Series 900-03 - St. Peter's Cathedral Church legal, governance, and administration archives

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St. Peter's Cathedral Church legal, governance, and administration archives

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CA PEI SPCA 900-03

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  • 1865-1928 (Creation)
    St. Peter's Cathedral Church

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20 cm of textual records.

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Administrative history

As noted on the St. Peter's Cathedral Church website, the founding of St. Peter's was directly linked to a theological and liturgical revival of the Catholic tradition within Anglicanism, known as the Oxford or Tractarian Movement. This Movement began in England in the 1830's, and spread throughout the Anglican Communion worldwide. By the 1860's, some parishioners of the already long-established St. Paul's Church, in Charlottetown, had been exposed to the Oxford Movement through their travels, and wanted to erect a new church building where the teachings and liturgical observances of that movement could be reflected and practiced.

As noted in Wikipedia, St. Peter's, located on Rochford Square, corner of All Souls' Lane and Rochford Street, Charlottetown, was designated a cathedral in 1879 by Bishop Hibbert Binney, the Bishop of Nova Scotia. Over the years, it has served as a second cathedral of the Anglican Diocese of Nova Scotia (now called Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island). (The principal cathedral of the diocese is All Saints' Cathedral in Halifax, Nova Scotia.) Attached to the west side of the cathedral is All Souls' Chapel, which was designated as a National Historic Site in 1990.

Land for the new church was made available by Mr. William Cundall, and construction began in 1867. By the spring of 1869, the building was completed, and Mr. Cundall then officially gave the land to the church on June 1, 1869. The opening services were held on June 13 of that year, but the Cathedral was not consecrated until the Feast of St. Peter, June 29, 1879. It was constructed in an area of the city known as West Bog. St. Peter's School was opened in 1872 the girls' school three years later. [[confirm when they closed]]

Following Oxford Movement traditions, choir members have worn surplices since the opening of the church. As early as 1872 the Rood Screen was erected and the seven hanging lamps placed in the sanctuary. The envelope system was adopted in 1876, and the pews have always been free. Altar candles have been used since 1877, and Eucharistic vestments since 1889. Originally, chairs were used at St. Peter's. In 1928, these were replaced by pews of dark walnut-coloured Douglas fir. The pulpit is the design of William Critchlow Harris, the brother of Robert Harris the artist, whose paintings beautify All Souls' Chapel. William Critchlow Harris was also the architect of All Souls' Chapel. The High Altar (complete with an Altar Stone) is still in its traditional position. Behind the Altar are statues of the Lord and four evangelists (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John).

The first priest incumbent was Reverend George W. Hodgson, who served from 1869 to 1885. After Reverend Hodgson's death, Father Armstrong from Toronto and Father Smythe from the West Indies acted on an interim basis until Canon James Simpson was appointed the second Priest Incumbent in 1886 [[1887?]], serving until his death in 1920. A former master at Port Hope School, Canon Simpson had as his assistant the Reverend Thomas Henry Hunt. Canon Simpson, along with Mr. William Critchlow Harris (architect) and Mr. Robert Harris, C.M.G. (artist), were largely responsible for the creation of All Souls' Chapel.

Canon Elwyn Mortimer Malone, originally from Antigua, followed Canon Simpson, serving from 1921 to 1952. It was during his tenure of office that the property ceased to be vested in Trustees and was turned over to the Rector, Wardens, and Vestry.

In 1952 Canon Gerald E. Moffatt became Rector of the Cathedral, serving until 1958. Archdeacon J. R. Davies became Rector in 1958 and remained until 1967. Archdeacon G. S. Tanton, the second Islander to serve at St. Peter's after George Hodgson, became Rector in 1967, retiring in 1975. [[1974 or 1975?]]

In 1974, Canon H. M. D. Westin became the seventh Parish Priest and served until his retirement in October 1990. Aside from his spiritual and pastoral work as a dedicated priest, he is remembered for his founding of what is now the annual Atlantic Theological Conference, which continues to be held annually. To publish the proceedings of these conferences, St. Peter Publications was established in [[year]]. It publishes a book containing the papers presented at the previous year's theological conference, as well as "A Canadian Church Calendar", Common Prayer Commentaries, a Sunday School curriculum, and numerous books, pamphlets and tracts. For a number of years, St. Peter Publications also produced a quarterly periodical, The Anglican Free Press.

The next Rector, The Reverend Canon Peter Harris, from Nova Scotia, served for almost two years as Assistant Priest, starting in April 1989, before being appointed Rector at the end of 1990, continuing to the end of November 2014. The Reverend David Garrett succeeded Canon Harris as Rector in December 2014.

A new parish hall attached to the cathedral was erected in 2004, replacing an older hall that had stood on that site for over 100 years.

Custodial history

The series of legal, governance, and administration archives form part of the St. Peter's Cathedral Church archives, which were relocated from the church bell tower to the church basement and then into a purpose-built archival room. The records had been stored in boxes and bags at one point and original order was lost. Volunteers had removed conveyances, mortgages, and other legal and administrative documents and assigned accession numbers then placed them in individual folders, and since original order could not be discerned it was decided to group these early records together as an artificial series. The finding aid lists each document in the series. Because this series has been artificially created, any other legal, governance, or early church administration documents that existed and were still maintained within files according to original order were left as is and not relocated. Researchers are advised to review all the series of records created and used by St. Peter's Cathedral Church to locate different relevant documents.

