Epiphany History

Church of the Epiphany
Worshipping in Canada's most southern town since 1853

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HISTORY 

Our history is largely the story of courageous and independent pioneers, strong in faith and the base of where the community of Kingsville was built.

OUR CHURCH

The Church of the Epiphany (1852) originally was a log hut erected in a forest clearing. An actual church was planned in 1852 and hewed from oak timbers nearby. The original church was named St John's. It contained box-type pews, wood burning stoves, kerosene lamps and the choir stalls and gallery were in the back of the church. 

                                   








In front of Epiphany, School Teacher on a Donkey - controlled by Rev Horton's Son

PRESENT CHURCH

Post War before cenotaph moved to the LegionIn 1889 a new church was built and the log hut became the parish hall. In January 1891 during the season of the Epiphany, the ground was broken for the new Church. 

June, 1891 the cornerstone was laid by former Rector, Rev J W Ashman whose son is buried in front of the south wall of the church. On All Saints Day, Nov 1, 1891, Bishop Baldwin dedicated the church and the name of the Parish was changed from St. John's to Epiphany, to commemorate the day the sod was turned. Construction took 6 years to complete. 

The church has progressed much since that time. In 1903 the small one-manual hand pumped organ was removed and a two-manual organ pumped by water power was installed at a cost of $1,550. In 1949 a more up-to-date organ with chimes was installed and dedicated to those who fell in both World Wars. The current 1889 church originally had the Kingsville cenotaph which was donated after WWII to the RCL on Division S.

Our pipe organ was entirely rebuilt and a new console installed in the church which includes a midi system in 2012.

We have a stone font, stained glass windows where 5 are depicting the Christian life.  

 

PROPERTY

Buried in our cemetery behind the church are many notable figures from Kingsville's' history, including the King family. Colonel King is not only the namesake for our community but also the first Warden of our parish. The tombstones in the cemetery mark the years from 1851.

Cemetary Black Oak is an Ontario Provincial ChampionAt the northern edge of Epiphany's cemetery stands a magnificent black oak tree. In 1982 it was estimated to be at least 200 years old. In that year, this oak tree was placed on the honour roll of trees in the Province of Ontario, as the largest black oak in the province. The provincial assessment used various criteria including height, trunk circumference five feet above the ground, and the extent of the branches. 

In 2002 we added a new heating and air conditioning system to our church. A plaque in our front garden was placed by the Masons to commemorate their 100th anniversary. 

2003 major renovations to our chancel area brought our rail and kneelers to the entrance of the chancel.
New red carpet was laid throughout the church and our altar was brought from the wall so the celebrant may face the congregation for the Eucharist. In 2004 the donation of a sound system was added not only the  church but also the parish hall, also brighter and more cost effective lighting came to the naive and chancel  completing our major worship space renovations. 

Summer 2012 the murals were repainted and repaired along with the entire interior of the church.

2012 The Organ was Rebuilt by Pole and Kingham with a Midi system for $65,000. It's inaugural recital was performed by Angus Sinclair Sept 23rd to a crowd of 222 people.

Spring 2017 the entire church and hall was refitted with LED lighting to not only brighten our space but to help us to conserve energy. Motion sensors to turn lights off and on were also a new feature.

 

THE RECTORY was SOLD August 2005! Our Rector now owns a house here in Kingsville. A special Vestry voted in favour of selling the 124 year old building.
  • New Roof on the Church in 2006 complete with Copper Trim
  • Furnaces replaced for the parish hall spring 2008
  • Parish Hall received a new industrial gas stove, new flooring and Paint in Summer of 2007.

Key Notes

  • The King Family plot in Epiphany Cemetery
  • The cenotaph that originally sat on our front grounds and was built in 1934, was moved in 1990 to the property
    of the Royal Canadian Legion, here in Kingsville.
  • The old Black Oak tree in our Cemetery is several hundred years old and is a provincial champion as declared by certified arborists.
  • Fund raising began in 1989 to Build the present parish hall, completed in 1991, and payments completed Jan 2002.
    It now holds parish offices, a boardroom, choir room and 4 Sunday School rooms, a nursery, wheelchair accessible washrooms, a main hall and kitchen.
  • Rectory sold August 2005 - 2007 New owner seeking Heritage Status
  • New Parish Sign Installed Christmas 2009
  • Lot purchased for a new parking lot January 2010 and the project completed Dec 2011. The parking lot was dedicated June 2017 to the memory of Colin Bradley who was instrumental in the project.
  • July 2012 the entire church interior was repainted and cracks repaired in all the walls.
  • August 2012 the pipe organ installation began: Sept 2012 Rebuilt organ is dedicated.
  • 2017 Complete transformation to LED lighting thanks to a Renew gift from the Remark family.

 

RECTORY

During the incumbency of Canon Matthew (1884-1891) the present brick rectory and stable (now a garage) were completed at a cost of $3,525.00. The home still has 5 bedrooms, hardwood floors, but of course has running water (!) with 2 bathrooms and a U shaped kitchen.The large decks are a joy to sit on to watch the bird life in the mature trees.  The home was sold to a private owner in the Summer of 2005 when a pool and new bathroom were installed. 2013 the house was up for resale again and sold in the spring of 2014.Rectory approx. 1900