A Little History of the Parish of All Saints...
For many years Topsail was included in the Mission of Foxtrap and the Church of England congregations were served by visiting clergy from St. John's. As early as September, 1832, Thomas Martin Wood was made a Deacon by Bishop Inglis, and before the year was out he was appointed to the Charge of St. John's Outports, which at that time included Topsail and the other settlements on the south side of Conception Bay and Petty Harbour.
The first resident clergyman in Foxtrap was a Missionary - Benjamin Fleet, who came to Newfoundland and ordained Priest in 1842 by Bishop Spencer. After 4 years in the Burin Mission he moved to Foxtrap, where he died in 1876. Rev Fleet and his people built a first small chapel which was later replaced with a more pretentious one. It was said that he ordered men to sit on one side of the Nave and the woman on the other side. Between 1895 and 1911, Foxtrap and Topsail split.
In 1905 St. Peter's Church was built at Hopewell, but still remained part of the Foxtrap Mission. Rev. Caldwell came in 1904 as the Rector of the Foxtrap/Hopewell Mission and at that time the rectory was on the site, in Foxtrap, where the Queen Elizabeth High School used to stand on Lodge Road. On July 6, 1909, the rectory burned and he and his family went to live in Kelligrews to live in William James Tilley's house, which was later occupied by Mrs. Jessie Petten. In 1906, Rev. Caldwell, appointed two members for the Select Vestry from the communities of Long Pond, Foxtrap, Middle Bight, Kelligrews, Greeleytown and Peachytown. In 1912 the mission was extended to Indian Pond in Seal Cove. By 1923 there were 2,000 members.
In 1928 the Mission of Foxtrap was raised to a Parish status and was now known as the Foxtrap/Hopewell Parish. In 1928, emphasis was put on the parish for a new building and after three years of hard work, the congregation witnessed the completion of the new "All Saints Anglican Church", being corner stoned on June 8, 1931 and consecrated on October 31, 1937 on the eve of "All Saints" by Reverend H.V. Whitehouse. This church was built by William Henry Batten and a Mr. Stevens, both of Bareneed, Conception Bay, and with the exception of these two masters, the church was built by the hard work and free labour of the parish members.
In 1976, St. Peter's Mission became a separate parish to be known as the Parish of Upper Gullies (Hopewell), comprised of Upper Kelligrews, Upper Gullies, Seal Cove and Holyrood. This became official on August 31, 1976.
The current All Saints Parish Hall was opened in 1984.
Did You Know...
My Aunt, Mattie Jefford, remembers when the Church on Church Road was torn down. She said the women from around there stood around and sang "The Church is One Foundation" as the walls were comming down. - submitted by Enid Haines
When it was time for the bell to be put in the new church, our dad, Noah
Porter, transferred the bell by horse and skerrie from the old church situated on Church Road to it's new location where it sits today. He was only about 15 years old at the time. - submitted by Noah Porter's children
When my great-great-grandfather passed away in 1895, there was no Anglican Cemetery in Upper Gullies. Cemetery #1 on Church Road was open and his casket was brought down in a dory to Foxtrap and the mourners walked the beach to participate in the burial. - Cal Taylor
A labour of love by young women of the Church! - Rachel Tilley and Jessie Petten would walk out to the Church on Church Road to clean the boards floors: she remembers it as a fun time. They would fetch the water from next door.