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St James Anglican Church, Roseneath ON

St James is again a notable landmark on the scenic hillside northeast of Roseneath. St James Church/church hall is a multiple purpose, flexible-use building to serve the needs of the growing population. The sanctuary/church hall has twelve windows that look out over the picturesque hillside and valleys. The views provide a memorable panorama of scenes and offer a positive invitation to return visits for other events.

New St James
The New St. James

The leadership and members of St James have a progressive vision for the future role of a rebuilt church and they want to show the same foresight exhibited by their predecessors 160 years ago. The community requirements of today, while different from those of 1863, need the Church as part of the essential social and spiritual infrastructure of the area.

The new St James has risen from the ashes of the devastating fire of “suspicious origin” that destroyed the pioneer church on April 9, 2019. The construction of the new church was approved in December of 2019 but the rebuild was paused because of a spike in the cost of building materials in 2020-22. The groundbreaking ceremony occurred on January 2, 2023. The rebuild of St James then began immediately. The official opening of the new church/hall was Saturday, December 9, 2023 in the 160th year after the original pioneer church was completed. The multi-functional building is ready for use – come and enjoy.

The Cemetery and the Church Facility

St. James cemetery, founded in 1863, is non-denominational and its beautiful location in the rolling hills provides a pristine, pastoral and dignified resting place.

The cemetery is one of few in Ontario that offers five options for a peaceful resting place away from urban development.

Eco-friendly and traditional burial sites in different sections of the meadow, traditional interment in the standard cemetery setting, cremation lots and a scatter garden are all available. Eco-friendly burial is a means of placing a body to rest while minimizing the impact on the environment and allowing for natural recycling into new life. Time is limited between death and interment for natural burial and St James may be the only cemetery in Ontario that allows for winter eco-friendly burial. The church building and cemetery on the same property provides a one-stop location for a funeral, celebration of life, and interment and can provide tremendous emotional relief to a grieving family at a time of stress and sorrow.

Reclaiming and Restoring the Bell and the Bible

In 1925, the Coyle and Drope families donated the huge bell — 38 inches in diameter — to celebrate the centennial of their arrival in Canada from Ireland. The bell was significantly damaged in the fall from the old church tower during the fire. The bell will never ring again but every reasonable effort will be made to reclaim, partially restore and display this historic symbol of the gratitude of these heritage families.

Astoundingly, a major portion of the large bible survived the fire. Was this meant to be? The bible has been rehabilitated by a restoration company. The church facility has been rebuilt, the bible survived, and the historic bell will be partially restored.
The display of the damaged bell represents and portrays the saddest part of the devastation of the pioneer St. James Church and creates a powerful visual memory. At the same time, the church bell has a commanding presence and strength for all to see. The bell is the one piece that bridges the past and future of St James. Please assist with the revitalization of St. James. [How to donate]

Community Outreach

In the Consecration Service and Official Opening of the rebuilt church, Bishop Riscylla Shaw, Area Bishop for Trent-Durham stressed that the Church is more than bricks and mortar and more than people. It is being the feet and hands of Jesus in the community.

St. James has had an active community outreach program in the past, providing support to a food bank and local families in need, sponsorship of a refugee family, visitations to seniors and nursing homes, and participation in the Roseneath Fair Sunday service. These activities will continue in the future.