St. Anne's is a lovely stone church built in 1853 by Robert Flint and our story is one that continues today. We hope this look into our past will give you an idea of the deep community roots on which the foundation of our church is built. If you have information to add to our story please use the Contact Us form to tell us your part of our ongoing story.
An Anniversary Prayer for St Anne’s Byron - 1853 to 2023
Serving God and Our Neighbours
Giver of life, and source of all blessings, on this anniversary year we give thanks to you for this place
where we have come to praise your name, to ask your forgiveness to know your healing power, to hear your word and to be nourished by the body and blood of your Son.
Sustain us, O Lord, with your Holy Spirit, give us always an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to love you, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works, as you guide, illuminate and bless us into all that is next. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Redeemer.
Stone by Stone: A History of St. Anne's (Byron)
Chapter I - How the Church Began
Chapter II - Looking Back (currently under revision)
Chapter IIII - Construction of St. Anne's
Chapter IV - The Mystery Years
Chapter V - Rejuvenation
Chapter VI - The Next Thirty-three Years
Chapter VII - The Durnford Era - Part A
Chapter VIII - The Durnford Era - Part B
Chapter IX - The Winds of Change
Chapter X - Metamorphosis Continues
The Hunt Family - one of the area's early settlers
Life in Byron and St. Anne's - one parishioner's recollections
The history of our stained glass windows
A pioneer Christian had on his mind
A place to worship, and this he did find
Right here where we're standing: the Lord was willing,
Five acres were bought costing eight pounds & some shillings.
Many hands gathered stones with a mason, a Scot,
And proud were the families as they viewed what they bought.
Twenty years later, it looked pretty feeble,
Having been used by strange devout people.
Some of our grandsires began to rebuild,
With hard earned money from the fields that they tilled.
A family named Hall who owned a saw-mill,
Their names long remembered, helped the coffers to fill.
St. Anne's was now ready for its name & consecration,
Isaac Hellmuth, Huron's Bishop, came for the celebration.
Three short term rectors did duties at Glanworth,
Ten miles with a horse going back and forth.
Our long term rector - for thirty-one years,
was always on duty; vacations bored him to tears!
On a certain Good Friday, just after the service
The church roof blew off, making everyone nervous.
A few weeks later this practical guy (rector)
Was staining the ceiling from scaffold on high.
The grand climax to Mr. D's tenure,
Came in thirty-seven, in the month of September.
During the year, the things we acquired
New sanctuary and pews, so badly required.
Six beautiful windows and the new west wing,
Memorial furnishings, we lacked not a thing!
Downstairs in wartime, we made lots of jam,
A friend overseas found a jar labelled, "Byron, St. Anne's"
The following rector, John French by name,
Got a management board, soon after he came.
The Hyde Park Rectory got a good sprucing up,
Duplex envelopes and an organ that needn't be pumped!
Our first lay reader, Percy Simpson by name,
A wrought iron gate and a fence of the same.
Our gas furnace blew up, but our sexton survived,
Near the same time, the Joselyns arrived.
In 1950, a Rectory was planned --
Arnold Stoner was the builder, but others gave a hand.
Annual smorgasbords raised some money:
Also seed fairs and a play that was funny.
The greatest idea came along next,
"To feed the hungry" was our text.
Ken Smith was the one who led the way -
The Western Fair booth then came to stay.
Soon after that came our new parish hall
And "Every Member canvass" involved us all.
Our membership was growing fast,
On a Sunday, 164 average - would it last?
Railings at our chancel steps --
Rev. Reg & Helen, in memory we kept.
Bob Mills arrived, and we spent some cash -
Five acres, two houses - it did seem quite rash.
A few years back, we had added ten feet
To the church, to the north made our entrance look neat!
After we built the Heritage room,
We gleefully felt we were in a great boom.
Morley Pinkney had come with plans for improvements,
An office, new cupboards, up-to-date equipments.
Coffers kept filled by generous donors,
Made us feel like we'd hit some homers.
Now we're thinking of those who need assistance,
To use our parish hall, we trust there's no resistance.
As our special senior turns the sod,
With junior helpers and the Grace of God.