Trinity Anglican Church, Blyth, Ontario

Trinity Anglican, Blyth, OntarioTrinity, Blyth, is part of the four point rural Parish of New Beginnings formed in 2008 in the northern portion of Huron County.   Its sister congregations are St John the Evangelist Church, Brussels (about 22 kilometers away), St. Paul's-Trinity, Wingham and St. Peter's, Lucknow.   Blyth is a farm and bedroom community of approximately 1000 people located on Huron Road 4 (formerly Highway 4), approximately 20 kilometers north of Clinton.   Blyth is the home of the famous Blyth Festival.

The Anglican Church congregation in Blyth had its beginnings in 1860 with The Rev. Mr. Carmichael, who with his brother-in-law, Mr. Duberdue walking 20 kilometers from Clinton to Blyth, to hold occasional services in the sitting room of the log hotel on Queen St.   The Rev Carmichael was later consecrated Bishop of Montreal and still later Primate of all Canada.

The first incumbent was appointed to Trinity, Blyth also served the congregations of Trinity Belgrave and St Paul's Wingham, with the Rectory being in Wingham.   Services were held in Nethery*s Orange Hall, 7 kilometers north of Blyth beginning in 1865.

In 1875, Blyth was separated from Belgrave and Wingham.   At this time services were being held in an old frame school house, which once stood at the north end of the village on the site where the brick school, which is now an apartment house, now stands.   Blyth was joined with St Mark's Church, Auburn (about 15 kilometers west of Blyth) and an unknown Anglican Church in Fordyce.   The Fordyce church was closed before the beginning of the 1890's. As the congregation had increased, they used the Temperance Hall, which stood on Dinsley Street, beside where the Blyth Orange Hall was.

In 1897, Trinity Church was once more re-aligned into the parish comprised of Trinity, Blyth, St Mark's, Auburn, and Trinity, Belgrave. and this relationship continued until the late 1960's when the Anglican Church in Dungannon was added to the parish and when it closed in 1970, St John the Evangelist Church, Brussels was added to the parish.   Since then, St Mark's and Trinity, Belgrave have both been closed.

The first recorded Vestry meeting, was held in the Blyth Temperance Hall, on the 9th day of July 1877 In February 1878 it was decided to build a church that stands in Blyth today.   A lot was purchased from the Blyth estate for $50.00.   The style was to be Gothic, with a 75 ft. tower on the corner of the main body of the church, which was to be 34 ft. by 50 ft., with a chancel 12 ft. by 18 ft., and a vestry 8 ft. by 10 ft.   The original price for the church was $3200. The corner stone was laid on July 1, 1878.   In August, before the church was completed, a severe thunderstorm passed over Blyth, when the roof was blown off and the end wall crashed down.   In spite of this set back the church was finished and the first service held in it Dec. 29, 1878, less than eleven months from when the decision to build was made.   Early in the 20th century, the spires were felt to be unsafe and were removed. Many improvements and changes have been made over the years.
 

A Commemorative Plaque was erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board at Memorial Hall, 147 Queen St. N., Blyth, Ontario.

THE FOUNDING OF BLYTH

By 1851, Lucius McConnell and Kenneth McBain, two of the earliest settlers in the area, had located here in Morris Township.   Four years later, Donald McDonald laid out a village plot on the border between Wawanosh and Morris Townships and in July, 1856, a post-office was established.   The village developed slowly but within two years contained a sawmill owned by McBain, a Presbyterian church, a tavern, and store.   Originally known as Drummond after an enterprising early family, the village, a market town for the surrounding agricultural region, was renamed Blyth after an absentee landowner.   In January, 1876, a station on the London, Huron and Bruce Railway was opened and a year later the village was incorporated with a population of about 800.


In the late 1980's, St Mark's Anglican Church Auburn was closed and its beautiful stained glass windows (originally from an Anglican Church at Burvie, Ontario) were installed in Trinity Church, Blyth.   At the same time as the windows were being installed, Trinity was made handicapped accessible with the front steps being replaced by a gentle ramp.   The stained glass windows at the rear of Trinity have a bit of mischief about them for they depict St Peter and St Paul.   But when they were being installed the workmen were not careful and the names for each of the depictions were reversed.

In 1994 construction was begun on the addition of a modern church hall, kitchen and handicapped accessible washrooms.   When this addition was completed, Trinity Church became the only Anglican Church in Huron County that is fully handicapped accessible.

The Trinity Church interior has been painted several times since and a new ceiling installed.   At first the church had two aisles, but that was changed and a wide centre aisle with two narrow ones next to the walls took their place.   Most recently it was painted in 1992 and the lettering around the arch over the chancel was redone.

Trinity celebrated its 125th anniversary in June of 2003.   The church has a small, but active, ACW group, as well as a small but dedicated Altar Guild.   Trinity is blessed with having 3 active lay readers as well as a dedicated group of lectors who read the scriptures and lead the prayers each Sunday.   The congregation at Trinity, to help be good stewards and to pay the congregations bills has taken on a number caterings each summer in conjunction with the Blyth Summer Theatre Festival.   As well it runs booths at the large Blyth Dog Show each July and the enormously successful Huron Pioneer Steam Threshers Show held each September for 5 days.   Trinity's modern, air conditioned hall is used by a variety of community groups, including the Children's Aid Society of Huron County, Girl Guides of Canada, and a Tai Chi group, as well as for rehearsals for the Blyth Festival.

Trinity Anglican was in a 2 point parish St John's, Brussels, Ontario before the current parish was formed.   There was a very good working relationship with St John's with joint wardens and treasurers meetings held twice per year.

Trinity's services are at 9:30 am each Sunday with a coffee hour afterwards and the service is alternated between Holy Eucharist (1st & 3rd Sundays, Saints and Feast Days) and Morning Prayer (2nd & 4th Sundays).   Most services are now conducted out of the Green Prayer Book, but some Eucharists follow the 1962 rite in this prayer book.
 
Anglican Parish of New Beginnings