What some people see as an “old stone building” is actually a place of beauty.
After 170 years, it’s still standing without having any renovations since it was built in 1846. Located on the corner of Westmoreland and George Street, Ste. Anne’s Chapel of Ease sits strong and proud. This small chapel is a big piece of history and is one of Fredericton’s oldest buildings. The church was designated as a national historic landmark in 1989.
After opening the beautiful, large wooden door, you are greeted by stained glass windows, butternut wood pews and decoration, ornate craftsmanship of stone, and tile flooring. The chapel really is something one has to experience for themselves. Ste. Anne’s stained glass windows were purchased from Beers of Exeter and Warrington’s of London. The tiles of the main sanctuary were provided by Mr. H. Minton of Stoke-Upon-Trent to represent “the four evangelists” of Jesus’ apostles (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), while the tiles nearer to the front of the church (by the choir loft) were provided by the Ladies of Fredericton (a society). The intricate interior wood work was done by two men, Mr. Harding and Mr. Aiken. This includes the pews, the altar, the roof, and other interior woodwork.
Christmas, Easter, Sunday, and week-day services of days gone by were held in this small work of art. Visualize people young and old, male and female who worshiped in this small gathering place in past days. Imagine the prayers that were prayed for a dying family member in past epidemics, the prayers for a job in the Great Depression, or the prayers for a son/brother/husband on a far-away battlefield during both the World Wars. Imagine the weddings that took place- a man in a black and white suit with his bride is decorated in white lace and satin. Two people completely in love, ready to come together. Imagine the funerals of loved ones, saying goodbye for the last time. Imagine the baptisms of smiling babies, giggling as they are showered with holy water. Pure history.
In the early 1960’s, Ste. Anne’s added a new church to the property- Christ Church Parish Church. The newer church is used most, but parishoners wait patiently for summer, which is when Ste. Anne’s is usually used.
This year marks Ste. Anne’s 170th birthday. The mortar and stone are still standing strong. The building has obvious wear-and-tear, but its not exactly wear and tear, but more so character and heritage. This place is history; right in front of us.