St. Paul’s is the oldest building in Halifax and the oldest existing Anglican place of worship in Canada.
Founded by proclamation of King George II in 1749, the building was erected in the summer of 1750. On September 2, 1750 the Rev. William Tutty held the first service inside a church that was, according to Tutty, “not completely fitted up.” The architectural plans were based on St. Peter’s Church, Vere Street, London, which was designed in 1722 by James Gibbs, a pupil of Sir Christopher Wren. The resemblance between the two churches is remarkable despite the addition of St. Paul’s vestibule and steeple in 1812, the side wings in 1868, and the chancel in 1872. The timbers of St. Paul’s were cut in Saco, Maine, and shipped to Halifax. Most of the materials, including the bricks to line the walls, were made locally. Over two and a half centuries later, the original wooden structure remains as sound as the day it was built. Charles Inglis, first overseas bishop of the Church of England, arrived in 1787 making St. Paul’s his cathedral. Until the construction of a chapel in 1844, St. Paul’s was also the first garrison church in Halifax.
For more than 12,000 Sundays worshippers have gathered here to celebrate Christ’s death and resurrection, to read God’s word and to hear it preached from the pulpit, to bring before Him the needs of the world and to offer Him humble thanks for his goodness. St. Paul’s Church is rooted in the evangelical tradition and is a parish of the Diocese of NS & PEI (nspeidiocese.ca), and a member of the Anglican Church of Canada (http://www.anglicancommunion.org/).
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