Saint Lawrence Church interior photo.
The History of Our Parish
The present St, Lawrence congregation is comprised of two former congregations of Trinity Anglican Church and St. Peter's Anglican Church. We continue to worship in the former St. Peter's Church. Trinity Church was built in 1877 and had an active ministry until amalgamation in 2007. The former members of both churches now minister together to reach out in love to the Brockville community as we have done for 200 years.
In April of 1825, the Hon. Charles Jones gave the land for the present church building, and on April 20, 1826, the cornerstone was laid for this church which was designed and built under the direction of the Irishman, Arthur McClean. Beset by money problems, the construction took five years. On April 17, 1831, The Rev. William Hodson Gunning conducted the first service, and on August 31, 1834, The Rt. Rev. Charles James Stuart, Lord Bishop of Quebec, consecrated our church “to the Service of Almighty God.” Sometime before 1854, the white parging was applied to the church exterior. A section of the underlying stone has been exposed and can be viewed when looking at the church entrance and tower, as well as from the courtyard.
For two hundred years Saint Lawrence congregation has been an active, praying, and caring community with an ongoing tradition of Anglican worship and a commitment to sharing and celebrating Christ's love in the Parish, in the community and in the world.
About Saint Lawrence
Saint Lawrence was a Roman deacon under Pope St. Sixtus II. Four days after this pope was put to death, Lawrence and four clerics suffered martyrdom, probably during the persecution of the Emperor Valerian.
A well-known legend has persisted from earliest times. As deacon in Rome, Lawrence was charged with the responsibility for the material goods of the Church, and the distribution of alms to the poor. When Lawrence knew he would be arrested like the pope, he sought out the poor, widows and orphans of Rome and gave them all the money he had on hand, selling even the sacred vessels to increase the sum. When the prefect of Rome heard of this, he imagined that the Christians must have considerable treasure. He sent for Lawrence and said, “You Christians say we are cruel to you, but that is not what I have in mind. I am told that your priests offer in gold, that the sacred blood is received in silver cups, that you have golden candlesticks at your evening services. Now, your doctrine says you must render to Caesar what is his. Bring these counted: He brought none of it into the world with him-only words. Give me the money, therefore, and be rich in words.”
Lawrence replied that the Church was indeed rich. “I will show you a valuable part. But give me time to set everything in order and make an inventory.” After three days he gathered a great number of blind, lame,
maimed, leprous, orphaned and widowed persons and put them in rows. When the prefect arrived, Lawrence simply said, “These are the treasure of the Church.”
The prefect was so angry he told Lawrence that he would indeed have his wish to die-but it would be by inches. He had a great gridiron prepared, with coals beneath it, and had Lawrence’s body placed on it. St. Lawrence was martyred on August 10, 258 AD.
Picture of stained glass image of Saint Lawrence.