Fonds - Chalmers United Church (Vancouver, B.C.) fonds

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Chalmers United Church (Vancouver, B.C.) fonds

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  • 1899-1994 (Creation)
    Chalmers United Church (Vancouver, B.C.)

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Physical description

3.14 m of textual records;ca. 170 photographs;memorabilia

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Biographical history

Presbyterian work began with the founding of a Sunday School on the south side of False Creek on the Fairview slopes. It was established under the auspices of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in 1893 in a school house, which was also soon used for prayer meetings. In 1898, Westminster Presbytery initiated plans to organize Fairview as a mission station, and on March 1st, 1899, the Session of St. Andrew's met in the Fairview mission to constitute Fairview Presbyterian Church. It is likely that the first church building, on Seventh Avenue, was erected in 1898 or early 1899. The congregation grew rapidly, and in 1901, the name of the congregation was changed to Chalmers Presbyterian Church. By 1908, a larger church was needed, and property was secured on the corner of 12th Avenue and Hemlock Streets. In 1911 the construction began, and the new church was opened in August 1912. While it included a large sanctuary, it was also a social centre, with a gymnasium, swimming pool, and class rooms, as it aimed to be attractive to young people. In 1925, Chalmers Presbyterian entered church union, becoming Chalmers United Church. They did not join with any Methodist or Congregational church, and there was little conflict within the congregation. A minority of anti-unionist members did leave to form Fairview Presbyterian Church. A new gymnasium and Christian Education Centre was built in 1929. Its completion coincided with the beginning of the Great Depression, and the mortgage on the new facility provided a great challenge until it was finally cleared away in January 1947. While the Chalmers congregation grew in the post-war boom, the building itself was deteriorating. In the 1960s, the congregation membership declined, but responded by initiating programs such as the Social Club, and initiated the building of Chalmers Lodge, a seniors residence. With few young families in the area, the Sunday School closed in 1967. After various attempts to develop new visions and directions, the people of Chalmers United Church recognized that they did not have the energy to continue. The congregation held its closing worship service on June 26th, 1994.

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Scope and content

Fonds consists of the records of Chalmers United Church and its predecessors, Fairview Presbyterian Church and Chalmers Presbyterian Church. Records include Baptism registers (1910-1992), Marriage registers (1910-1992), Marriage registrations (1921-1944), and Burial registers (1959-1994); Membership records (1910-1991); Session minutes (1899-1994), Session membership records (1948-1969), and Session correspondence and reports (1937-1991), Board of Managers minutes (1900-1917), Stewards minutes (1948-1994), Stewards correspondence (1973-1990), and Stewards financial records (1972-1994), Official Board minutes (1929-1994), Official Board correspondence (1925-1994), and Official Board membership records and reports (1976-1992), Trustees minutes, correspondence and reports (1917-1992), Congregational meetings minutes (1901-1994) and reports (1990-1994), Building Committee minutes (1910-1912), Camp Committee correspondence and reports (1934-1944), Christian Education Committee minutes and correspondence (1957-1959), Ministry and Personnel Committee minutes (1987-1988), Music and Worship Committee minutes and correspondence (1958-1963), Nominating Committee minutes and reports (1989-1991), Pastoral Care Committee minutes (1990-1991), Pastoral Relations Committee correspondence (1956-1963), Program Committee minutes (1989-1991), Seniors Committee minutes (1987-1988), Stewardship Committee records (1969-1991), and Worship Committee minutes and correspondence (1988-1992). Records also include Ladies Aid minutes (1903-1916), Woman's Missionary Society minutes (1908-1946), Woman's Missionary Society membership records, financial records and reports (1924-1952), Woman's Guild minutes (1927-1937), Woman's Association minutes (1956-1961), United Church Women minutes (1962-1994), and financial records (1962-1985), United Church Women Naomi Unit minutes (1966-1986), and United Church Women Queen Elizabeth Unit minutes (1972-1976); Chalmers Men's Club minutes (1911-1920); Sunday School Teachers minutes (1959-1967) and correspondence (1955-1957); Canadian Girls in Training minutes (1943-1965); Chalmers 2001 Committee records (1960-1991); Rev. A. Allison Rogers correspondence (1963-1972), Rev. David Ewart correspondence (1989-1992), Subject File records (1939-1994); Worship Bulletins (1970-1994); Church History records and Memorabilia; Congregational financial records (1922-1979), Manse Fund financial records (1989-1994), Church Fund financial records (1993), H.R. MacMillan Fund correspondence (1972-1994) and Session Fund (1994); Annual reports (1915-1993), "Chalmers Courier" (Newsletters) (1963-1988), and Photographs.

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File list available. Online Finding Aid

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BCAUL control number: UCCBC-257

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