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Member's Stories

Opal Cooper

Opal Cooper remembers...

Howard and I joined the church shortly after we were married by Rev. McLaren on March 15, 1969. I really liked him. He even attended our little reception. He also baptized Leonard. After that we enjoyed Rev. Edmondson and Rev. Ford.

Member's Stories

Mary Chatten

Mary Chatten remembers...

We went from Carman church to Hilton Church and when it closed in the late 1960s we came into Brighton. My three children were small then.

I was forever baking and I used to work in the kitchen when I was able. When you get to be 97 you can’t do that anymore! It used to be nice to work in the kitchen. We enjoyed it so much.

Member's Stories

Florence Chatten

Florence Chatten remembers…

Day 46

Moving to her new church from Hilton

In That’s Just the Way We Were: Brighton Memories, Florence wrote, “On June 12 (1966), a reception service was held at Triity St Andrew’s Church in Brighton, at 11:00 a.m. for the Hilton members who would be attending there in the future.”

After Hilton was finished in 1966, almost all the Hilton families went to Brighton. Brighton was a small place, and we had our little groups of women who got together so we joined the ones in Brighton. I think there were six units and we were unit five. We fit right in and got along fine. We used to have our meetings in different homes.

Day 47

Church was very important growing up. That was at Hoard Station. It was our social life and our religious life. My father was heavily involved, and he sang in the choir and he was quite musical. and he made sure his daughters had music lessons. He was an elder. Superintendent of the Sunday School.


Day 48

Florence and Roy’s wedding picture, dates 1947

Member's Stories

Elizabeth Scriven

Elizabeth Scriven Remembers, Day 43

Sunday School Adventures

I taught Sunday School for many years and I tried to make the stories come to life. We had many pageants, puppets, plays and adventures. One of my favourites was when I was teaching the older children John 20 vs 19. I used to take the children to the basement of the Manse or the Church where there were stone walls and spiders. I felt it might better resemble a former time. I would then have a member of the congregation come down and bang on the door. One of the people that I asked was Shirley Bird. It brings a smile to me. I hope it is remembered with fondness by the children (now adults). This is the manse basement today.

Day 44

Church Picnics

Over the years we have had many Church Picnics to celebrate the end of the school year. It has been great fun and fellowship. Lots of games, sharing good food and reinvigorating friendships. Shoe toss, jumping in feed bags, wheel barrow race and the tree legged race were favorites. For a few years I would go to Leons in Trenton and get large fridge boxes and bring them along. We would tap the staples to prevent injury, bring paints and crayons. The children and their parents would decorate the boxes and then we would take them to the top of the knoll and the kids would roll down the slight incline.

Day 45

Youth Group adventures

Youth groups had adventures also. We would hold dances and outings. Tractor drawn wagon rides at Christmas pulled by Maurice and Wendy Cole, Basket ball in the public school gym. Trips to work at food banks in Oshawa, Peterborough and Toronto.

One notorious trip involved sleeping on the floor at St Lukes United Church in Toronto. A long time member, Doris Boes, had worshiped there during her working years in the city. The adventures that I heard about involved, fighting a squirrel over lunch in Allen Gardens, learning a little about the subway system, working at a food bank and helping to distribute clothes, talking with knowledgeable people about the dangers on the street. We all arrived home safe with stories to tell and a little more knowledge.

Member's Stories

Liz Chatten
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Liz Chatten remembers…Day 39

Liz’a mom and two aunts grew up in Brighton. Aunt Adelaide was very active in the Trinity S Andrew’s activities. Her diary of 1917 was written in her last year of high school, and she talks about Sundays at TSA.

Adelaide was in Grade 13 then went on to nursing school in Toronto. She lived most of her life in Toronto and was very active in the United Church until her death at 95.

“My first memory is from age 7 or 8, the young people singing and dancing on stage in front of the church in a Christmas concert. Two very tall (real) Christmas trees were donated by Dr. Frank Dunnett. The trees were placed in the north and south transepts. Earl and I participated in decorating the trees.”

