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Birsay United Church

1st Street East, Coteau RM 255, Saskatchewan, S0L, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1997/01/10

View sanctuary from the nave.; Mike Fedyk, 2007.
Interior view of the Birsay United Church, 2007.
View of the main entrance and bell tower.; Mike Fedyk, 2007
Northeast view of the Birsay United Church, 2007.
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1928/01/01 to 1928/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/08/01

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Birsay United Church is a Municipal Heritage Property located on First Street East in the Hamlet of Birsay in the Rural Municipality of Coteau No. 255. The property features a one-storey, red-brick church built in 1928.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Birsay United Church lies in its continuous use as a place of worship since its construction. Alternating Methodist and Presbyterian services commenced in Birsay in 1908 and these congregations were combined in 1925 with the creation of the United Church of Canada. In 1927, planning started for the building of a new church. The congregation raised $14,000 and hired Regina architect F. H. Portnall to design the church and Regina contractor John Spray to build it. Construction was completed in 1928 and regular services, Sunday school classes, funerals, weddings, and baptisms have taken place at the church ever since.

The heritage value of the property also lies in its historical integrity. The building features a pressed face-brick veneer and the interior fittings are hardwood. The church also features a number of interior decorative features and there have been no significant structural or interior changes to the building since construction.

The heritage value of the building also lies in its architecture. The church features a Gothic Revival influence. The building’s interior is shaped in the form of a cross and features a rare pyramidal ceiling with tiled-hardwood veneer, which contributes to the church's excellent good acoustics.

The heritage value of the Birsay United Church also lies in its status as the dominant landmark in the Hamlet of Birsay. The Church is the oldest and the most architecturally elaborate building in the community.


Village of Birsay Bylaw 1-1997.

Character-Defining Elements

The heritage value of the Birsay United Church lies in the following character-defining elements:
-those elements that reflect the property’s history of operating continuously as a place of worship and its status as a landmark since its construction, such as its position on its original location;
-those elements that reflect the property’s historical integrity, such as the red-brick veneer, original windows and glass, choir stall, hardwood floor, interior hardwood decorative features, original curved pews and the pyramidal ceiling with tiled-hardwood veneer;
-those elements that reflect the property’s Gothic Revival architecture, such as its gable roofs and bell tower;
-those elements that reflect the property’s status as a community landmark, including its position on its original location.




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (SK)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act, s. 11(1)(a)

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


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

Architect / Designer

F.H. Protnall


John Spary

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Department of Culture, Youth and Recreation Heritage Resources Branch 1919 Saskatchewan Drive Regina, SK File: MHP 1860

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

MHP 1860



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