“This new place of worship, to be opened this evening by the Bishop of Niagara – assisted by Revs. Carmichael, Curran, Massey, Ford (Toronto) and others – is situated on Herkimer street, near Garth street, and is a very neat structure.” 1
1 “St Mark’s Mission Church”
Hamilton Times May 21, 1885.
St. Mark’s Anglican Church at the corner of Bay and Hunter streets had only been open a few years, but already in the early 1880s, it had been observed that the areas to the west and south of the church would soon be rapidly filled in with residences.
As a result, it was decided that a mission church, St. Mark’s Mission, would be opened in the area. After extensive planning and funding-raising, the mission church was ready to be opened.
A reporter for the Hamilton Times was given a tour of the St. Mark’s Mission, and the plans for its opening:
“The building is frame and ecclesiastical in design. The interior is comfortably, though not expensively, fitted up. There is a chancel, with raised altar (upon which stands cross and vasce), having dossel hangings and frontal.
“The seating capacity is set down as 150, but the benches are so arranged that more accommodation can be given if necessary. The estimated cost is said to be about $700, and this sum has been secured by gentlemen outside of St. Mark’s congregation. Services will held every Sunday afternoon at 4 o’clock and every Thursday at 8, the rector (Rev. R. G. Sutherland, M.A.) conducting the same.
“The musical portion of the service will be strictly plain, but a small organ will be used for hymns. The Sunday school will be under the superintendence of Mr. F. G. Whatley, a gentleman who is thoroughly competent to manage so important an auxiliary to a church. During the winter months, a night school will be held, a boon which no doubt many young people in the neighborhood will appreciate.”1
The Times article concluded with the observance that the mission church was needed immediately and in the future:
“The growth of the city in this direction has improved greatly during the past few years, and a building similar to the one referred to had been asked for by members of the Church of England living in this locality; the want is now supplied and gratifying results will doubtless follow.”1
St. Mark’s Mission was formally opened on May 21, 1885. A Spectator reporter in attendance wrote the following account to be printed in the next day’s paper:
“Last evening the mission church in connection with St. Mark’s parish was opened under the most favorable auspices. There was a large congregation and the greatest interest taken in the proceedings. Parts of St. Mark’s choir were in attendance and a procession was formed in which several city clergymen and the Bishop took part. Rev. R. G. Sutherland read the prayers and collects, Rev. Canon Curran the first lesson, Rev. Hartley Carmichael the second lesson.
“The rector gave notice of the intended services to be held and solicited several articles not yet provided to complete the church – porch, library, prayer and hymn books, matting etc. A list of names was also read of those ladies and gentlemen who had kindly secured the amount necessary to liquidate the actual necessary expenses of the building. They are as follows : Rev. Dr. Mockridge, Rev. Hartley Carmichael, Rev. R. G. Sutherland, Mrs. Fuller, Mrs. Valancey Fuller, Mrs. Ridley, Mrs. Orr, Mrs. McGiverin, Mrs. Ainsley, Messrs. A. Bruce, I. O. Macklin, George S. Papps, Hugh C. Baker, Jas. Bicknell, John W. Burns, D. Kmp, Pinkett, Studdart, A. Brown, W. E. Brown, Henry McLaren. Carpet for altar steps was also presented.
“Short and appropriate addresses followed by Revs. Curran, Carmichael, and Massey. The Bishop of Niagara then made a very suitable address, expressing his pleasure at the growth of the Church of England in this city, and highly commended the idea of mission church being opened in localities similar to the west end, as places of worship had a good effect upon the morals of the people, and these effects were more rapidly brought about by anticipating the wants of the locality, rather than waiting for a large growth in population.
“After the offertory, the Bishop pronounced the Benediction. The whole service was joined in by those present, and three favorite hymns – ‘Sun of my Soul,’ ‘Nearer My God to Thee’ and ‘All People That on Earth Do Dwell’ – were never more heartily given by a mixed congregation.”2
2 “St. Mark’s Mission : Interesting Opening of the Mission Church Last Night”
Hamilton Times May 22, 1885.