Davidson Clergy WardensAll Saints Anglican Church in Davidson

Our History:

The All Saints congregation began as St. George’s Church of England in 1904 with clergy being sent out from Regina by the Railway Mission. The first services were held in homes, halls, the tailor shop and Dr. Hutchinson’s office during 1904 and 1905. The church was served by various students and clergy. A.W.R. Dunstan was the student in charge in 1908 and later became rector.   Sunday School and Children’s services were held.

In January, 1909, land for “the English Church” was donated by Mr. Reuben Lloyd and the Wells Land and Cattle Company. The church was built in 1911 with a few services held, and with many of the furnishings donated by individuals. The chancel of the church was erected in memory of Mr. John Braithwaite Skeeta, B.A. by his widow of Springlands, Heavitree, Exeter in 1911. The Church was dedicated in 1912, at which time the congregation became All Saints Anglican Church.   The first families included the Myricks, the Helmslings, the Biggs, the Hulmes, the Pembers, the Archibalds, the Russells, Dr. Hutchison, George Firman, J.C. Kirshaw, B. Bradley, and Mr. Routledge. Around the same time Mrs. Kirshaw was in charge of the Sunday School.   As well the Anglican Mission ran the local hospital from 1912 to 1914. In the early days, All Saints was also used by other denominations.

A.W.R. Dunstan arrived in 1908 to provide services and remained until 1910. Mr. Dunstan came as a student-in-charge and during his time at (St. George’s) All Saints was ordained. In September, 1909, the first annual St. George’s Sunday School picnic was held in the Arm River valley and in Dec. (1909) the Sunday School (with 30 members at that time) held their first annual prize giving tea. Prizes (Bibles) were awarded for work over the year and were given to the children by the Mayor.

Next followed Rev. A.W. Collins from Nov. 1910- Nov. 1911, Rev. L. Lewis in 1911, Rev. Maurice Beardshaw 1912-1914. Rev. L.J. Tatham 1914-1917, Rev. H.H. Stickings 1917 (Feb. – Oct) as well as Rev. F. R. Hillary (Feb. – Sept) 1918. Rev. C. S. Garbutt (1919), with Rev. H. H. Stickings returning from June 1920 – June 1921.

Rev. Frank H. King provided services from Aug. 1921 to July 1922, followed by G.C. Turner from July 1922 – April 1925.   Mention of the Anglican Christmas Tree (concert) was held on Dec. 25th followed by Communion. Services were held by Rev. R. C. Matthews, 1925 –26. Mr. Matthews covered Dundurn, Hanley, Kenaston, Bladworth and Davidson with once a month services.   At that time G. R. Robertson (a student of St. Chad’s College, Regina) resided in Davidson and held services in Davidson and Bladworth from 1925 – 1928. It was noted in the vestry minutes of Jan. 21, 1926 that electric lights were installed in 1925.

H. Knowles held services in 1930 and Rev. R. J. Morris provided Eucharistic ministry.  A.J. Bird, student minister, provided services from 1930-1932. He became Deacon in charge in May, 1932, but left in the fall of that year.

The Rev. R.T. Keal began services in 1932 and remained until 1935. In Oct. of 1933 AYPA Anglican Young People (a social club) held a musical program. As well the WA hosted a very successful Deanery Conference in the same month.

The Rev. D.M. Cleasby, provided services from 1935-1938. Of note in August of that year, Bishop E. H. Knowles confirmed 15 candidates. Assisting him were the Rural Dean of Lumsden and Rev. F.C. Musson, Vicar of Craik, who had on occasion offered communion services in Davidson. In Feb. of 1936 members met at the home of Mrs. Lytle and the Anglican Young Ladies Club was organized.

Rev. R. D. Arnold served the congregation from 1938 to 1940. John Rowlands held services from 1940-44 and RCAF Chaplain Flt. Lt. R. Manwaring also provided Eucharist services. It was noted in Feb. 1941 that the WA Easter Monday dance was cancelled due to war conditions.   In May 1942 the decision was made to paint the Church and in October of 1943 repair was done to the Vicarage.

From 1944 to 1946, the Rev. R.W.L. Jones held services. Rev. W. Field followed from 1946-47 and Rev. R.W.L. Jones returned from 1947-48. The Rev. F.E. Torpey held services from 1948- Oct. 49. In Jan of 1948 further electric lights were installed and a carnival was held to raise money for the job.

Rev. W.F. Browne held services from 1951-53.   At this time the Parish had dropped to “mission status”. Bishop Michael Coleman appointed Ruth K. Parker and Phyllis Napier as Bishop’s Messengers and from 1953- 1955 they held services. The Parish at this time consisted of Davidson, Girvin, Craik, Aylesbury, and Findlater. Once a month the Rev. Bernard Hodgins came from Bethune to provide Communion. All Saints was fortunate to have Phyllis visit our congregation in July of 2004 and to hear about the work that she and Ruth had done in our Parish.

The Rev. K. Vickers arrived in 1955 and remained until 1957, followed by Rev. J.C. Wright 1957- Mar. 1959. Rev. Gordon R. Cholerton held services from 1959 to 1963.

From 1963 to 1968, the Rev. R.J. Pratt held services along with his assistant Capt. Russell F. Nicholle.   Some services were taken by Rev. R. J. Westfall.

