Clergy of St. Paul's Church fonds

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Clergy of St. Paul's Church fonds

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  • 1749-2003 (Creation)
    St. Paul's Church - Clergy

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Physical description

4.0495 m of textual records

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Administrative history

Rev. William Tutty (1749-1752) and his assistant, Rev. William Anwyl (1749-1750), the first clergymen of St. Paul's, were missionaries sent from England by the Venerable Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG) in 1749. Following Anwyl's death in 1750, Rev. Jean-Baptiste Moreau (1750-1753) took on the role of Tutty's assistant. Together, Moreau and Tutty performed the first service in the newly constructed church on September 2, 1750. Until the construction of Mather's Meeting House (later St. Matthew's Church) in 1754, St. Paul's was the only church in Halifax. As such, Tutty and Moreau would preach to various denominations as well as allow other denominations to worship in the church. Rev. John Breynton (1753-1791) served as curate to Tutty prior to his appointment as rector of St. Paul's in 1753. He, along with his assistant, the missionary Rev. Thomas Wood (1752-1753), conducted services throughout Nova Scotia. Charles Inglis, the first Bishop of Nova Scotia, arrived at St. Paul's in 1781 and made St. Paul's his Cathedral Church, a designation it retained until 1864. Rev. Joshua Wingate Weeks served as interim rector following Breynton's extended leave of absence, beginning in 1785. Although the congregation and Vestry supported Weeks as rector, the Bishop disapproved and Rev. Robert Stanser was appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1791. Stanser (1791-1816) was succeeded by Rev. John Inglis (1816-1824), who was himself appointed Bishop in 1825. It was Inglis who made the controversial suggestion of Rev. Robert Willis as his successor at St. Paul's, in spite of the congregation's support for their current curate, Rev. John Twining (1816-1825). Despite the objections of the parish community, the authorities in England appointed Willis (1825-1865). During Willis' forty years as rector, the congregation expanded to the point that the church building had to be enlarged. Yet another power struggle began in 1865, between the new rector, Rev. Dr. George Hill (1865-1885), and Bishop Herbert Binney, who had been appointed in 1850. The Oxford-educated Binney was a proponent of the high church leanings of the 'Oxford Movement,' which included the disuse of black preaching gowns in favour of white robes. By contrast, Hill, and the congregation of St. Paul's, favoured the low church (and the use of the black preaching gown). Binney and Hill each published copies of their correspondence related to numerous theological matters. Between 1885 and 1897, St. Paul's saw two more rectors, Rev. Dr. Charles C. Hole (1886-1889) and Rev. Dyson Hague (1890-1897). It was under Hague's tenure that the black preaching gown, of such contention between Binney and Hill, was put into disuse. The appointment of Rev. Dr. William J. Armitage (1897-1929) ushered in a new period of stability for the parish. The parish blossomed under Armitage's tenure, with the number of parishioners, committees, and Sunday School students increasing exponentially. Armitage was minister during two disasters with significant impact on Halifax: the 1912 sinking of the Titanic and the 1917 Explosion, during which St. Paul's was made a temporary hospital and morgue. Rev. Dr. Samuel Prince (1910-1919) served as Armitage's curate through both disasters. Armitage was succeeded by Rev. Canon T. W. Savary (1930-1948), Rev. Thomas W. Isherwood (1948-1955), The Venerable Rev. Harry St. Clair Hilchey (1955-1964), Rev. Gordon Philpotts (1964-1971), Rev. Frederick Crook (1971-1979), interim rector Canon Hastings Wainwright (1979-1980), Right Rev. Peter Mason (1980-1985), interim rector Rev. Ruth Jefferson (1985-1986), and Rev. John Newton (1986-2004). The current rector is Rev. Dr. Paul Friesen (2005-). Bibliography: Emsley, Sarah Baxter. St. Paul's in the Grand Parade. Halifax: Formac, 1999. Harris, Reginald V. The church of Saint Paul in Halifax Nova Scotia: 1749-1949. Toronto: Ryerson, 1949.

Custodial history

Most of the records were stored in St. Paul's Parish Hall and moved to the Church following the demolition of the old Parish Hall in 1976. Some were moved to the basement of the Parish House. Some files were accrued from the church office or the office of the rector.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of series: personal papers, registers, shared ministries, writings

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

transferred to the Archives in 1997


When records were found in the basement of the Parish House, very little original order was evident and an order has been imposed by archivist. However where an original order is evident, it has been preserved.

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Restrictions on access

Records are available by appointment only.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

See Saint Paul's Archivist for details on copying restrictions.

Finding aids

A database and paper catalogue containing file-level and some item-level descriptions of these records are available in the St. Paul's Church Archives for staff use.

Associated materials

See also the Churchwardens of St. Paul's Church fonds and the Corporation of St. Paul's Church fonds.

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Further accruals are expected, both of historical and current documents, as the church is operational and the Archives Committee continues the ongoing process of accessioning, arranging and describing the inventory of the St Paul's Church Archives.

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Records also consist of 2 photographs.

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