History – Prince Albert United Church

Prince Albert United Church

In the 1851 census, only one church was listed in Scugog Township. But on February 8, 1852, a Wesleyan Methodist Church was dedicated in Prince Albert. That church was the hub for smaller worshipping groups: Port Perry, Borelia, Utica, Epsom, and Uxbridge were among the eight regular and four more occasional points in the Wesleyan Methodist mission centred in Prince Albert.

Owing to increased membership, that original church was lengthened by 16 feet to a total length of 66 feet, re-painted, and re-opened in December 1857. That church appears to have been destroyed by fire; the actual site is no longer known. In 1866, the current red-brick building was built. The site at the southeast corner of Jeffrey and Barber Streets was purchased from George Currie at a cost of $100, and the total cost of the building was $3,627. The dedication service for the new Wesleyan Methodist Church was held on Sunday, September 30, 1866. Interestingly, the scheduled guest speaker failed to appear. A choir from Uxbridge “added much to the beauty of the occasion.”

In 1884 the Methodist Episcopal, Primitive Methodist, Wesleyan Methodist, and Bible Christian Churches united to form the Methodist Church of Canada.

By 1886 the Prince Albert circuit embraced Manchester, Prospect, and Shirley.

On June 10, 1925, The United Church of Canada was formed by the union of the Congregational Churches of Canada, the Methodist Church of Canada, and the Presbyterian Church in Canada. And Prince Albert Methodist Church became Prince Albert United Church.

In 1900 the east gable of the church was repaired and the alcove with its beautiful memorial window was added. That round window above the choir loft is placed in memory of Rev, Samuel Coad Philp and his wife Phila, and his son also Rev. Samuel Coad Philp and his wife Martha. In 1909 the metal ceiling which still serves was installed.

The Port Perry and Prince Albert United Church congregations formed a pastoral charge on July 1, 1926.

The stained glass window in the centre of the south wall of the sanctuary was donated by Earl and Jean Martyn in recognition of the faithful witness of family and friends, in 1985. This window has now been relocated to the narthex of Port Perry United Church.

Prince Albert United Church celebrated its 125th anniversary on September 29, 1991, at a service with Dr. Anne Squire, first lay female Moderator of the United Church, as the guest speaker. On that occasion, two beautiful banners flanking the front of the sanctuary were dedicated. These banners were designed by Nancy-Lou Patterson of Waterloo, Ontario, and made by the women of the congregation. They depict seed time and harvest, recalling the promise that God made after the flood. These banners are now displayed at Port Perry United Church during the fall season.

On July 1, 2023, Prince Albert United Church amalgamated with Port Perry United Church. Prince Albert’s former building is now being used by another worshipping community.