> St. Paul's, Gaspe

St. Paul's, Gaspe

The Parish of St. Paul's, Gaspe, Gaspe was established in 1819. The first Church building was built in 1820 and burned in June 1821. An interum Church building was erected by August 26, 1824, and that building was expanded and consecrated on the 14th of August, 1853.

The first presbytery was built in 1822 and was the home of the first Gaspe parish minister, the Rev. John Suddard.

In 1880 the third St. Paul's Church was built. The records show that the Church was consecrated on July 13th, 1884. This Church was also destroyed by fire in June, 1939. The first service held in the new Church was on Christmas day in 1940. This Church was consecrated on August 20th, 1944.

Architectural Highlights:

St. Paul's has a large balcony, which initially held the organ and the choir. Currently the balcony is used for overflow crowds and for meeting space for small groups.

The architect's paint design for the sanctuary is unusual. It includes pink for the ceiling and represents the salmon of the Gaspe rivers, a dark green represents the forest trees, and the pale green trim represents the forest moss.

The building has a good-sized hall in the basement, which is used for parish events and shared with other congregations in the Greater Parish, as well as other non-church groups.

Other Highlights

During the second World War, German submarines were active in the St. Lawrence River and Gaspe Harbor. Donald Bowser, a native of England and serving in Charlottetown, died of wounds received as a result of a German torpedo attack. Seaman Bowser died on Sept. 11, 1942, at the age of 21. The Rev. J. Wayman, rector of St. Paul's, conducted the burial service for seaman Bowser on Sept. 14th, 1942. Seaman Bowser was buried in the neighboring United Church Cemetery.

On June 21st, 1959, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visited Gaspe and attended a service at St. Paul's. The Venerable John Comfort, rector and archdeacon of Gaspe, welcomed the Royal Party who were in Canada for the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway.