Our Story

St. Anne's is a lovely stone church built in 1853 by Robert Flint and our story is one that continues today. We hope this look into our past will give you an idea of the deep community roots on which the foundation of our church is built. If you have information to add to our story please use the Contact Us form to tell us your part of our ongoing story.

Stone by Stone: A History of St. Anne's (Byron) 

The Hunt Family - one of the area's early settlers

Life in Byron and St. Anne's - one parishioner's recollections

The history of our stained glass windows

The 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War 1 in November 2014, allowed us to gather more information on those in our community who served in that war, both at home and overseas. This information is stored in our church library as well as contained in the "Military Connections - WW1, WW2" file you can download from the left hand menu. If you know of someone or have relatives who were St. Anne's parishioners that served in World War I, whether in the military or helping the military or helping through some other way, please share those stories, biographies or photos with Keith Brooks at kpbrooks1 [at] netscape [dot] net.

To do your own research, try the "Online Research" option on the Library and Archives Canada website (http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca). These Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) records helped to reveal some links to our community and they may hold information on your family and community as well.  With contributions from members of the Meriam and Wickerson families we learned a bit more about three of our parishioners. Two served on the front lines while one served on the home front. Two were wounded while one instructed recruits in the use of firearms. Each came through the war with their own stories and are now resting in St. Anne's cemetery. So many contributed in so many ways.     And for all of them and all they did....We will remember them.

St. Anne's on the march (from May 1996 newsletter)

A pioneer Christian had on his mind
A place to worship, and this he did find
Right here where we're standing: the Lord was willing,
Five acres were bought costing eight pounds & some shillings.
Many hands gathered stones with a mason, a Scot,
And proud were the families as they viewed what they bought.
Twenty years later, it looked pretty feeble,
Having been used by strange devout people.
Some of our grandsires began to rebuild,
With hard earned money from the fields that they tilled.
A family named Hall who owned a saw-mill,
Their names long remembered, helped the coffers to fill.

St. Anne's was now ready for its name & consecration,
Isaac Hellmuth, Huron's Bishop, came for the celebration.
Three short term rectors did duties at Glanworth,
Ten miles with a horse going back and forth.
Our long term rector - for thirty-one years,
was always on duty; vacations bored him to tears!
On a certain Good Friday, just after the service
The church roof blew off, making everyone nervous.
A few weeks later this practical guy (rector)
Was staining the ceiling from scaffold on high.
The grand climax to Mr. D's tenure,
Came in thirty-seven, in the month of September.
During the year, the things we acquired
New sanctuary and pews, so badly required.
Six beautiful windows and the new west wing,
Memorial furnishings, we lacked not a thing!
Downstairs in wartime, we made lots of jam,
A friend overseas found a jar labelled, "Byron, St. Anne's"

The following rector, John French by name,
Got a management board, soon after he came.
The Hyde Park Rectory got a good sprucing up,
Duplex envelopes and an organ that needn't be pumped!

Our first lay reader, Percy Simpson by name,
A wrought iron gate and a fence of the same.
Our gas furnace blew up, but our sexton survived,
Near the same time, the Joselyns arrived.

In 1950, a Rectory was planned --
Arnold Stoner was the builder, but others gave a hand.
Annual smorgasbords raised some money:
Also seed fairs and a play that was funny.
The greatest idea came along next,
"To feed the hungry" was our text.
Ken Smith was the one who led the way -
The Western Fair booth then came to stay.
Soon after that came our new parish hall
And "Every Member canvass" involved us all.
Our membership was growing fast,
On a Sunday, 164 average - would it last?

Railings at our chancel steps --
Rev. Reg & Helen, in memory we kept.
Bob Mills arrived, and we spent some cash -
Five acres, two houses - it did seem quite rash.
A few years back, we had added ten feet
To the church, to the north made our entrance look neat!
After we built the Heritage room,
We gleefully felt we were in a great boom.
Morley Pinkney had come with plans for improvements,
An office, new cupboards, up-to-date equipments.
Coffers kept filled by generous donors,
Made us feel like we'd hit some homers.

Now we're thinking of those who need assistance,
To use our parish hall, we trust there's no resistance.
As our special senior turns the sod,
With junior helpers and the Grace of God.
- Grace Kains Bainard