The storied history of St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Bashaw goes back to 1913.
The building was officially dedicated on Oct. 21, 1913 due to the hard work and dedication of Rev. Oswin Creighton. His memoirs showed that he was quite busy during this time and it was a year prior to the opening that the idea of a church came to be.
Some of those letters are found on display in the old school behind the church, which is now the home of the Meeting Place Coffee Roasters.
One such letter, dated Sept. 23, 1912 speaks to the desire to see the church built.
“On Sunday I drove on after service at Mirror, fourteen miles to Bashaw,” states Creighton, adding that a real estate man in the area donated land to build the church on.
Those early days were tough, with brutal winters and even tougher travelling options. Creighton tells of how he would drive from Alix to Bashaw in a bitter wind and minus 8 (Fahrenheit) temperatures. “…I was nearly frozen when I arrived.”
It was the spirit of the community that helped drive the process to get the church built. Along with $500 being saved in the bank, the community also enjoyed sharing cakes and food with Creighton. “There is nothing the ladies will not do. There are about five who are always sending us cakes, fruit, bread, milk, etc. and we are thoroughly spoiled.”
That volunteer spirit is still found within the community of Bashaw.
When it was realized the church had $500 in the bank — it was August 1913 at this point — the decision was made to build the church with a cost estimated at $800 (a far cry from what it costs today).
While Creighton was busy in Bashaw, he was also busy in Alix and Mirror with a vestry in each one. He vowed to spend his time equally in all three locations, however, in 1914 St. Peter’s was always full. The goal for Creighton in his words was to have a small, yet pretty church.
“It is to have a little apse, and a vestry with a gable roof, a porch and a belfry, so as to relieve the barn-like appearance, and will be plastered inside for warmth,” states Creighton.
This is the first of a series on St. Peter’s Church in Bashaw.