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Old Stone Church National Historic Site, Beaverton

June 5, 2024

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church (1840), the Old Stone Church, Beaverton

By Guy Scott

The Old Stone Church, located between Beaverton and Argyle in Ontario, is recognized officially as a national treasure. Begun in 1840, it fell victim to the Great Presbyterian Disruption of 1844 when Presbyterians across British North America divided into two rather hostile camps, the reformist Knox group and the opposing St. Andrew’s contingent. Finally, in the 1850s, the interior pine pews, complete with door aisle side, were in place. Congregants walked or rode long distances to hear services in Gaelic and English. Hymns were sung unaccompanied by organ or piano. Eventually the congregation moved into a new church in Beaverton, using the Old Stone Church on special occasions.

About 20 years ago, the building was carefully restored to its 1840 splendid simplicity (though the heritage architect from Toronto must have supposed that Robertson screws date from the 1840s!). Its 2024 schedule includes Easter Sunrise Service, services on the first Sundays of June, July, August and September, and Decoration Day on August 18. It’s worth a visit.

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