Historic Sites of Manitoba: St. Paul’s Anglican Church (Clearwater, Municipality of Louise)
In 1881, the first Anglican services of worship were held in the Clearwater area, in what is now the Municipality of Louise. They were conducted in a school building by a Rev. Jeffrey who was paid $85.50 in cash and farm produce. Plans were formed to build a permanent church building using donations solicited locally, as well as from the surrounding communities of Wakopa, Killarney, Derby, Cartwright, Holmfield, Pilot Mound, and Wood Bay. The minister, who lived at Clearwater, would visit these other communities on horseback and hold services in homes or schools.
The Clearwater Parish was established in April 1888. By the following year, $900 had been collected, land had been donated by settler Robert Rogers, and carpenter John Drew of Snowflake was hired. Much of the construction work was done by volunteer labour. Finally, a bell donated by James Collins of Clearwater and James Peck of Crystal City was installed. The first service, conducted by Canon O’Meara, was held in the new church on 4 November 1889 although the structure was not formally consecrated until August 1893, by Bishop Machray. It was not the first Anglican church in the area, that honour going to a log church at Pembina Crossing, but after the older building was destroyed by fire, St. Paul’s is now the oldest surviving church.
Renovations to the church through the years have been modest. Initially, heat was provided by a wood stove. This was later replaced by a coal-burning booker stove, then in 1954 by an oil furnace, and finally in 1984 by electric baseboards. Electric lights were installed in 1951. Beginning in 1987, repairs have been made to the foundation, the windows have been replaced, and a new stained glass window has been installed above the altar. The roof has been re-shingled.
Photos & Coordinates
We thank Rev. Carol Guilford for providing information used here and for providing a tour of the building during a visit in June 2013.
We thank George Penner for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 16 January 2022