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Newfoundland & Labrador's Registered Heritage Structures
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Holy Apostles Church

Built in Renews in the 1870s, Holy Apostles Church was designed by Father John J. Walsh, according to local lore, and the congregation built it. Father Walsh served the Catholic community of Renews from 1872 to 1912. After Walsh, Dean W.P. Doutney assumed the parish. Poor health forced Doutney to move to St. John's, but he returned to Renews shortly before his death on July 14, 1919. At 74, he was the oldest Catholic Priest in Newfoundland at that time. Doutney's successor was Dean Charles McCarthy who remained the resident priest until 1957.

© 1998 Heritage Foundation
of Newfoundland and Labrador


In response to rumours of the destruction or selling of the church, local residents of Renews-Cappahayden formed the "Committee to Save Church Properties" in 1993. The committee circulated a petition throughout the two communities protesting the proposed demolition of Holy Apostles and associated buildings, a petition that received the support of 98 percent of the parishioners.

The Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador augmented the efforts of the committee in May 1993, when it designated Holy Apostles Church as a Registered Heritage Structure.

The structure remains an important landmark for both hunters and fishermen. The Church is a traditional marker for fishing grounds and helps guide hunters in the forest surrounding the community. At present, services continue in the church on the weekends when the church is open to the public.

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