Scope and content

The legal, governance, and administration archives series consists of various documents from the late 19th century and early 20th century found in the Church archives that seemed to relate to legal issues, church governance, and general administration for St. Peter's Cathedral Church or to individuals prominent in the establishment and early years of the church, such as E. J. Hodgson, who acted as a Trustee of St. Peter's but who undertook other legal and business activities on his own behalf, or Lawrence W. Watson, who was a central figure in the administration of the church in early years. The documents also include correspondence related to the search for a replacement for George W. Hodgson, which finally resulted in the selection of Canon James Simpson in 1886.

As listed in the file list, the documents in Box O/S 30 are as follows:

File 1: Legal release of land from the Bank of PEI to George Washington Gardiner, 11 May 1865
File 2: Land conveyance George W. Gardiner & wife to Henry Smith, 6 January 1869
File 3: William Cundall to Lord Bishop of Nova Scotia Conveyance of St. Peter's Church, 1 June 1869
File: 4: Bond E. J. Hodgson and J. S. Carvell to William Cundall, 18 August 1870
File 5: G. W. Hodgson and Bishop of Nova Scotia release in fee and declaration of Trust, 12 Nov. 1871
File 6: Mortgage on lands in Queens county, 26 August 1872
File 7: Letter re: Trustees of St. Peter’s by T. Haviland and E. J. Hodgson, 2 November 1872
File 8: Trust Deed St. Peter’s Church, 11 November 1872
File 9: Petition to the Bishop of Nova Scotia to consecrate St. Peter’s, 29 June 1879
File 10: Sentence of consecration of St. Peter’s, 5 July 1879
File 11: Appointment of Trustees and Grant of Land, 5 December 1882
File 12: Conveyance: Henry Smith & wife to Bernard W. Philips , 26 June 1888
File 13: Appointment of Trustees St. Peter’s, 13 Feb. 1894
File 14: Appointment of Trustees Hon. E. J. Hodgson & Walter A. O. Morson et al, 20 July 1904
File 15: Abstract of title St. Peter’s Rectory Property, 28 July 1904
File 16: Land conveyance from Thomas Handrahan to E. J. Hodgson for St. Peter’s Rectory, 28 July 1904
File 17: Deed of Appointment of $2500 for erection of a Rectory by E. J. Hodgson, 15 April 1905
File 18: Appointment of new Trustees and Conveyance of Trust Estate, Hon. E. J. Hodgson and Lawrence W. Watson, 10 October 1908
File 19: Appointment as Trustees and conveyance of trust property – removal of E. J. Hodgson and E. Bayfield to be replaced by William L. Cotton and John Hyndman, 29 April 1918
File 20: Land transfer from the Bishop of Nova Scotia to the Trustees of St. Peter’s Church, 19 January 1928
File 21: Conveyance John Doust to G. W. Hodgson, [187-?]

As listed in the file list, the documents in Box 28 are as follows:

001: Walter Lowe, receipts, financial statements, correspondence, 1879-1900: 1 envelope, 7 statements, 1 detailed statement of contract services, 5 letters between Walter Lowe and churchwardens (including Russell Freeland, Chairman of Finance Committee, and W. C. Harris, architect)
002: Correspondence of Bishop of Nova Scotia and Church Wardens of St. Pauls’ , 1872: 1 envelope, 1 4-pp letter (one sheet), dated 29 August 1872, 1 8-pp letter (2 sheets), dated 16 October 1872 – re: objecting to the use of the pastoral staff and opening the church contrary to Church requirements, in relation to the marriage of Mr. Edward Bayfield, 1872
003: Letter of condolence from Mr. Lawrence Watson to Mrs. Binney, 14 June 1887 [2015]: Includes photocopy of last will and testament of Herbert Binney, 1885, photocopied circa 2015
004: Lawrence Watson Letterbook, 1885-1900, 28.5 x 22.5 x 3 cm bound book. Note the letterbook was originally located in the sacristy vault and was transferred to the Archives on 25 February 2019. The item contains copies of outgoing correspondence from Lawrence W. Watson.
005: Correspondence: Search for a new priest, Volume 1, 1885: Relates to the search for a replacement for George W. Hodgson
006: Correspondence: Search for a new priest, Volume 2, January – March 1886: Relates to the search for a replacement for George W. Hodgson
007: Correspondence: Search for a new priest, Volume 3, April – June 1886: Relates to the search for a replacement for George W. Hodgson
008: Correspondence: Search for a new priest, Volume 4, 1July – September 1886: Relates to the search for a replacement for George W. Hodgson
009: Correspondence: Search for a new priest, Volume 5, October – December 1886: Relates to the search for a replacement for George W. Hodgson
010: Correspondence: Search for a new priest, Volume 6, 1887: Relates to the search for a replacement for George W. Hodgson

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