Two rea­sons to cel­e­brate at St. Peter’s

Up­per Is­land Cove church honours dual mile­stones in 2015


St. Peter’s Angli­can Church in Up­per Is­land Cove may not look like a church that’s been around for over 100 years.

Five years ago, a new metal roof was in­stalled, and there have been other lit­tle jobs com­pleted to keep the old church in good shape for host­ing ser­vices.

“Peo­ple sup­port a restora­tion fund well here, and there’s al- ways some­thing you’ve got to do,” said Rev. Bill Strong, the church’s rec­tor.

In 2015, St. Peter’s is cel­e­brat­ing two no­table mile­stones. It ‘s been 200 years since con­struc­tion be­gan on the orig­i­nal church, which was lo­cated near the in­ter­sec­tion of Noel’s Road and Church Hill Road. This year also co­in­cides with the 125th an­niver­sary of the cur­rent church’s con­struc­tion.

“There’s a great sense of fam­ily here in Up­per Is­land Cove,” Strong re­cently told The Compass, seated in his of­fice lo­cated in the church’s base­ment.

The orig­i­nal church was con­se­crated in 1820, and as years passed, it be­came too small to meet the needs of a grow­ing con­gre­ga­tion. In 1890, Right Rev. Llewellyn Jones, Bishop of New­found­land, laid the first cor­ner­stone for the new church, and Aaron Drover laid the first board with help from his grand­son Mose.

Com­mu­nity ties

Strong feels there is a great sense of tra­di­tion in Up­per Is­land Cove, and with that comes a need to be aware of the chal­lenges churches like St. Peter’s now face.

“We’re try­ing to en­cour­age peo­ple to take more re­spon­si­bil­ity for their faith out of their re­la­tion­ship with God and out of a sense of duty to tra­di­tions past. Our goal for this an­niver­sary is sim­ple — we just want to have more peo­ple in the pew at the end of the year than we do at present.”

The church has main­tained a long­stand­ing re­la­tion­ship with its neigh­bour across the street, St. Peter’s El­e­men­tary, even though the days of de­nom­i­na­tional ed­u­ca­tion are long past.

The lo­cal Angli­can Church As­sis­tants’ As­so­ci­a­tion (ACAA) holds a weekly card game at the school. The Church Lads Brigade also meets in the school, and Strong vol­un­teers with the school’s break­fast pro­gram. If an emer­gency re­quires stu­dents to va­cate the school, they can seek shel­ter in the church.

Morn­ing and evening ser­vices at the church are still well at­tended, ac­cord­ing to Strong. At ca­pac­ity, it can seat 600. It rarely man­ages to fill ev­ery pew, but a spe­cial cel­e­bra­tory ser­vice in Jan­uary to hon­our the two an­niver­saries did at­tract 250 at­ten­dees. About 180 peo­ple at­tended a ban­quet that fol­lowed the church ser­vice.

The church plans to hold spe­cial events through­out the year to hon­our its an­niver­saries. Among them, the ACAA will serve fish and brewis on March 13.


St. Peter’s Angli­can Church is the sub­ject of two an­niver­saries this year. It’s been 125 years since con­struc­tion started on the church, and 200 since its pre­de­ces­sor was built in Up­per Is­land Cove.


As­so­ciate priest Arch Young and Rev. Bill Strong look af­ter ser­vices at St. Peter’s Angli­can Church.

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