Day 40

“I remember in Sunday School a projector and screen being used for hymns etc. The Sunday School rooms were cordoned off with curtains. Sunday school classes were held one hour. before the church service. The Girl Guide organization also met in the church hall.”

Day 41

“TSA bought the Edwards house, which is now the Clothing Depot location. The house was used for Sunday school programs before it was demolished to make way for the Brighton Clothing depot. Elda McLaren, Vera Clarke and others were very instrumental in this project. Dorothy Britnell left a bequest for building repairs, so brick work was repainted and a stained glass window installed in her honour.”

“Day 42

Confirmation classes with Rev. McLaren. The year my daughter Sandra was confirmed there were eight or nine people in the class. It even made the


Melba Pound

"I came to Brighton in 1945, when I was 15 and immediately got involved with Trinity- St. Andrews church.  My high-school friends attended young peoples at TSA and I quickly got involved. (Many of those associations have continued until the present time).  We put on plays and had dinner gatherings and even a Halloween party. When I first came to Trinity-St. Andrew's, Reverend Anderson was the minister and 5 years later August 26,1950 he officiated at Wilf's and my wedding. Even after we were married, we continued going to young peoples.
When I first came to TSA, I was amazed that before each service Mr. Boutillier would come with billows and pump air into the organ. With the help of the women's association the billows were replaced. As a young woman I belong to the WA, the women's association and the WMS, women's missionary society. Both groups had monthly meetings. The WA was a fundraising group for church items like the chimes and organ. The women's missionary society was more of a study group to raise awareness of the needs of the world and to contribute to mission work. In 1962 both groups amalgamated to form the United Church Women, the UCW. We had 8 active groups each with about 21 members. I was in unit 8 which met in the evening and was formed for working women who couldn't meet thru the day as the other groups did. Wilf’s mom was in unit 3 and lead an in-depth Bible study and prayer. All the groups met on different days, at a different members house once a month. Mrs. Pound (Wilfs mom) also belonged to a quilting group with other ladies from the church .
The church had a very active Sunday school and during the church service Mrs. Kelly would come down the center aisle and gather all the children and they would follow her out to the Sunday school rooms (by this time the Sunday school had been renovated but I remember two big box stoves one at either end of the room used to heat the Sunday School ,where as a teenager I got practice for my career in teaching. I also remember using an old tin later with a magnifying glass to project pictures onto the wall). All our children attended Sunday school and received a pin for each year of perfect Sunday School attendance. (If you did miss a Sunday you could make it up in the summer).  Each Christmas the Sunday School children put on a concert. Santa usually appeared with a gift for each child.
Wilfs mom and dad were active members of the congregation. His dad rang the bell every week and would have to arrive early to do so then would go to choir practice and sing in the choir. I sang in the choir until the children were born. Our children were also members of the junior choir under the direction of Mrs. Lenna Snider Baker, our organist. It was always a treat at Easter to see them in their little gowns singing " the Holy City ", accompanied by Mrs. Baker on the piano. Our Easter services were always quite spectacular, two services with the senior and junior choirs singing special joyful music accompanied by trumpets and trombones."

Doreen Thompson
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Sunday School Day, 31

I taught Sunday School in Brighton. I had to take up the collection first. Classes were held in the old hall. I really like it. The kids were nice. It was too long ago to remember specifics - would have been 70 years ago. Funny things the kids remember. There was a man named Mr White and I had to thank him for something, I think it was about Quin Mo Lac. I worried and worried. Claudia remembers me practicing at home. and I gave him a gift, but my daughter remembers that I was worried about that!

I remember the first time John went to church didn’t think he would go to Sunday School because he was quite shy. Mrs. Kelly just said c’mon john, and away they went.

I couldn’t believe it!

