Early Years In Rossland
The Rev. C.W. Hedley began his ministry in Rossland in May, 1900, and in June of the following year, the site for the new church was purchased. After Mr. Hedley’s departure in 1903, he was succeeded by the Rev. J. Cleland who remained until 1907. After he left, services were conducted by a retired priest of the American Church, the Rev. W.W. Ayers.
In July of 1908, when the Rev. Harry W. Simpson arrived in Rossland, it was a thriving mining town of over 5,000 people. Mr. Simpson found the parish in a run-down condition and the original church near collapse. In the fall of that year, the long delayed work on the new church was started. The first service in the new church was celebrated on January 20, 1910. At the social gathering after the service, the rector was able to announce that due to the liberal help from many old timers who had known Father Pat and cherished his memory, the church was almost free from debt.
The church, situated on Columbia Ave., was visible from all over the city. On the gable, at the sanctuary end, stood a cross, some four feet high, which had been presented to Father Pat about a year after he came to Rossland, by some miners he had befriended. St. George’s Church was consecrated by the Bishop of New Westminster, the Right Rev. A.W. de Pencier, on October 10th, 1910.
When the Rev. D.S. Catchpole began his incumbency in Rossland in 1929, he was to find St. George’s Church in grave danger of slipping into the street. The work of restoration was begun three years later and the whole building was put on a proper foundation. By 1943, the total cost of this work had been raised from within the parish.