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The Parish of Fredericton has been in existence since 1786 when the Reverend Samuel Cook came as the first Rector and established a church. The first church building was built in 1788 at which time the Bishop of Nova Scotia, Charles Inglis, held a Confirmation Service for 55 candidates. The Parish has continued to grow and develop over the past two centuries.
The first services were held in the King's Provision Store (site of the Lord Beaverbrook Hotel). The atmosphere was very cold as they were not allowed to light fires because the building was full of gun powder. Our present church hopes to give a warm welcome to all that visit, and while we are not using gun powder, we do feel that the explosive power of Christ is present in our midst.
The first Christ Church was built near the corner of King and Church Streets, roughly fifteen feet from the present Christ Church Cathedral. In 1854 the congregation of Christ Church (Parish) Church moved into St. Anne's Chapel which had been built in 1847. This chapel is one of the finest examples of 19th Century Gothic revival in North America. The move to the present site was made because the new Cathedral had been built and the Parish Church was to be torn down.
The present Christ Church (Parish) Church was erected in 1962 to accommodate a growing congregation. It is modern in architecture, yet traditional in worship. The Parish Church continues to offer a warm fellowship that has existed for more than 200 years. Many groups and activities are available to meet the needs of our parishioners. Christ Church above all is a family, and we worship surrounded by members of the larger family, the People of God.
History of St. Anne's Chapel of Ease
In January 1846, Bishop John Medley announced that a site had been given by the Hon. John Simcoe Saunders for a new church to be located at the corner of George and Westmorland Streets. The cornerstone for the new church was laid on May 30, 1846 by the Hon. Mr. Saunders, and prayers were offered by Bishop Medley. The church was completed within a year and was consecrated on March 18, 1847. The chapel was named St. Anne's Chapel-of-Ease. It was stipulated by Bishop Medley that in this church the pews should be free from rent.
St. Anne's was built to resemble the ancient chapels still existing in England, with the style of architecture being that which had been prevalent in the time of Henry III in the thirteenth century. This chapel has not been modified since the day on which it was consecrated. The chancel and the nave are separated by a freestone arch and butternut screen. The tiles in the sanctuary floor, symbolic of the four evangelists, were obtained from Mr. H. Minton of Stoke-upon-Trent, England. He also gave the tiles for the nave and the porch. The Ladies of Fredericton gave the tiles for the chancel. The furniture was made of butternut, as were the roof, pulpit and altar, with their work being done by a Mr. Harding and a Mr. Aiken. Six years after St. Anne's Chapel had been opened for service, (when the cathedral had been completed in 1853, and in order to settle certain difficulties that had arisen, and to better serve the people of the Church of England of the parish), Bishop Medley made an offer to the membes of the corporation of the First Parish Church, to give over to them St. Anne's Chapel to be a parish church. St. Anne's Chapel then became the Second Parish Church, under the name of Christ Church (Parish) Church, though often and commonly referred to as St. Anne's.
For more than one hundred years, the second Parish Church had been the religious home and inspiration to those who worshiped there. Not only the parishioners of Fredericton, but also the students at the University of New Brunswick and at the Provincial Normal School, (while living in Fredericton), had made her their church. Since 1962, St. Anne's has returned to chapel status and serves as a place of worship, to which smaller numbers come as intimate congregations for midweek services, baptisms, weddings and funerals.