Church History

St Pauls 1750

Ear­ly Begin­nings:

The church was estab­lished by the Roy­al procla­ma­tion of King George II in 1749, at the same time as the estab­lish­ment of the colony of Hal­i­fax.  Con­struc­tion began on the present St. Paul’s build­ing the fol­low­ing year, in 1750, with the colony’s first Gov­er­nor; Sir William Corn­wal­lis lay­ing the cor­ner­stone.  The struc­tur­al sup­ports and main com­po­nents of the build­ing were fab­ri­cat­ed and indi­vid­u­al­ly labelled in Boston, Mass­a­chu­setts and shipped up to Hal­i­fax for assem­bly.

With the end of the Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion­ary war, the Dio­cese of Nova Sco­tia was cre­at­ed in 1787, and St. Paul’s was des­ig­nat­ed as the cathe­dral for the new Dio­cese, the first Angli­can Cathe­dral out­side of Great Britain.  St. Paul’s would remain the cathe­dral for Dio­cese of Nova Sco­tia until 1864, and dur­ing this peri­od the Bish­op at St. Paul’s was respon­si­ble for all Angli­can church­es in Nova Sco­tia, New Brunswick, New­found­land, Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Que­bec and Bermu­da.

St Paul’s and Hal­i­fax:

From its’ cen­tral loca­tion on the South end of the Grand Parade, in the very heart of the new com­mu­ni­ty, St. Paul’s from its’ very begin­nings occu­pied a cen­tral place in the social, reli­gious and polit­i­cal fab­ric of the city of Hal­i­fax.  Many of the com­mu­ni­ties’ ear­ly promi­nent lead­ers and cit­i­zens are buried beneath the church, includ­ing five Lieu­tenant Gov­er­nors, and many polit­i­cal and mil­i­tary fig­ures.

In addi­tion to the approx­i­mate­ly twen­ty ear­ly parish­ioners buried beneath the church, St. Paul’s also hous­es the Roy­al Cana­di­an Navy’s offi­cial crypt, hous­ing the ash­es of sev­er­al of the RCN’s most promi­nent and dis­tin­guished Admi­rals.

ST. PAUL´S CHURCH has been des­ig­nat­ed by the Gov­ern­ment of Cana­da as a place of nation­al his­toric sig­nif­i­cance, part of the fam­i­ly of Nation­al His­toric Sites, one of more than 800 places across Cana­da which help define the impor­tant aspects of Canada’s diverse but com­mon her­itage and iden­ti­ty.