 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.

Evolution of our faith
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Feb 1 2019 - The Reverend Wanda Stride was called to serve as our 41st minister, and just happens to be our first female minister!

When Covid-19 invaded our lives in 2020, Rev Stride brought together a team to learn how to use Zoom and Facebook to livestream our services when we could not attend in person – this approach continues!

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A Rainbow Banner Day!

June 26 2012 – Trinity-St. Andrew’s Affirming Ministry proclaimed, making public our commitment to love and serve everyone!

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Jan 1 2008-2018 Rev. Ken Lewis

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1998 – TSAUC celebrates 150 years!

In these photos Florence Chatten holds an anniversary plate, and beside her is a t-shirt featuring Melba Pound's 150th anniversary design

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Theological and physical barriers come down.

Same gender marriages are approved at Trinity-St. Andrew’s United Church, Brighton (after two rounds of voting…)

1991 – Barrier Free Retrofit project sees big changes in the physical structure of the church – dais is expanded, walls are removed making entry more welcoming.

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1996 – Voices United is published,

 More Voices adds another 225 songs in 2007.

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#1 Longest Serving Minister (1973-1990, 17 years) Mr. Fred Edmondson!

Mr. Edmondson was born in Hamilton, moved to Belleville at age 3 and married Dorothy (Ray) in 1947. He had a career in farming and industry before being ordained in 1963.

In addition to local ministry, he served at Chairman and Secretary of Presbytery and on several committees.

He passed away at Belleville General Hospital in 2017, at the age of 93.

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1968-A New Creed is introduced.

1971-A joint hymnal of the United Church of Canada and the Anglican Church of Canada is published.  It is the only product of a 30-year attempt at union.

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June 5 1966 -The last service is held in Hilton United Church and the church is closed after a vote of the Cobourg Presbytery and the local congregation. The lack of ministers to serve in rural congregations was cited as a major reason for the closure. See the beautiful window above the Trinity-St. Andrew’s entry door.

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1961-62 Brighton’s Women’s Missionary Society has 52 members and has sent $955.00 to the Presbyterial Treasurer.

And John Glenn orbited the earth on Friendship 7 – an act of faith indeed!

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During 1936-37, the 1st Evening Auxiliary of Trinity-St. Andrew's United Church, Brighton, was formed. The Senior members of the existing Mission Circle became the first members of the new organization. Mrs. Hubert McConnell was the first president, Miss Iva Fiddick (now Mrs. Maurice Herrington) was the corresponding secretary, and the Strangers Secretary was Miss Irene Sanford.

55 members made up the first society and $140.00 was sent to the Presbyterial Executive the first year.

During "Old Home Week" in 1938, the Auxiliary served tea on the church lawn to the many visitors who came to Brighton.

Following is the list of officers for 1961: President, Mrs. Wm. Dunk; 1st Vice-president, Mrs. F. J. Graham; 2nd Vice-president, Mrs. Ross Branscombe; secretary, Mrs. George Thomson; Treasurer, Mrs. Ben Brown; Citizenship Secretary, Mrs. Robert Bird; Stewardship Secretary, Mrs. Wm. Robb; Supply Secretary, Mrs. Gerald Simpson; Literature Secretary, Mrs. Clifford Rusk; Friendship Secretary, Mrs. Leighton Rundle; Missionary Monthly Secretary, Mrs. Lucy Scott.

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In the 1940’s, a Sunday School Picnic was attended by a LOT of people!  And made the local newspaper!!

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1940 – A Statement of Faith modernized the 20 Articles from 1926. 

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In 1930, the first hymn book of the new church, “The Hymnary” was published by the United Church Publishing House in Toronto.

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The 2nd longest serving minister of record is Mr. J.E. Anderson – 1937-1950 (13 years) who was ably assisted by Minister Emeritus Mr. J.W. Watch who had previously served here from 1895-1898.

Mrs. Anderson also participated in the Women’s Missionary Society, The Women’s Association, the Mission Band, Sunday School and Choir – Formidable!

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In Brighton, on August 13 1929 at a meeting of the local Methodists and Presbyterians it was moved by Mr. George Dunnett, seconded by Mr. Oscar Morrow that Trinity United Church and St. Andrew’s United Church join to become Trinity-St. Andrew’s United Church.  104 attendees voted in favour, and none against.

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The United Church of Canada Act passed in Parliament on July 19 1924 with an effective date of June 10 1925.  It brought together Methodists, Presbyterians, and Congregationalists.  The act was the way that all of the various properties could be equitably brought together under one entity.  The church adopted 20 Articles of Doctrine as part of the Basis of Union.

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Trinity-St. Andrew’s affiliations evolved…

1829-1833 Methodist Episcopal

1833-1840 Wesleyan Church of Canada

1840-1847 Methodist Episcopal Church

1847-1884 Wesleyan Methodist Church

1884-1924 Methodist Church of Canada

1925-today United Church of Canada

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1903-Women’s Missionary Society Brighton Methodist Church – The forerunner of United Church Women, who were formed as the Women’s Auxiliary and the Women’s Missionary Society were combined.

Later, Brighton’s UCW had as many as 6 active groups meeting days and evenings, serving the community.

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How did the congregation grow?  With ministers like Mr. T.J. Edmison who died of a heart attack on a hot July day while helping a farmer deliver a load of hay.

Mr. A.K. Edmison, his son, was also ordained and served here in Brighton in 1957-58.

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1885-1888 Mr. John J. Leach, whose parents were United Empire Loyalists rather than English or Scottish immigrants, came here to serve at the tender age of 35. The congregation numbered 500 with 216 members on the Communion Roll.

During 1886, the parsonage/manse was constructed in Gothic Revival style.

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Interesting note: Egerton Ryerson (whose school has recently been renamed) was a circuit rider here in Brighton during the 1850’s.

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After Mr. Butler donated the land for the church during 1847, George F. Playter served as minister from 1849-51 with a circuit which included Smithfield, Hilton & Wooler.  Mr. Playter was also a published Methodist historian.

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From 1848-58, it seems to have been a requirement for ministers to be named William: We give you Messrs. Coleman, Morton, McFadden, Blackstock. 

Followed by even more Williams later: Buchanan (1888-1891), Tucker (1920-23), and possibly C.W. Barrett (1930-37) pictured here, although we can’t be entirely sure that the W was for William…

Evolution of our faith
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Day 51.....For the next 25 days, we will post about the evolution of our faith and church – both locally and nationally. In the past 175 years, what is today Trinity-St. Andrew’s United Church has been served by 41 Ministers! Check back here in coming days to learn more about a couple of the longest serving ones

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