|In 1895, the people who lived and worked for the St. Anthony's Lumber Company in Whitney felt the need for a church in which to worship on Sundays. Prior to this, all denominations had used the schoolhouse. A subscription list was sent through the mill and lumber camp, and the men of the Methodist, Presbyterian and Anglican traditions responded generously. Mr. Whitney, owner of St. Anthony's Lumber, donated the lumber and the men's donations paid for the windows, doors and other building materials. Thus the 'Accommodation Church' was built. It would later be known as St. Anthony's after the company which provided much of the work for the people of the area.
The three denominations shared this community church and their children attended a single Sunday School for many years - an example of ecumenical co-operation which might be learned from today.
The Anglican congregation of St. Anthony's was part of the mission of Killaloe. The clergy would travel to Whitney by train to lead services. A portable altar (which could be put aside when not in use) was used so as to make the structure more acceptable to all the traditions. Mrs. Whitney donated the Communion Set which is still used weekly. In 1920 St. Anthony's was linked to the mission of Madawaska. In 1942 both were attached to the mission of Combermere, and formally incorporated in the Parish in 1956.
An ecumenical women's guild helped to provide funds for the maintenance of the church. In 1975 when the United congregation built it's own church, the women formed separate guilds. St. Anthony's guild is still working to financially support the church through catering and an
Many of the church furnishings including the marble font, oak altar, reredos, credence table and pulpit were gifted from St. Peter's parish in Ottawa. The bell is from Kars, Ontario and was installed in the tower in 1970. Shortly afterward vinyl siding was placed on the exterior of the church and bell tower, greatly improving its appearance and hopefully preserving it for many more years.
The small congregation of St. Anthony's, which has long roots into its past, meets every Sunday for worship.
For information on when services are held at St. Anthony's, Whitney, please see our Services page.