My pew, Day 32

We always sat near the back on the left hand side. Frances Dunnett used to sit across from us. Helen Farrel, they sat in front of us. The elders and ushers used to wear dark suits when serving communion. They were never voted in, they were just there until they died!

They also read the bible.

Day 33 

UCW and Camp Quin-Mo-Lac

“I remember our UCW unit inviting a choir from GM to sing at ENSS to raise funds for a resuscitator for Camp Quin-Mo-Lac. GM was about to strike, so we weren’t sure they would show! But in the end it all worked out. Claudia remembers how nervous I was because I had to present this to Camp Director Mr. White. I worried and worried. But it all went well.”

Pictured here are Mrs. Boes, Mrs. Doreen Thompson, Mr. Wendell White and Mrs. Shirley Irwin.

Doreen Thompson remembers... The Clothing Depot help

"We were Unit five of the UCW, and there were six or seven units. We’d take turns with the clothing depot. We would have to get two or three to work in the morning and then afternoon and evening. That was when it first opened. It was mostly run by the UCW units at that time. Lola Thompson was a good friend. She was ten years older than me. She used to go down to the depot and sew things and iron. I didn’t do any sewing, but Mary Chatten and I often worked selling things together. We always gave things to the migrant workers. We took turns in our unit, whoever was free to go work."

May McCullough

May McCullough 96 years young. I joined Trinity St. Andrew’s in 1959 coming in
from Shiloh. Always found the members of this church to be friendly and
welcoming. I made many good friends at Trinity. Rev. Green was the minister
when I first came a very nice man. The church was a busy full place and we had a
large choir that was good to hear. Our new leaders at Trinity St. Andrew’s church
are working hard at reaching out to the community and is working hard to make
us a leader in the community. I think it is wonderful how we now welcome little
children into the church service and let them be little children it’s ok to make
noise. I always went to the early service on Christmas Eve, I found it put meaning
into Christmas for me. I miss going to church in person

but make sure I see it on zoom.
I love Trinity St. Andrew’s and proud to be a member.

Betty Ann Clitherow

Betty Ann Clitherow has lived in the Brighton Area her whole life.  She Shares a few memories of her time here.

Our local Codrington United Church closed in 1968 and we then transferred our membership to Trinity-St. Andrew’s in Brighton. We had even married in this church at Codrington and both boys were christened there too. Membership had dwindled and upkeep was climbing so amalgamation of United Churches was taking place. We chose Brighton because our children would be attending Spring Valley Public School and ENSS. The boys attended Sunday School when they were little but not so much the girls as life seemed to get busier. 


After losing our community church there was a need to try to keep the community together. After having the church torn down, a committee was formed and the church lot was sold. The money was used to purchase land further to the south and try to raise the money to build a hall.


Now for a few memories of Brighton church. My sister, Marie Holdaway, was married at TSAUC in Brighton on July 14, 1973, a day after the tornado had riddled Brighton the previous afternoon. I was her maid of honour and I remember the sound of chainsaws around the church, cleaning up fallen debris. But we did have electricity at the Masonic Temple for her reception.


Suzanne and Joanne were both Christened at TSAUC and then on February 14, 1998, Suzanne was married there. In October 2010 Joanne was married at TSA. Since then four grandchildren have also been Christened there.


Our life seemed to revolve around our family and community. 


Since dairy farming was our chosen lifestyle, it was a very rewarding career and required long hours of work. Michael, my husband, worked with various farm organizations to further the knowledge of farming, which he shared with others. He often said we lived in the “Garden of Eden”, which he was very thankful for and endeavoured to sustain it for future generations.


I had been involved with the Codrington Women’s Institute, which is a group of non-denominational women working for personal growth and community action. Our motto was: For home and country. At our monthly meetings we repeat the Mary Stewart Collect which I consider a personal prayer.

We were involved in fundraising for the Codrington Community Centre and have helped with its upkeep for the past 40 years

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