Sackville Methodist/United Church

Sackville Methodist/United Church
112 Main Street, Sackville, N.B.
1875 – 2015
Methodism was brought to the Sackville area by Yorkshire settlers in the 1770s and a Methodist chapel built in Middle Sackvile in 1790 was among the first Methodist churches in Canada. In 1818 a Lower Sackville Methodist chapel was built at the corner of Bridge and Main (the site now occupied by the Powell Block). Growth in numbers led to the building of a church across the road at “Crane’s Corner” in 1838. To accomodate greater numbers, including Mount Allison University students, this was replaced by a large new church built in 1875. This in turn underwent a major enlargement in 1898 designed by noted New Brunswick architect H.H.Mott with the addition of a balcony and two large transcepts. A special feature of the building was the four round stained glass “rose” windows.
Historical marker placed by Town of Sackville,
in 1999.
In place until the demolition of the building
in September 2015.

On this site a small chapel became the fourth Methodist worship site in Sackville. The present building was dedicated on October 8, 1875, replacing the earlier chapel. In 1898, an extensive enlargement and renovation brought this church into its present form. The formation of the United Church of Canada from a union of the Methodist, Congregational and part of the Presbyterian Congregations in Canada occurred in 1925. This church then became the Sackville United Church. In 1927, the church parlours were added to the rear of this building through the efforts of the then Ladies Aid Society, later renamed the United Church Women. Finally a splendid Casavant pipe organ was installed in 1928.
Demolition in progress 9 September 2015


For a number of years the congregation of Sackville United Church struggled with problems of declining numbers, financial difficulties and the deterioration of the church building. Finally, in 2012 they accepted an offer by which Lafford Realty became owners of the church building and surrounding property while they acquired the adjacent former Sackville Town Hall along with a financial settlement which enabled them to repurpose that building as the new home of Sackville United Church.
Lafford Realty agreed to take no action regarding the Methodist/United Church building while local groups explored the possibility of restoring and repurposing it possibly as some kind of community centre. Despite fervent pleas from many in Sackville and beyond no group was able to raise the large amount of money which would have been required. Accordingly, in 2014 Lafford Realty applied to the Town of Sackville Heritage Board for a demolition permit, arguing that the cost of their repurposing the building for use condos would be prohibitive.

The Board debated the application for several months and finally in March 2015 issued a demolition permit. After an appeal against this decision was denied demolition of the building commenced on 8 September 2015. A number of the stained glass windows were salvaged including one of the rose windows. Also saved were the pews and other woodwork as well as the Casavant pipe organ.

Lafford Reality are currently erecting a four-storey building on the site with commercial properties on the ground floor and one-bedroom apartments on the upper three. Since the site lies within the Town of Sackville Municipal Heritage Conservation Area A plans for the new building had to be approved by the Heritage Board.

Final stages of demolition 10 September 2015


For the church as an example of the Gothic Revival architectural style see

Sackville Heritage Architecture Style Guide Section 3: GOTHIC REVIVAL.

Jackson, K. and C.Scobie, Sackville Then and Now: New Brunswick’s Oldest Town in Photographs (Sackville: Tantramar Heritage Trust, 2013), pp.61-63.

For an illustrated article on the demolition of the church see Historic Sackville United Church Demolished Sackville Tribune-Post 16 September 2015, p.3.

History of Sackville Methodist/United Church:

Penner, Peter, The Chignecto ‘Connexion’; The History of Sackville Methodist/United Church, 1772-1990 (Sackville, N.B.: Sackville United Church, 1990).

Dixon, F.A., Historical Sketch of the Methodist Church Sackville N.B. (Sackville, N.B.: December 1st, 1940).

? Matthews, Centennial Remembrances of The United Church Sackville, New Brunswick (Sackville, N.B.: no date – c. 1966-1970?).

“The Old Made New: The Methodist Church Reopened Sunday,” Chignecto Post, 13 December 1898.

Tantramar Heritage Trust | Historic Sites