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; Edward 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.
It was the appointment in 1787 of the first Bishop, Charles Inglis, as the Bishop of Nova Scotia that began the Diocese of Nova Scotia. St. Paul’s became his cathedral, the first Anglican Cathedral outside of Great Britain. St. Paul’s would remain the cathedral for the 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 the 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 community’s 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 columbarium, 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.