A Brief History of St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Princeton
St. Paul’s is one of three church congregations along with Christ Church, Oxford Centre, and St. John’s, Eastwood that form our Parish.
Anglicans in Princeton first worshiped in homes and then in the school. The Archives in the Toronto and Quebec dioceses show that the first St. Paul’s church was a white rough caste building built on Lot 14 on Highway 2. It stood about 300 m east of the present Princeton cemetery. The Lot was severed in April 1832 and although the records are not clear, if the building was not already in place, it would have been under construction then and probably opened in 1833. A former Archive’s worker believes the church could have been built much earlier and had served as a community church then. According to one former resident of Princeton, it was a frame church with a small cross on it.
The Reverend Canon William Bettridge the first Rector of Old St. Paul’s Woodstock is regarded as the founder of the Anglican Church in Princeton, as well as others throughout Oxford County. Our present St. Paul’s church was built in 1867 and was part of the Diocese of Huron formed just ten years before. It is a beautiful church graced by many memorial windows. The Parish Hall was built in 1971 and was dedicated by the Right Reverend Carmen Queen,
St. Paul’s for many years was a learning church for newly ordained transitional deacons and is proud that it was the first parish for two bishops – Bishop Carmen Queen and Bishop Jack Peck.
St. Paul’s in one form or another has served the Princeton community for over one hundred and eighty years. We have been involved in the community and continue to support the activities and charities of the town. St. Paul’s has been guided by the hand of God and always seeks the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in its worship and its mission. We welcome all who would want to join us in this tremendous adventure.