Saint Peter and Saint Paul Orthodox Church
Saints Peter and Paul Romanian Orthodox Church
Links and documents
1911/01/01 to 1911/12/31
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Saint Peter and Saint Paul Orthodox Church is a Municipal Heritage Property encompassing 4 ha of rural land approximately 30 kilometres southwest of the Town of Assiniboia. Situated prominently on a height of land, the property features a small wood-frame church built in 1911, a free-standing bell tower and a cemetery.
The heritage value of Saint Peter and Saint Paul Orthodox Church lies in its age and long association with the local Romanian-Canadian community. Built while many of its Romanian immigrant parishioners were still living in temporary homestead shelters, “Saints Peter and Paul Romanian Orthodox Church” was the district’s first church and, reputedly, its first wood-frame structure. Erected on donated land, with donated lumber, furnishings and labour, the church and substantial timber-frame bell tower speak to the importance the settlers placed on maintaining traditional religious practices in their new country.
The church hosted regular services for nearly half a century. Most community members were baptized and married in the church, and many have been laid to rest in the churchyard cemetery. Although the congregation moved to a new church in Assiniboia in 1958, they continued to worship periodically and celebrate special occasions at the old church. Extensive renovations completed in 1981 attested to the church’s ongoing importance to the community. Today, services are still occasionally held during summer months and the cemetery is still used. The community remains strongly committed to maintaining the property, which is highly esteemed as a link to the past and symbol of community identity.
Heritage value also resides in the historic integrity of the church’s interior, which retains much of its original materials and furnishings. The interior arrangement of vaulted ceiling, with nave and sanctuary separated by an iconostasis, reflects the church’s long-standing role as a place of Orthodox worship.
Rural Municipality of Stonehenge No. 73 Bylaw No. 10/03.
The heritage value of Saint Peter and Saint Paul Orthodox Church resides in the following character-defining elements:
-elements that are typical of an early-twentieth century rural church, including the building’s east-west orientation, simple form, wood-frame construction, and pointed-arch window openings;
-elements that express the property’s long-standing connection to the local Romanian-Canadian community, including the free-standing bell tower with its timber-frame construction; the position of the tower and church on their original sites; the grave markers and pattern of interments in the cemetery; the original church bell mounted and displayed next to the church; the donated bell in the bell tower; the round-domed cupolas on the peak of the church roof; and the Eastern European-style iron crosses on the cupolas and bell tower roof;
-elements that reflect the historic integrity of the church interior, including the spatial arrangement of vaulted ceiling, rear choir loft, and separated sanctuary and nave; period construction materials such wood doors and mouldings, and v-joint walls and ceiling; and original fixtures and furnishings, such as the highly decorated iconostasis, the altar table, and the candle holders, chandeliers and reading stands, many of which were handmade and donated by early congregants.
Local Governments (SK)
Heritage Property Act, s. 11(1)(a)
Municipal Heritage Property
1911/01/01 to 1958/12/31
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Religious Institutions
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Religious Facility or Place of Worship
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Mortuary Site, Cemetery or Enclosure
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Department of Culture, Youth and Recreation
Heritage Resources Branch
1919 Saskatchewan Drive Regina, SK
Cross-Reference to Collection