HolyTrinity/St.Paul's Anglican parish is a strong, vibrant faith community developed from 3 historic Anglican churchs, Holy Trinity, St. Paul's and St. Thomas, Dover. In 2012, we began to explore how we could grow together and strengthen our ministry within Chatham-Kent. In 2017, we celebrated our first service on Christ the King Sunday, welcoming everyone into this new family. Our blended family has stregthened us and stregthened our ministry into the future. Come and join us.
The parish of Holy Trinity was founded in 1875, chiefly to serve the growing number of immigrant families who were coming to Chatham to work in the city’s manufacturing industry. Isaac Hellmuth, the second Bishop of Huron, under whose guidance the parish began, was himself a Lithuanian Jew and a convert to Christianity.
On the church lawn facing Selkirk Street is a Provincial Historical Plaque which gives a brief description of the achievements of Emily Murphy, the wife of one of our early Rectors, who was the first woman magistrate in the British Empire. In more recent times, as a teenager, Sylvia Fricker, better known as Sylvia Tyson of “Ian & Sylvia” sang in our Junior and Senior Choirs.
Since 1875 Holy Trinity has continued to be the spiritual home for many families and individuals living both in Chatham and the surrounding townships. Our members include people from a number of ethnic and cultural backgrounds who reflect the rich diversity within our world-wide Anglican Communion.
St. Paul’s Anglican Church was formed when a few parishioners from Christ Church started a Sunday School for children in south Chatham. St. Paul’s Sunday School soon developed into a newly formed church community that gathered at first at Queen Elizabeth School for worship beginning on June 17, 1956. A year and a half later ground was broken and the cornerstone laid.
St. Paul’s was named after the first church to be built in Chatham (1819), a small wooden structure on the south bank of the Thames River, which later became a cemetery chapel after the much larger Christ Church was built (1861).
St. Paul’s carried on a wonderful ministry with church services, Sunday School and Confirmations. Strawberry socials, Pancake suppers and other special suppers, such as roast beef or chicken, were held to which all were welcome.
In 2017, after 60 years of ministry, it was decided by the parish that it was time to close and sell this beloved church. They would continue stronger and more vibrant by joining with Holy Trinity Church. It is now the new parish of Holy Trinity/St. Paul’s.
St. Thomas Anglican Church, Dover is a lovely country church, now a Chapel of Ease, and part of the parish of Holy Trinity/St. Paul’s.
The land on which it rests is a parcel of 5 acres bequeathed to the Diocese by Ann Smith in 1847. The church was built over her grave and that of her mother, father and sister. The cornerstone was laid on October 12, 1875 with the Grand Lodge of Chatham present, having arrived by boat, the Steamer Steinhoff, on the Thames River.
A cemetery surrounds the church with the first burial in 1883. This cemetery is still active and families still lay their loved ones to rest on this very sacred land. We have recently expanded this beloved cemetery so that future generations can be ministered to. Please contact Holy Trinity/St Paul’s if you wish to purchase a plot in this lovely setting.
The Rectory was built in 1912 and a Parish hall in 1915. Later a kitchen was added to the hall and this became a social hub of the rural community. Card parties, dances, Christmas concerts and many suppers, teas, and bazaars took place. It was also used to hold Sunday school classes on Sunday mornings. At one point there was a class in each corner of the hall, a class on the stage and one in the kitchen. During the week, children were gathered together by the volunteer parents for various activities such as square dances and learning how to play badminton.
The ministry of this church is now carried on as a Chapel of Ease, holding 2 to 6 services a year. The Memorial Service brings together family and friends to remember the lives of all the saints who have gone before and the legacy of faith they instilled in so many.
Holy Trinity, Chatham St. Paul's, Chatham St. Thomas, Dover