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History of St. Mary's Anglican Church Parish - Bell Island

History of St. Mary's Anglican Church Parish
Bell Island



Church of England priests visited Bell Island from the shores of Conception Bay as far back as 1795. Bell Islanders seeking the Sacraments of Baptism and Marriage often went to Hr. Grace. The first known priest that came regularly to Bell Island was the Rev. Thomas Longhorne. During the summer of 1827 the Right Rev. John Inglis, Bishop of Nova Scotia, whose jurisdiction also included Newfoundland, visited Lance Cove and found according to his journal 12 families and another 8 families at the Lance Cove Beach.

On Aug 12, 1843, Bishop Spencer consecrated the first church on Bell Island, the church of St. Mary the Virgin and in the fall of that year Rev. Thomas Boone came to Lance Cove. In 1867 Bishop Field separated the Congregation from Portugal Cove and it became part of the Topsail Mission and 5 years later a new church was consecrated by Bishop Field. In 1903 a second church was built to serve the people of Wabana. St. Boniface was situated where the old cemetery is now located. Then in 1926 the cornerstone was laid by Bishop William White for the present church of St. Cyprian's - Bishop and Martyr. This church replaced St. Boniface.

The parish of Bell Island has had a glorious history and much credit is due to the parishioners who through determination remained loyal and worked long and hard to overcome their hardships. St. Cyprian's is the "headquarters" of the Anglican Church's on Bell Island with St. Mary's a part of the parish, however, all records are kept as a single unit.

Information and Records for St. Mary's Anglican Church
Bell Island

P.O. Box 1060
Wabana, Bell Island, Conception Bay
A0A 4H0

Telephone #:
(709) 488-2129 (Office)
Fax #: (709) 488-2129

The Rev'd Russell Osmond (Part-time)


Records available:

All records are available at the Parish Office. There are no records at the Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador (PANL).

There are no Vital Statistics Volumes (DPHW) available for this Parish. These are the All Newfoundland Births - Vital Statistics Division microfilm available for this parish at the PANL for the period from 1891 to1926 for baptisms and from 1891 to 1922 for marriages.

The death records for this Parish start from the opening of the parish to present. There are also microfilms at the PANL from the Vital Statistics Division from 1891 to 1949 for deaths.

Church used prior to this one was (1) Portugal Cove and in 1867 this parish was separated from Portugal Cove and became part of the Topsail Parish.

Cemetery's used:

St. Cyprian's Cemetery (Old) is located on Beach Hill Road on the left at the top of the hill
St. Cyprian's Cemetery (New) is located on Beach Hill Road on the right at the top of the hill

A list of the clergy who served St. Mary's Parish:

Parishoners went to Hr. Grace or Clergy came from St. John's visited(1795-1827)
Rev. Thomas Longhorne(1827-1843)
Church of St. Mary the Virgin was opened (1843)
Rev. Thomas Boone(1843-
Parish separated from Portugal Cove by Bishop Field and became part of Topsail(1867)
New Church(1872)
St. Boniface built for the people of Wabana (1903)
St. Cyprian's built replacing St. Boniface (1926)
Rev. Michael Horlick(1987-1997)
Rev. Michael McKinnon(1997-1998)
Rev. Douglas Barrett(1999-present)

I would like to thank Rev. Barrett for sending me the history
and photo of St. Mary's Parish



Contributed by Barbara McGrath

Page Revised by Ivy F. Benoit (Tuesday April 21, 2009)

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