Our Church

Welcome to St. James United Church, a living church situated in a vibrant community with over two hundred years of history. Located on unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq First Nation, the church has parallelled the history of the town of Antigonish and area.

Our Church Building
In 1804 a simple 26’ by 30’ log structure called Dorchester Presbyterian Church served as a Presbyterian meeting place for worship and burials. The community also used it for a school and a courthouse. Our first minister, the Scottish born Rev. James Munro, deeded the land on which the church is standing. The current church is actually the third structure built on this site.

It was opened and dedicated in 1862. One can see the Gothic Revival style popular in the mid-1800’s in the steep gabled roof. From strong Scottish Presbyterian roots, the church thrived and grew. In 1889, it was given the name of St. James. In 1925 the congregation joined the new United Church of Canada and became St. James United Church.

In the 1950’s a gymnasium was added for youth. In the 1970’s an educational wing was built. The whole building was updated in 2013 making it accessible and multi purpose.

Our Congregation
Our congregation’s story is depicted on three large murals in the entrance to the church. These were painted by local artist Andrew Murray to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the congregation. The first panel holds rich symbols such as cloud formations suggesting the Old World, a violin for the music heritage, and a tiny scroll on which the names of 10 early families are written. The second panel depicts symbols from the three traditions of the United Church:

The Dove from the Methodists, the Bible from the Congregationalists, and the Burning Bush from the Presbyterians, as well as the United Church of Canada Crest. The third panel has an apple tree and rolling fields to show our Nova Scotia agricultural heritage, along with the provincial crest, flower and the Antigonish town tartan. The ever present coastline and sea connecting communities and continents appears in all three panels.

We continue to thrive as a faith community known for our hospitality and openness to all backgrounds. Through St.F. X. and The Coady Institute we welcome the world and the local community to Sunday worship and numerous functions throughout the year.