Recent Community Initiatives

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church

323 Simcoe Street at Gage Street

The St. Andrew’s Presbyterian congregation came into being in Newark in 1791, worshipping first from a meeting hall until the first church was built in 1792. That church was destroyed by the American forces in the burning of the town in 1813. The congregation then met in the schoolhouse until a new structure was erected, and this, the current church, was dedicated in 1831. The photo at top right, from the collection of the Niagara Historical Society & Museum, shows the church in the mid-ninteenth century.

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church is a fine classical brick shell with large round-headed windows, fronted by a Greek Doric columned porch providing an “accomplished façade” (P.Stokes). The interior plan is unusual in that the pulpit is a the entry end, with aisles on either side leading to the pews. The pews are of particular note being of three types: box, slip and table pews. The pulpit (1840) is a particularly finely carved feature of black walnut by the joiner John Davidson. A gallery surrounds the nave on three sides, supported by delicate columns. The expansive glass, and the white painted walls and millwork provide an airy, open interior.

The church has undergone a number of restorations over the years – the first following a cyclone in 1855 which had caused severe damage. In 1937, a major restoration under the direction of Prof. Eric Arthur was undertaken through the efforts of  The Archiectural Conservancy of Ontario and the philanthropist Thomas Foster, an ex-mayor of Toronto. In 2010/2011 a committee of the Church implemented the most recent restoration, which corrected damage to many of the exterior features. The Niagara Foundation committed funds to the restoration of the steeple as a part of the bigger project.

This dominant steeple is an important and much loved feature of the townscape.