St. Alban the Martyr

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Annual UEL Church Service at Church of St. Alban the Martyr


St. Alban's Memorial Plaque

St. Alban's Memorial Plaque
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The Annual UEL Service continues the tradition of honouring the memory of Loyalist Settlers.

This service which is held each year at St. Alban's United Empire Loyalist Memorial Church, Adolphustown, at 2 p.m. on the Sunday closest to the June 16th, 1784, landing date of the Adolphustown Loyalists, continues the tradition of setting aside a day in the church calendar to honour the memory of Loyalist Settlers.

The next service will be held on Sunday, June 14, 2015, at 2 p.m. See the announcement for more details.

The cornerstone for this beautiful stone church west of Kingston, Ontario was laid in 1884 at the time of the Centennial Celebrations commemorating the 1784 landing of the Bay of Quinte Loyalists. Rev. Forneri, the minister who guided the building process of this memorial church, paid attention to every detail in his effort to ensure that the completed church would be a fitting tribute to all those Loyalists who, after the American Revolution, settled in the country that was to become known as Canada. He worked tirelessly to raise the necessary funds for the building, interior furnishings and decoration of the church but, as he wrote to a parishioner at the time, he did not intend to rest his labours until a thousand dollars had been set aside to ensure a yearly lecture could be given on the Loyalist theme to keep the story of the "brave Loyalists" fresh in our memory. There is no record that the fund was ever established and certainly it does not exist today, but the small number of parishioners of St. Alban's work hard and with the help of generous contributions from supporters, ensures a memorial service is held in the church each year on the Sunday closest to the landing date of the Adolphustown Loyalists.

The form of Evensong used at this Commemorative Service, with minor changes, is taken from the Book of Common Prayer of 1662. This was the book in use in the United Church of England and Ireland (the official name of the Anglican Church of Canada) in 1784. There was neither an Anglican Church of Canada nor an Episcopal Church specific to the American Provinces when the United Empire Loyalists came to Canada.

Mohawk Choir

Mohawk Choir
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The Reverend Father Bradley D. Smith, Chaplain of Christ Church, Her Majesty's Chapel Royal of the Mohawks, with the Rev. Joyce Blackburn

The Reverend Father Bradley D. Smith,
Chaplain of Christ Church, Her Majesty's
Chapel Royal of the Mohawks, with the
Rev. Joyce Blackburn
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Around the same time as the Adolphustown Loyalists arrived, a group of their Mohawk allies settled in nearby Tyendinaga. In affirmation of a shared past, the choir of Christ Church, Her Majesty's Chapel Royal of the Mohawks, often sings at the St. Alban's Memorial Service and their Chaplian, Father Bradley D. Smith, serves as cantor, which greatly adds to the beauty of the service. Traditionally the choir sings Faith of Our Fathers in the Mohawk language.

The next service will be held on Sunday, June 14, 2015, at 2 p.m. See the announcement for more details.

Inevitably each year a distinguished guest speaker describes how preparing for this talk has taken them on a journey of discovery as they explore our Loyalist heritage. All in attendance are presented with new insights and a renewed appreciation for the Loyalist experience, just as Rev. Forneri had intended when he initiated the idea of a yearly remembrance service featuring a distinguished guest speaker, so long ago.

A tea, complete with fine china tea cups, crystal punch bowls and flower bedecked tables, is held on the lawn of the old rectory next to the church, following the service. As pleasantries are exchanged those present always reaffirm that this service is a tradition well worth preserving.