Grand River Branch
United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada
Selected Reprints from the
Grand River Branch Newsletter, Branches
"St. John's Anglican Church, Woodhouse Ontario"
Doris Lemon, February 1996, Vol.8 No.1, Page 6
In 1796, St. Jon's Anglican Church, Woodhouse, was in the Long Point territory under the jurisdiction of the church at Newark (Niagara-on-the-Lake). the presiding clergyman was the Reverend Robert Addison. He served his parishioners through visits, performed marriages, baptisms and officiated at other services as required. Services were often held in the settlers' homes.
On January 3, 1803, a meeting was called at Job Loder's Inn at Turkey Point for the purpose of organizing a congregation of Anglicans. Three townships were represented: Woodhouse, Charlotteville and Walsingham. John Backhouse presided over this meeting and Stephen Barstow officiated as clerk. Jonathan Williams, William Hutchinson and Isaac Gilbert were elected trustees. Two subscription sheets were drawn up: one to raise money to build a rectory and the other to raise funds for a clergyman. Later that month, Samuel Ryerse, John Back House and Jonathan Williams were authorized to make inquiries about a glebe lot from the colonial government. It was decided to pay a salary of £40 a year, to be paid in the produce of the country.
Sometime before 1820, an old log building was used for church services by travelling missionary clergyman. A log church was built, mostly by free labour in 1821 on a lot equidistant from Vittoria, Port Dover and Simcoe. The deed is dated 7 June, 1823. the price was £5. The church was shortly destroyed by fire and a new church, with steeple and belfry, was built in 1824.
The first resident clergyman was the Reverend Francis Evans, born at Robinstown, Westmeath, Ireland in 1801. He arrived in Canada in 1824. In 1826, he was ordained deacon and sent to tree Rivers as Curate. In 1828, he was appointed to the mission of Woodhouse, Long Point Territory, Upper Canada. He died in 1859.
The church of 1824 was destroyed by fire in 1874 and the new St. Jon's was completed in 1875 -- a "substantial brick building". This church burned in 1912 and the present church was constructed and consecrated in 1914.
The tombstones in the adjacent cemetery list Loyalist and pioneer names in old Norfolk. the stone of Jonathan Williams, one of the founders, is at the left corner of the church: