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St. Thomas' Church dates back to 1836, when the need for a second Anglican Church in St. John's to service the growing population in the east end of the city. An early painting of St. John's shows the original St. Thomas' as a little church with a prominent tower. The tower is the same on used on the new St. Thomas' today (West door). Although the Church escaped the raves of the Great Fire, which destroyed most of the town in 1846, a violent storm that struck the town that same year is said to have moved the whole building six inches. In a effort to stabilize the building, the wings were constructed. The need for more accommodations for the parishioners led in 1874 to the lengthening of the Church by 30 feet. The church was again enlarged in 1883 by extending the chancel and adding a vestry and additional space for the organ. The last alterations were made to the building in 1903, when the chancel was again lengthened to provide seating for over 1300 people.
From the opening of the Church until 1870, the church served as the Garrison Church and seats on the side galleries were regularly occupied by the Soldiers. For a long time many of the pews were rented, and on some of the pews the old Victorian number plated may still be seen. In an area beneath the church, a space was dug out by hand in 1922 for a small chapel for the Brotherhood of St. Andrews, a men's service group. The Chapel was restored and rededicated in 1982. St. Thomas' is now one of the largest Anglican parishes in Canada with a congregation of over 950 families. It has always been known as St. Thomas - The Old Garrison Church
Information and Records for St. Thomas Anglican Church - St. John's
8 Military Road
St. John's, Newfoundland
Fax #: (709) 576-2541 e-mail address:
St. Thomas Anglican Church - St. John's
Rev. William Ransom
Baptisms (1830-1870) Box 1 Reel # 05 (1830-1868) Marriages (1830-1879) Box 1 Reel # 05 (1830-1879) Burials (1865-1878) Box 2 Reel # 05 (1865-1868) Miscellaneous (Jan 1,1869) Reel # 05 (Jan 1,1869)These are the Vital Statistics Volumes (DPHW) available at PANL only.
Parish: St. Thomas Church (The Old Garrison ) Place: St. John's East Religion: Church of England Baptisms: 1830-1840 Vol 30 Reel No. Ba (1834 Missing) 1841-1870 Vol 29 Reel No. B 1867-1892 Vol 28 Reel No. B Marriages: 1830-1893 Vol 30A Reel No Bb (1834 Missing)
Church used prior to this one opening was the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, St. John's
These records are also available at the Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador (PANL).
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 St. Thomas Parish start from 1865 onwards. There are also microfilms at the PANL from the Vital Statistics Division from 1891 to 1949 for deaths.
A list of Pastors who served the parish of St. Thomas:
I would like to thank Irene Carr for sending me the history,
photo and list of Priests who served the parish of St. Thomas' Parish
Contributed by Barbara McGrath
Page Revised: July 2002 (Don Tate)
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