The 1900s

The original church building was renovated in 1934, during Depression years, under the leadership of Rev. Harold Armitage. Beautiful stained glass windows were purchased from the demolished home of Sir Richard McBride, who had been Premier in British Columbia from 1903 to 1915. The reopening services were held on November 29, 1934. The transformation of St. Aidan’s was praised by all who entered the doors of the church.

The well-known author, Nellie McClung, lived in the Gordon Head district at this time. After a call from Rev. Armitage, Mr. and Mrs. Wesley McClung transferred their memberships to St. Aidan’s from the Metropolitan Church. Mrs. McClung became an elder in St. Aidan’s, the first woman elder in the United Church of Canada. She taught an adult Bible class and, when she spoke from the pulpit on special Sundays, the church was overflowing.

Following Rev. Armitage, Rev. Thomas Griffiths was appointed and remained for fourteen years, the longest appointment in the church’s history. By 1956, the congregation had expanded and the original church was too small. So, as plans were being worked on for a new church, services were held in the community hall. On June 17, 1960, Rev. Ibbs Avery dedicated the new church of St. Aidan, built to hold 500 people. In 1969, a new community building was opened by Rev. Alistair Mcleod. In 1970, Rev. Rae Allan dedicated a pipe organ in the church, a long cherished dream of the congregation.

In November 1998, the people of St. Aidan’s celebrated 125 years of history in the Cedar Hill – Mt. Tolmie area. These reminiscences are just a small sample of the work and influence the church of St. Aidan has had in this district.

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