Aylesford United Church


NOVEMBER 21, 1946

Church Looks Back On 131 Years’ History

Special Anniversary Services Held In Aylesford United Church – "Everything Except God Changes", Minister Reminds Large Congregation.

AYLESFORD, Nov. 18 – The United Church, Sunday, November 17, looked back on a history covering 131 years, as special anniversary services were held morning and evening, conducted by the minister, Rev. R. W. Braine, who was the speaker at both services, with large congregations attending.

At the morning service, Mr. Braine read a synopsis of the history of the Aylesford Charge of the United Church of Canada, and then delivered a message based on 2 Corinthians 4 : 18, "We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen, for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal".

He first spoke of one’s contacts every day with certain things in life that are constantly changing. The visible world is undergoing change before one’s very eyes, and friends and neighbors move away or pass on to their reward and are replaced by new ones.

"We, ourselves, are constantly changing", said Mr. Braine. "Some changes are upsetting and compel us to think. But changes are part of God’s plan. When our church was opened for worship in 1834, it looked more like a barn than a church. As the congregation grew, certain changes were necessary in the building to meet new conditions. Each time a new beauty, dignity and atmosphere or worship was added to the building.

"But it is to the things which never change that our minds should turn. The one thing that remains unchanged throughout the centuries is God. After all other things have come and gone, the faith, hope and love of which the apostles spoke are the things that remain. These are the things which have given inspiration to this congregation throughout the years."

At this service, the choir with church organist, Harley Davidson, and choir leader, Mrs. Harold Small, gave special numbers featuring two anthems, "Hallelujah, Praise The lord" and "Some Day".

At the evening services, the text was again from words of the Apostle Paul, 2 Timothy 2 : 9, "The Word of God is not bound".

The speaker stressed that all are bound by certain restrictions.

"Because our forefathers were Methodists", he said, "we are bound to the Methodist tradition by ties of loyalty. We are bound to this community by ties of necessity. We are bound by the restraints laid upon us by environment. But though we ourselves are hemmed in by many irritating restrictions, the spirit of God, which is not bound by any earthly fetters, is able to work through each one of us toward the fulfillment of God’s eternal purpose, As our forefathers let the boundless spirit of God flow through them, so, we too, should do likewise".

Middleton Male Quartet assisted with the music, and gave three

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selections at this service.

The history of this congregation dates back to August 26, 1815, when at a meeting of the Quarterly Official Board, held in Granville, Aylesford officially became part of the Methodist Circuit, and preaching services were held every two weeks. The record of the ministers serving this charge is somewhat vague until after 1841. However, a reference is made to Rev. Stephen Bamford, who was a minister in Aylesford in 1819.

It is also vague as to where services were held, probably at houses, but the present church was opened for services in 1834, the first service being the funeral of the wife of Willis Foster. The first minister was Rev. Albert Des Brisay.

This first building has been twice modelled, first during the ministry of Rev. William Ryan, and second during the ministry of Rev. John Hockin, when the present building was opened and dedicated.

Electric lights were installed in the church in 1921.

In 1925, the congregation entered the Communion of the United Church of Canada.

Ministers of the Aylesford Pastoral Charge have been: Robert H. Craine, James Dunbar, 1814 –1815; Stephen Bamford, 1819; Albert Des Brisay, 1834; Joseph F. Bent, 1841 – 1845; Gm M., Barratt, 1846 – 1849; Richard Shepherd, 1850 – 1851; Charles Churchill, 1851 – 1852; Charles Lockhart, 1852 – 1855; Wesley Beals, 1855 – 1856; Thomas Anguin, 1856 – 1859; G. W. Tuttle, 1859 – 1862; W. McCarty, 1862 – 1865; Robert E. Crane, 1865 – 1869; James Taylor, 1869 – 1870; William Tweedie, 1870 – 1874; John S. Addy, 1874 – 1876; A. S. Tuttle, 1876 – 1879; Joseph Gaetz, 1879 – 1882; William Ryan, 1882 – 1885; A. S. Tuttle, 1886 – 1889; John Gee, 1889 – 1891; William Brown, 1891 – 1894; J. C. Coffin, 1894 – 1896; Joseph Gates, 1896 – 1900; William Phillips, 1901 – 1905; John Craig, 1905 – 1908; Donald Farquhar, 1908 – 1912; William Brown, 1912 – 1916; John Hockin, 1916 – 1920; Harry McNeill, 1921 – 1925; Ernest Baines, 1925 – 1926; Thomas MacLennan, 1926 – 1930; Arthur G. Pentz, 130 – 1938; Arthur Wallis, 1938 – 1942; Stanley G. MacQueen, 1942 – 1946; Robert W. Braine, 1946 -.