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St. James The Less Anglican Church

Based on documents from la société d’histoire et de patrimoine de Frelighsburg

St. James the Less Anglican Church, interior view (Photo : S.H.P.F/Nicole Dumoulin)

During the first half of the 19th century, a schoolhouse near Camphell’s corner is used for the services of the Anglican Church. Led by the Reverend Hugh Montgomery, talks begin for the construction of a new church in Pigeon Hill. On 21 December 1858, a building committee is formed consisting of Peter Yates, George Lewis Rhicard, William Hubbard, Charles Hawk and Joseph Smith.

On 28 February 1859, the Committee signs a contract with J. Hunt Hubbard of Franklin, Vermont, to build a church with a steeple and bell at a cost of $1,650.00. The church is built on a lot ceded on 5 April 1859 by Mrs. Eve Hilman against an annuity of$12.00.

Work on the new church begins on 11 May 1859 by William H. Draper and his team of masons. The Reverend Hugh Montgomery celebrate the inaugural service on 15 January 1860, and the Church of St. James the Less is consecrated by the Right Reverend Francis Fulford, Lord Bishop of Montréal, on 7 June 1860.

The church is of red brick and has several gothic elements such as its pointed and stained glass windows. The slopes slate roof is capped by a bell tower ; lantern with pointed arches, and a small spire. The porch is supported by two classical pilasters and columns. The nave is rectangular and has no choir.

Interior walls are plastered and the wood ceiling is a depressed arch. The church is still lit today by handsome hanging oil lamps. The pews were purchased for the sum of $248.00 by the Ladies Aid Society of Pigeon Hill in 1903. Likewise, the stained glass window behind the altar was donated in1897. That same year the old organ was replaced by the Thomas organ which is still in use today.

In 1918 the St James Church GuiId purchased marble steps and replaced the old wood stove with those that are still used today to heat the church.

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