St. John’s Heritage Church & Arts Centre
The Lac du Bonnet and District Historical Society has undertaken a substantial new initiative for the benefit of the community of Lac du Bonnet by securing the former St. John’s Anglican Church.
In 2017, upon hearing of the deconsecration of St. John’s Anglican Church, we formed a preservation committee. The focus of this committee is to preserve the St. John’s historical building, promote its history and celebrate it as a community space through arts and culture.
Our vision is to preserve the history of Lac du Bonnet’s oldest, intact building for the integrity of our past and our future. We will keep the heart of St. John’s alive by opening its doors to the general public to create a true community space that welcomes all.
“It is up to us to live up to the legacy that was left for us, and to leave a legacy that is worthy of our children and of future generations.” –Christine Gregoire
We welcome your support with a donation, volunteering, & becoming a member.
The Lac du Bonnet & District Historical Society Inc. is a registered CRA Charity.
The St. John’s Heritage Church and Arts Centre is also home to Eastern Manitoba’s up and coming music venue, The Lac du Bonnet Listening Room. Every three weeks, the Listening Room features intimate concerts with some of the best local, Manitoban and Canadian artists. For more information, please visit The Listening Room Facebook page.
History of St. John’s Anglican Church:
In 1905, a student of Toronto’s Wycliffe College, W. Ellis, came to Lac du Bonnet and held Anglican services in the one room school house. With area population near four hundred at the time, Ellis was about to gather enough families to form a congregation.
The St. John’s Anglican Church was built in 1906 by local residents Thomas Houston and Alexander Spence, with Spence’s three sons, Bill, Warner and John, employees of the local J.D. McArthur Lumber Mill and Brickworks, as labourers.
The 24 x 45-foot church, placed on a traditional east-west axis on a corner lot, was constructed using wood and bricks manufactured at the local lumbermill and brickworks. It consisted of an entirely wood frame building with tie rod truss roof supports and eight Gothic-inspired windows. A wood burning stove, with a brick chimney extending out of the southeast corner of the roof, provided heat. It cost $850 to complete. An additional $100 was raised by the people of Lac du Bonnet to provide church pews.
The first church service was held on August 12, 1906.
The arrival of the incumbent Reverend A.A. Adams, from Kenora, on September 9, 1906, marked the official opening of the church.
By 1908, the church was cleared of debts. On October 4, 1908, the church was consecrated by the First Bishop of Keewatin, RT. Rev. J. Lofthouse, and given the patronal name St. John.
In 1916, under Rev. R.E. Lemon, a 32-foot belfry was added at the church entrance by local residents Hans Johnson and Henry Park. A simple cross topped the pyramid spire with decorative corbels and twelve wooden louvers let the bell tolls be heard throughout Lac du Bonnet.
By 1917, the St. John’s Anglican Church provided services in Whitemouth, Pointe du Bois and Pinawa (at the Winnipeg Electric Railway Company’s generating station).
A small parish hall was added on the east side of the church in 1923, under Rev. T.H. Broughton. The hall held Sunday School, Cub Scouts and Girl Guides.
Written by Jennifer Strassel