St. Alban’s the Martyr Anglican Church - 010501
Located on the corner of 5th Street and Brink Street, St. Alban’s Church was built in 1891 and is the community of Ashcroft’s oldest church. The Church was built on the land of the Barnes Estate, at a total cost of five hundred dollars. These funds were raised, donated and collected by a committee consisting of Charles Semlin, Philip Parke, James Haddock and Walter Langley. The construction was completed in three months by carpenter William Higginbottom, who also did the interior work crafting the pews, railings and altar.
Rev. A. Ramsey McDuff from Ireland was St. Alban’s first Vicar, serving from 1892 until 1893. During the incumbency of Rev. Anstey Dorrell, from 1896 to 1910, articles were received from St. Alban’s in London, with the support of the Old Country Society. The Church bell was also purchased in England. Many of the other furnishings were donated by local community members.
Funds were again collected in 1949, and the church was redecorated. Mrs. J. L. Clark, wife of the vicar, designed and hand painted windows to give the effect of stained glass. Today, an original of these hand painted windows is on display in the Ashcroft Museum. In addition to the décor update, structural work began with sound absorbent Donnnaconna tiles replacing the dark brown woodwork of former years, new roofing of red duroid shingles and exterior paint completed the renovations.
Ashcroft’s hot sun took its toll on the painted windows and these began to fade. The windows were replaced with stained glass replicating the same theme as Mrs. Clarke’s hand-painted ones. In 1991, St. Alban’s celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the building with the addition of yet another stained glass window, this one featuring scenes of Ashcroft’s transportation past.
Many of the original furnishings remain in St. Alban’s, including the pews built by William Higginbottom. Artifacts of Ashcroft’s early churches may be viewed at the Ashcroft Museum, where you can view one of St. Alban’s earliest organs.