All Saints Anglican Church, Cannington Manor, turns 127 years old this month and is in serious need of restoration. This historic church, the only original building remaining in what was once the bustling village of Cannington Manor, was built in 1884 and consecrated in 1885.
A few years ago, upon opening the church in the spring, a healthy crop of toadstools were discovered growing inside the church. Since then, they have been searching for ways and means to restore this historic place of worship.
All Saints has been in continuous use for 127 years, serving the community. In addition to its Anglican designation, it has been home to weddings and funerals that cross denominational barriers. The south part of the cemetery was consecrated for Roman Catholic burial, and the oldest grave in the cemetery is that of Charles Rushbrooke, on whose behalf a Roman priest was found and brought to Cannington to conduct the rite of burial.
In 2009 All Saints received designation as a Saskatchewan Heritage Property. This year, Sask Heritage has approved a grant to match our $10,000 "nest egg" and we have been fortunate to secure the services of a restoration specialist who will start work later this month. Necessary repairs include: (1) replacing broken and missing louvres on bell tower, install cedar shingles and felt on all roof surfaces and repairs to roof deck - $10,000 plus GST; (2) replace interior valley beams and re-cover with existing trims, repair water damaged structures at valley bases as needed and re-cover to retain original appearance, install a proper concrete support for interior pillars - $3,600 plus GST; (3) lift building a proposed 6" for exterior drain-grade and to relieve high-centering in seating area, provide temporary support for pillars - $11,000 plus GST; (4) make repairs to siding, replacing as needed - $1,000. This work alone will cost $26,880. Upon completion, we will install new eavestroughs. Other important repairs include painting inside and out, landscapging to direct water away from the building, replacing the antiquated furnace with electrical heaters. In addition, once the church has been restored, we hope to find an affordable way to repair some of the old gravestones and have new markers made for unmarked graves.
This is a daunting task for a small congregation, even with government assistance. We are kicking off fund raising activities on Saturday, June 25th with a concert by the Hints of Harmony at 7:00 p.m. in the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Chapel, Village of Kenosee Lake. We hope for an enthusiastic response. Other events are being planned, including a letter writing campaign to present and former parishioners.
So many people across Canada and beyond have fond associations with Cannington and are proud to call themselves part of our community of faith. We feel confident that many will respond generously to this long-neglected and much-needed restoration project so that beautiful All Saints Church may continue to be, not just part of our history and part of our heritage, but part of our future.