A recent drive past one of my favourite churches on the island reminded me of our last visit there in April when I took some photos.
In its bumblebee colours, it sits on the shores of Grand River at Bayside in Prince Edward Island.
The first settlers to the area came from the Outer Hebrides of the Highlands in 1792, places such as Barra and Uist. Many Scottish settlers came to Prince Edward Island and have a proud history here. The names of the original settlers include MacDonald, MacKinnon and Praught.
The first church on this site was a log building and presbytery. Construction of the current church began in 1839. Visiting clergy served the people until 1876 when the first priest was stationed here.
In 1890, the current church was remodeled and various restorations have happened over the last one hundred plus years. The building is well maintained today if its condition when we visited is any indication.
It was surprising to us when the church was open on a quiet weekday morning. No concern for security or vandalism here. We were the only people for kilometers.
The inside of the English Gothic style church was as well maintained as the outside. The statues and ornamentation in keeping with the period and catholic tradition are evident.
The main altar was flanked by two side altars with statues of Mary and Mother and child.
The stations of the cross looked heavy in their relief design positioned around the church. The baptismal font was a simple pedestal bowl at the front of the church.
I lit a candle for my own ancestors, some of whom were from Scotland as well. My main thoughts were of my parents who would have loved to visit this church and believed in prayer for deceased friends and relatives.
The pipe organ was behind a statue of St. Patrick in the loft. I would have loved to hear its sound fill the building.
Imagine this church, built in 1839, by and for the hard working fishers and farmers of this area. It provided another world, a respite from the toil and difficulties of daily lives and a glimpse of a better place. No wonder she is maintained with such care and pride so many generations later.