St. Paul’s is the oldest building in Halifax and the oldest existing Protestant place of worship in Canada. Founded by proclamation of King George II in 1749, the building was erected in the summer of 1750. On September 2, 1750 the Reverend William Tutty held the first service inside what was, according to Mr. Tutty, “not completely fitted up”. The architectural plans were based on St. Peter’s Church, Vere Street, London which was designed in 1722 by James Gibbs, a pupil of Sir Christopher Wren. The resemblance between the two churches is remarkable despite the addition of St. Paul’s vestibule and steeple, 1812, the side wings, 1868, and the chancel, 1872. The timbers of St. Paul’s were cut in Saco, Maine and shipped to Halifax. Most of the materials including the bricks to line the walls were made locally. Over two and a half centuries later, the original wooden structure remains as sound as the day it was built. Charles Inglis, first overseas Bishop of the Church of England, arrived in 1787 making St. Paul’s his cathedral. Until the construction of a garrison chapel in 1844, St. Paul’s was also the first garrison church in Halifax. For more than 12,000 Sundays worshippers have gathered here to celebrate Christ’s death and resurrection, to read God’s word and to hear it preached from the pulpit, to bring before Him the needs of the world and to offer Him humble thanks for his goodness. St. Paul’s Church is rooted in the evangelical tradition and is a parish of the Diocese of NS & PEI (nspeidiocese.ca), and a member of the Anglican Church of Canada (http://www.anglicancommunion.org/).
When people arrived in Halifax and founded the city in 1749 one of the first things they did was set up a tent for church. They would later build a proper building for service and this became St. Paul’s Church.
The church is a unique bit of history located right in the middle of the city. One of the reasons I like though is because of a ghost story that goes with it.
In December 1917 the Halifax Explosion occurred which was one of the world’s largest accidental man made explosions ever. Many died, were injured, lost their eyesight and more. Rumour has it that there was a priest inside the church at the time of the explosion and he was thrown out the window by the blast. Because of this if you look at the windows on the left side of the building 3 bunch of windows, top right pain you can see a silhouette of the priest. Every time they replace the glass the silhouette reappears.
To this day when you enter the church you can also see a piece of metal from the explosion still lodge in the wall over the interior door way.