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Christ Church
(Quidi Vidi, St. John's)

In 1834 an interdenominational group composed of Anglicans, Methodists, and Congregationalists set out to build a chapel for their joint use. The original deed stipulated that should the joint effort be unsuccessful, the building would become the property of the Anglicans. Dissent appeared early. During the construction of the building, the Methodists objected to their funds being used to provide the customary tot of rum for the workmen. Within a few years the interdenominational effort was abandoned and the place fell into ruin.

Christ Church, Quidi Vidi, St. John's
© 2003 Heritage Foundation
of Newfoundland and Labrador
(34 Kb)

It was once believed that the old church, dilapidated after only eight years, may have been incorporated into the new structure, but that now seems unlikely. The original design by James Purcell, the architect and builder, was cruciform, but has been modified by a series of additions. It was opened on 9 November 1842 as a chapel of ease for St. Thomas's Anglican Church. The present tower and bell were added around 1890. In 1930, New York film producer Varik Frissell used the interior of this church for the final scene of his historic film, The Viking, the first sound feature made in present-day Canada.

By 1966 modern transportation made the use of this chapel unnecessary and the Anglican Synod decided to demolish the building. The Newfoundland Historic Trust was formed to save the little church. The exterior was restored and the interior was renovated. Since 1971, Christ Church has had several uses, and is now a private residence.

Christ Church was designated a Registered Heritage Structure on March 27th, 2003 by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador.


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