The first Protestant Church to serve the Miramichi area was St. James, a Secessionist Church, built in 1790 at Wilson’s Point, now known as The Enclosure. As early as 1822, it was decided to relocate the church to the present location under the auspices of the Church of Scotland. Construction at the new site began in the spring of 1825, with a corner stone laid by Lieutenant Governor Sir Howard Douglas.

Kirk HallFormer Kirk hall. St. James and St. John in background.

Built by master builder William Murray in the Grecian architectural style, the church was still under construction when the Great Miramichi Fire swept through the area on October 7th and 8th, 1825. Destroyed by the fire, the church was rebuilt on the same site and completed in 1829-1830. Much of the old stone foundation was used in the reconstruction, as were many of the foundation sills. New sills to replace those that did not survive the fire were constructed with lumber harvested from the scorched remains of local forests. These sills have burn marks that are still visible today, a reminder of the devastation wrought by the great fire.

In 1926, with the formation of the United Church of Canada, St. John’s Methodist Church joined St. James’ Presbyterian Church to become the present St. James & St. John United Church.

Further Reading

You can  contact the church office for information about the following publications:

Rev D. F. Hoddinott, From Whence we Came, 1979. A history of St. James and St. John United Church.

Musical Notes, 2000. A history of the role of music at St. James and St. John United Church.

A Photojournal of Our Church and Our Church Family, 2004.

Our Voices, Our Songs, Our God! A CD of church music, recorded in 1999.