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St. Helen's Anglican Church

Grahamdale, Manitoba, R0C, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2003/12/17

Primary elevations, from the southwest, of St. Helen's Anglican Church, Fairford, 2007; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 2007
Primary Elevations
Contextual view, from the northwest, of St. Helen's Anglican Church, Fairford, 2007; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 2007
Contextual View
Interior view of St. Helen's Anglican Church, Fairford, 2007; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 2007

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1917/01/01 to 1917/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/05/27

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

St. Helen's Anglican Church, built in 1917, is a modest wood-frame structure situated just south of the Fairford River on municipal land surrounded by the Pinaymootang First Nation. The municipal designation applies to the building, the adjacent cemetery, the foundation of an earlier church and the grounds they occupy.

Heritage Value

St. Helen's Anglican Church, located on the site of the first Anglican mission to the Fairford area between lakes Manitoba and St. Martin, established in 1842 by Rev. Abraham Cowley, has important connections to missionary activity among First Nations peoples in Rupert's Land (later Manitoba). The building, a modest interpretation of Gothic Revival styling common to early Anglican churches in the province, was erected within the stone foundation of a previous log structure (1862), which in turn had replaced the mission's original church damaged in a major flood. The handsome building is a local landmark, valued by its congregation for its ongoing expression of more than 160 years of religious life in the community.

Source: Rural Municipality of Grahamdale By-law No. 923-2003, December 17, 2003

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the heritage character of the St. Helen's Anglican Church site include:
- its location east of Highway 6 on a small parcel of municipal land on the south bank of the Fairford River, surrounded by the Pinaymootang First Nation
- the building's east-west placement within the cemetery, with grave markers on all sides
- the stone foundation of the 1862 church, about 21 metres long and nine metres wide, within which the current church is situated

Key exterior elements that define the church's modest Gothic Revival style include:
- the simple boxy shape, of wood-frame construction, with a wide nave under a moderately pitched gable roof and a lower double-door porch with a catslide roof
- the small louvred belfry, topped by a Latin cross and pyramidal roof, over the west end
- the fenestration composed of pointed arched sash windows with simple Y-tracery along the side walls, triple lancet windows on the east wall and horizontally oriented rectangular openings on the porch and main facade
- the unpretentious materials and finishes, including horizontal wood siding painted a light colour, contrasting dark-coloured trim around openings and on corner boards, etc.

Key elements that define the church's interior include:
- the simple layout with a small vestibule leading to the broad, bright nave
- the modest materials and finishes, including narrow tongue-and-groove boards, painted white, on the walls and ceiling, etc.




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (MB)

Recognition Statute

Manitoba Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Site

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Philosophy and Spirituality

Function - Category and Type


Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Institution


Religion, Ritual and Funeral

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

RM of Grahamdale 23 Government Road Box 160 Moosehorn MB R0C 2E0

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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