History

The original Anglican services were held in Britannia in 1886 sometimes on a cottage porch and sometimes outside among the pines. Later, in 1892, the original St. Stephen’s was built in Britannia Village through the efforts of Mr. A.N. McNeil. The Church building was consecrated 25 years later in 1916.

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St. Stephen’s Britannia (undated)

Until 1909 St. Stephen’s was part of the Nepean Mission along with All Saints Westboro and St. Matthias Hintonburg. It then became part of All Saints and yet later a joint parish with St. Martins, Westboro.

In 1952 the decision was taken to create a separate parish due to the growth of the Britannia area. A number of sites were considered before a final choice of the current Watson Street site was made.

The lower hall was built in 1953-54 and was used for services for 6 years with the Rev. Edwin Allsop as rector. At the same time a rectory was completed through the movement of an existing house to Watson Street. The old rectory was sold and the current rectory was constructed adjacent to the church in 1961 when the Rev. Eldon Davis was rector. In the following year the upper portion of the church building was added which allowed the lower hall to be used completely for a church school.

The success of the church school was such that the lower hall was found to be inadequate to hold the enrolment of 244 students. A bequest from Miss Mary Lark was used to provide the hall adjacent to the main church building in 1964. It was named after her as a memorial to her long association with the parish.

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St. Stephen’s (2010)

The Mary Lark Hall was the last major construction project financed through mortgages. All mortgages were retired in late 1989 with the formal consecration of the parish taking place in February 1990

Since then the Upper Mary Lark Hall has been renovated to accommodate Church School and a Montessori School by subdividing it into classrooms and the addition of an additional washroom.

The kitchen has also been completely renovated.

The worship space was renovated in the mid 1990’s to put Christ in the midst of the congregation. This 4-year process involved consultations with the parish members and outside consultants. The altar was moved forward to a central location and the seating was arranged to point inwards toward the altar. A wall was built approximately where the old communion rail was located and behind this wall new choir rooms, a chapel and a storage area were built. This renovation also included new lighting, carpeting, new paint and a professional sound system.

In 2006 the washrooms for the main hall were gutted and renovated resulting in a much needed increased capacity and handicapped availability.

In early 2015 a professional video system was installed to further enhance hands-free worship.