In the year 1883, Queen Victoria ruled the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, John A. MacDonald was Prime Minister of Canada, and Henry Clark was the Premier of Manitoba. A group of devout Anglicans, lead by C. J. Brydges, bought a parcel of land and began plans to build a new church at the junction of Broadway and Osborne (at that time Osborne ended at Broadway), where Memorial Park is today. This group wanted a “higher” Anglican service than that of Holy Trinity, and All Saints Anglican was constructed in an English Gothic style. Because of the Royal Canadian Dragoons, whose barracks were located close to the church and whose members often worshiped there, it was known as a “Garrison Church”.
STAINED GLASS WINDOWS AND TREASURES
The original building served the parish until 1926. The Legislative Building was built in 1923 and The Hudson’s Bay Company wanted Osborne Street to continue through to the north side of the city, so the church had to move to its present location. This time built in stone, and still in the English Gothic style, some of the stained glass windows, pews, altar rail and other items were brought from the old church. William Morris chairs, cross, candle sticks and altar were used in what is now called the Lady Chapel (the cross and altar are still used today).
There are many interesting treasures in the church. The stained glass windows were designed and executed in England by a company founded by William Morris, the famous artist, craftsman and author of the 19th Century. The porch windows depict scenes from the Old Testament and indicate the Judaic roots of Christianity. In the nave, above the West door is the Commissioning of Joshua by Moses. Windows in the north and south walls and in the baptistery portray scenes in the life of Christ. The clerestory windows above the aisles are in groups of three, with the central figure in each representing one of the Twelve Apostles, with an early saint on either side.
The tablets on the walls tell something of the history of All Saints. The regimental colours and ensigns suspended on the walls have been laid up here for safekeeping. At the east end of the south transept is the Lady Chapel with its numerous memorials and gifts. In the sacristy, many photographs of former rectors, bishops and of important occasions in the history of All Saints hang upon its walls.
ALL SAINTS CHOIR
From the beginning, music has been an important part of the liturgy at All Saints. Originally set up as a men and boys choir, it established a high quality of music that continues today. By Easter 1897, the choir was described as one of the largest surpliced men and boys choirs in Canada. In 1907, there was a shortage of boys in the area, and the choir invited women, although originally not being allowed to sit in the chancel or to robe. Eventually, they were asked into the chancel and were permitted to robe and sing with the men.
In 1936, however, Hugh Bancroft arrived at All Saints and managed to revive the men and boys choir to the quality of an English cathedral. This quality became nationally acclaimed, winning music festivals and touring through England several times. In 1958, Donald Hadfield joined All Saints and continued the musical traditions to which the parish had become accustomed. The choir recorded two albums, Through the Church Year (1970) and How Lovely Are Thy Dwellings (1983).
Some time in the 90’s, for various reasons, women began singing in the choir again. Under the leadership of Dietrich Bartel, the quality continues to this day and is still an important part of life at All Saints. Evensongs, Vespers, Advent Carol Service, Good Friday, Easter and other choral events are not to be missed.
All Saints has one of the finest pipe organs in the city. Look for fundraising events coming up to help maintain this magnificent instrument. Check out photos and details at this site.