Saturday, October 22, 2011

West Devon United Church

I was in western PEI the other day and took the following photos of the West Devon United Church, located on Highway 2 (Western Road) in West Devon (between Portage and Coleman Corner). It was a dark and stormy fall day.  Below:  Northwest corner of the church - facing Highway 2.
Below:  Northeast Corner.
 Below: East side of the church.
 Below: Southeast corner.
Below:  the church bell isn't in the steeple but atop the porch roof - I don't know of any other church on PEI with such a detail.

The following information comes from...

West Devon United Church
    No further word regarding a Mission Premises appears in the records until meeting of Ebenezer Circuit on September 20, 1859, when the following persons were present: Brother John Butcher (Pastor), Francis Metherall, James Kinley, William Nichol, Humphrey Dyment, and Joseph Brooks. At that meeting the resolution appeared: "That this meeting approves of the price of the land purchased for the Mission property and the price being 14 pounds, 10 shillings." At this meeting too, a building committee was formed to make plans for the building of a Mission House. Then finally, at the December 14, 1859 meeting, the following trustees were appointed: Francis Metherall, William Fish, James Lidstone, Jeremiah Dalton, Sam Kinley, R. Brooks, and John Metherall. At the Christmas quarterly meeting in 1860, Resolution 6 stated that, "Each family connected with our congregation is expected to provide a seat after a given pattern, the seats to be free." At a meeting on March 5, 1864, a receipt signed by Humphrey Dyment recorded that: "The sum of six pounds, fourteen shillings and four pence being the third installment due me on the money borrowed on the Mission House was received from John Butcher, the pastor of the Ebenezer Circuit." Also in May 1860, Lot 10 was listed as having 29 members and 8 trial members, an increase from 10 members and 3 trial members in February of that year.
    A cement foundation, a steeple and new shingles were added in 1923-24. The September 17, 1923 minutes of the Trustee Board state that Charles Moreshead be paid for the work he did in raising the church and putting in a concrete foundation. Willian Lockhart, Mrs. Large, Mrs. MacNeill and C. Grigg were appointed as a committee to get someone to do the shingling and build the spire. At the February 22, 1924 meeting of the Trustee Board, members Rev. W. D. Godfrey, George Leard, George Dignan, Henry Dignan, Wesley Dignan, and C. Grigg decided to see some of the local carpenters and ask for tenders on building the spire. At the April 23, 1924 meeting of the Trustee Board, members A. E. MacWilliams, W. Lockhart, W.R. MacNeill, George Leard, Charles Moreshead and C. Grigg decided to sell the porch, get the spire roof painted and reinforce the foundation if needed. At November 14, 1924 meeting of the Trustee Board, members voted to thank the Ladies Improvement Society for the paint for the  exterior of the church.
    Concerned members of the congregation decided major repairs and renovations were required to keep West Devon Church serviceable. A committee was appointed in 1979 with Horace MacNevin as chairman, and Mrs. Alma MacDonald as secretary-treasurer. Members of the congregation and former members who moved away were canvassed for donations. Letters were sent to those too far away for personal contact. The results were gratifying: the Church had a new cement foundation, aluminum windows, insulated attic, roof shingled and a new chimney built in 1979. The renovations continued in 1980 with the ceiling and pews being repainted, the choir loft sanded and varnished, and the windows painted on the interior. In 1987 a choir loft with a stained glass window and two Sunday School rooms were added. The church has been maintained through generous donations of time, materials, and money by families and friends of the congregation. With this support we are able to celebrate nearly 150 years as a congregation.
Information taken from the O'Leary-West Cape Pastoral Charge Photo Album - 2000

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