Extracts from “Minutes of Meetings of Grace Anglican Church Vestry Committee, Waterdown, 1858-1879”

This Heritage Paper looks at the early history of Grace Anglican Church, Waterdown as recorded in the Vestry Minutes Book. The original book, from which these extracts have been taken, was lost for many years. It was recently returned to Grace Church, having been found among the contents of a Waterdown home.

First Annual Meeting of the members of the church in East Flamborough held at the Town Hall, Monday, 5th April 1858 being Easter Monday

Present: Rev. A.P. Morris (Chairman), Luke Mullock, Dr. O. Skinner, Henry Edwards, William Applegarth, John Nicholson, H. Clappison, William Stewart Jr.
First Church Wardens: William Stewart Jr., Luke Mullock.

A new Building Committee to be appointed with a view to finish the church.

Special Meeting, 26 July 1859,

for purpose of considering the best floor plan for finishing the Church. Agreed to revise the old plans and specifications and the Building Committee to engage an Architect to revise the same, propose new ones and to superintend the completion of the building. Building Committee authorised to apply .10 for this purpose.

Annual Meeting, Town Hall, Waterdown, Easter Monday, April 25, 1859.

Report of Finance Committee by Church Wardens records among other things the stipend of $81.50 paid to Minister, Rev. A.P. Morris.

Annual Meeting, Easter Monday, April 7, 1860 in Grace Anglican Church, Waterdown.

Vestry Committee passed the motion that “it was desirable to avail ourselves of the liberal grant of the Church Society and procure the settlement in this Parish of a Resident Clergy”.

Mr. Shepherd given the thanks of the congregation for his valuable services in connection with the choir of the Church.

Annual Meeting, Easter Monday, April 6, 1863, Grace Anglican Church. Minister, Rev. A.G.N. Higginson

Special Memo recorded that, “by the division of the parish, the stipend of the incumbent has been reduced by $145.00, and as it is of the greatest importance that this deficiency should be made good, it is proposed to raise it by means of the collection to be taken up at the 2nd or evening service and we hereby earnestly request that it be as liberally supported as possible.”

Special Meeting of Vestry Committee, 7 April 1865.

Motion that the “Vestry authorise the enlargement of the Church by adding to the west end twenty two feet more or less”. Building Committee appointed to make all the arrangements necessary. Committee included Minister, Rev. Mr. J.H. Stringfellow.

Annual Meeting, Grace Anglican Church, Easter Monday, April 2, 1866.

Rev. J.H. Stringfellow present. Committee of Messrs. Stringfellow and Mullock appointed to make arrangements for the purchase of property belonging to Dr. Murray for a parsonage.

Special Meeting, Church Vestry Room, Waterdown, 13 September 1866

Moved by Capt. Feilde, seconded by Mr. Eager that, “a committee be appointed to build a Driving Shed for the Church”.

Vestry Meeting, Grace Church, April 30, 1867. Rev. A.S. Houston, Minister

Motion that “a list of subscribers be drawn up and each subscriber be required to pay the sum opposite their respective names for the space of five years”.

Motion that “the Church Wardens insure the Church and furniture for $1600.00 immediately”.

Annual Meeting, Grace Church, Waterdown, April 1868.

Motion that “the envelope system be adopted for the current year”.

Capt. Feilde proposed a committee to build a Vestry.

Special Vestry Meeting, Grace Church, Monday, November 15, 1869.

Report submitted to the meeting of the amount subscribed to date towards the building of a parsonage, the sum of $970.00.

Motion by Mr. Mullock that “Mr. Hugh Creen be offered the sum of $1,000 for his lot and house on Main Street, Waterdown”.

Moved in an amendment by E. Burns that “the building of the parsonage is proceeded with as originally determined”. Committee appointed for the building of the parsonage.

Vestry Meeting, Grace Anglican Church, Waterdown, 10 April 1871. Rev. S. Houston, Minister

Motion that, “the proceeds from the sale of Burying Lots of Grace Church, Waterdown, be applied towards the fencing of the Church property, and if any balance may exist after the above is paid, the same to be applied towards the debt on the Parsonage account”.

Motion that “the Envelope system be continued during the pleasure of the Vestry”.

Motion by Dr. Skinner that, “the thanks of this meeting be tendered to Mr. Burns for presenting the Church with a Chandelier”.

An interesting entry in the Minutes Book for this date is a possible reflection on the loss of members to the local Methodist churches.

“We the undersigned solemnly declare that we are members of the United Church of England and Ireland and are habitual worshippers of the congregation of Grace Church, Waterdown and have not voted as members of any other congregation within the year.

Frederick Feilde, Ormand Skinner, William Stewart, Luke Mullock, John Painter, John Gallagher, Hiram Broadbent, Edward Burns, Samuel J. Gallagher, A.J. Bell”.

Special Vestry Meeting, Grace Church, September 38, 1876.

Chairman, Rev. Houston, read the report of the Architect relating to the repairs to be done to the church.

Motion by Mr. Mullock that, “Rev. Houston see Mr. Slater and make arrangements with him to carry the roof over the gable ends and get the walls painted where needfull and fill up the cracks in the walls and that the Church Wardens call of the foreman to draw what earth may be required to make an embankment along the walls of the Church”.

Vestry Meeting, Grace Church, Easter Monday, April 22, 1878.

Mr. Eager, People’s Church Warden read the accounts showing the following arrears: $56.66 to Rev. Houston for stipend, $40.60 to J.C. Eager, $10.00 to Rev. Houston for surplice, and $17.19 to F. Slater.

Vestry Meeting, Grace Church, Easter Monday, April 14, 1879.

James Eager, People’s Church Warden read the accounts for the past year showing that the total arrears of $124.45 read at Vestry Meeting on 22 April 1878 had been paid. The debt on the parsonage of $148.40, and interest had been reduced to $100.00, with a balance on hand of $2.79.

The incumbent, Rev. John Francis, presented a walnut reading desk to the congregation.

Motion that, “Hymns Ancient and Modern be used in Church in place of the Hymnal at present in use”.

Originally published in Heritage Happenings, June-July 1985.

© The Waterdown-East Flamborough Heritage Society 1985, 2020

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