In 1964, All Saints became part of the seven point Craik-Kenaston Parish later changing the name to Midlakes Anglican Parish (Aylesbury, Craik, Girvin, Davidson, Bladworth, Kenaston and Hawarden). Midlakes Parish now consists of Kenaston and Davidson.  

Rev. Stan Ellis joined the Parish from 1968-70. In July of 1968 a Parish service was held at Hawarden and folks then continued on to Diefenbaker Lake for a picnic where the members met their new priest, Rev. Ellis.   The Rev. David A Guthrie followed from 1970-73.   In 1971 a joint worship service (Anglican, Lutheran, United and Catholic) was held on Palm Sunday with 450 people in attendance.

Rev. Canon Gordon F. Smith held services from 1973-78. Due to building problems beginning in Sept of 1975, services were held at the Lutheran Church, Legion Hall, the Seniors Centre and St. John’s in Girvin.

Rev. Fr. Roy W. Benson arrived in 1978 and remained until 1979. During this time renovations took place on the Church and on Aug. 13, 1978 the Church bell rang again and services were once again held at All Saints. A new heating system was installed, painting was done and trees removed.   Plans were in the works for an Anniversary celebration.

Rev. Andrew Halladie-Smith served the Parish from 1979-81, followed by Rev. John K. Zimmerman from 1981-85.

Rev. David N. Ashdown arrived in 1986 and remained until 1992.   During this time Fiona Brownlee (1988) and Wayne Sturgiss (1990) served as student ministers.

By 1983 it was decided that the current church building was no longer suitable for the needs of the congregation. A building committee was set up to investigate possible solutions from 1983 to 1990. During this time major fund raising was done and many hours were spent catering for auctions, weddings, pie booths and hamburger stands at the fairs, and Full Gospel suppers.   In Feb. of 1991 the congregation learned that the Lutheran Church in Rosetown was available. The decision was made to buy it, move it and relocate in on the present site. The last service in our old Church was held on May 5th, 1991 with Rev. Ashdown presiding. On June 20, 1991 the new church arrived amid much fan-fare.   During the interim, services were held at the Lutheran Church. The first service was held on July 21, 1991 and was consecrated on Oct. 27th, 1991 by Bishop Eric Bays. The old church was sold and moved to Railway St. and after renovations became the Davidson Resource Centre.  

Rev. Murray L. Still arrived in 1993 and remained until 1998. Alexander (Sandy) Mowat served as student minister in 1995. In 1998 Rev. Derek F. Nicholls began as Honorary Assistant to Rev. Still.   Following Rev. Still’s departure, Rev. Nicholl’s remained as part-time priest in charge from 1998-2000.

Rev. Arthur Anderson provided Eucharistic ministry in 2001, followed by Rev. Don Well 2002-2004; Rev. Bryson Randall 2004-2005; Rev. Helena-Rose Houldcroft 2006-2007;

Rev. Fr. Dan Fournier 2007-2008; Rev. Don Wells 2008; Rev. Arthur Anderson, Rev. Don Wells, Rev. Blair Dixon provided Eucharistic ministry in 2009. Throughout much of 2010, Archbishop Rob Hardwick, Rev. Arthur Anderson, and Rev. Blair Dixon provided Eucharistic ministry. Rev. Blair Dixon and Rev. Catherine Harper provided Eucharistic ministry from 2010 – 2013.

In Aug. 2012, Susan Anholt and Tracey Taylor were ordained Deacons. On Dec. 1, 2013 they were both ordained to the priesthood, licenced as Associate Priests and henceforth provided eucharistic and pastoral ministry in the Parish. Bishop David Ashdown joined the team as Associate Priest in the fall of 2014 until his passing in June, 2021. In the summer of 2020 Reverend Anholt was appointed to St. Mark's, Outlook and ceased to serve the Davidson congregation.

Over the years the Women’s Auxiliary, later called the ACW, contributed a great deal to the life and upkeep of the church. The ACW is no longer active at All Saints and disbanded in 2000.

Those who added to the services by playing the organ were Dr. Hutchinson, Mr. Crimes, Mrs. Myrick, Miss Audrey Archibald, Miss Gertie Worrall, Misses Nellie, Minnie and Alice Bigg, Mrs. Kirshaw and Mrs. Hulme.   In later years Marjorie McJannet was the faithful organist.   Since 1998 a digital hymnal has provided music for most of the services.

Throughout the years a vital part of the congregation has been its lay leadership. Under this leadership worship services continued weekly, whether it was during an interim between priests, during holidays, or during times when a priestly presence became semi-monthly and then monthly. 

In 1991, while Rev. Ashdown was here, the Davidson Interchurch Association was formed. All 6 churches in the community are involved and DICA sponsors various activities including Advent and Lenten services and lunches, weekly services at the Health Centre, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity service; Blue Christmas Service; Involvement in Remembrance Day Service; Good Friday Service; Worship in the Park; Fall Family Friendship Night; and Christmas Gift Card Project..

In 2024, All Saints, Davidson continues to offer worshop every Sunday led by The Reverend Tracey Taylor or a lay leader. The congregation remains active in the community as a shining example of the mission God has called us to.