Glebe-St-James is located on part of the 1837 Crown grant of 178 acres made out of Clergy Reserve lands to be “a Glebe to the Clergymen of the Church of Scotland”. (Glebe means land set aside in support of the Church.) The Glebe Trustees of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church were responsible for these lands. In 1894 the congregation of St. Andrew’s authorized a Glebe mission which started serving the next year with a Sunday School, located on Third Avenue. By 1905 the present building, at 650 Lyon St, was occupied with St. Andrew’s providing the new site and half the cost of construction. J.W.H. Watts was the architect. In 1898 he had designed the first St. Matthew’s Anglican Church, an attractive wooden structure which stood on First Avenue until demolished in 1930. The present Glebe-St. James organ was installed by Casavant Brothers in 1929.
St. James church also began with a Sunday School, held in 1908 and 1909 in Moreland’s Hall on Bank Street near Fifth Avenue. A permanent church home, at 175 Third Ave at Lyon, was commenced in 1913 and the basement occupied in 1915. Due to problems associated with the World War, the structure was not completed until 1924. The finely proportioned neoclassic building, designed by Col. Clarence Burritt, is now the Glebe Community Centre.
Zion United Church, founded as a mission of First Congregational Church (now First United) about 1896, built its church home at 91 Fourth Avenue. This congregation was disbanded in 1941 and most of the members joined Glebe or St. James. The Society of Friends now occupies part of the much-renovated Zion building.
In 1971, Glebe United and St. James United, joined together choosing the Glebe building to house the new congregation. Various furnishings and memorials from St. James may be found in the present sanctuary.
In 2002, the Glebe Montessori School undertook extensive renovations to the lower level of the church building. The church’s meeting and Christian Education facilities on the upper level were also updated.
Today The Glebe is regarded as one of Ottawa’s “most desirable” neighbourhoods. Glebe-St. James stands in the center of this community, a place of solice and service, worship and witness.
The United Church of Canada
Glebe-St. James is a congregation of The United Church of Canada, a union of Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational churches formed in 1925. In 1968, the Evangelical United Brethern became part of the fellowship.
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The Ottawa Presbytery of The United Church of Canada
The United Church is governed by a series of “councils” or “courts” which make decisions and guide the life of the denomination. Decisions are made (1) at the level of the congregation; (2) at Presbytery; (3) at Conference; (4) at the General Council.
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