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Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

Pioneers, Ploughs, and Politics: New Brunswick Planned Settlements

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Bishop John Inglis Visits the Settlement Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, and Methodists

St. Thomas Anglican Church

During his tour of the settlement, in 1835, Bishop Inglis stopped at Church Hill, the site selected for a parish church. The building was not constructed immediately; for several years, services were held in the company schoolhouse. The Rev. John Sterling held a few services in Stanley in 1837, which supplemented those conducted by Commissioner Hayne each Sunday.

The Rev. James Neales, who had served as the settlement's doctor, was appointed Stanley's first resident Anglican priest in 1842. During his term, Hayne had the schoolhouse converted to a church with the additions of a chancel and tower. Bishop John Medley consecrated St. Thomas Church on 28 July 1845. This church holds the distinction of being the first in New Brunswick consecrated by the newly-appointed Bishop of Fredericton.

The Rev. Neales was succeeded by the Rev. Richard King, who served only a few months. King was followed, in November 1845, by the Rev. Alexander V. Stewart, who remained for about five years until the Rev. William Jaffrey, the Rector of St. Mary's, began travelling regularly from Douglas to Stanley to hold services. St. Thomas Church welcomed its next resident priest in 1878 when the Rev. W. O. Raymond was appointed missionary to Stanley. During Raymond's tenure, the second St. Thomas Church was built and subsequently consecrated on 7 January 1880.