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Protestant churches: simple and elegant

If Catholic churches are remarkable due to the quantity and richness of their decoration, Protestant churches, on the other hand, are noticeable because of their elegance and simplicity.

Color photograph, long shot of side-view of a stone church surrounded by trees, with tombstones in the foreground.

St. Mary Anglican church, Hudson, 2017

In 1791, linguistic interpretation problems with regards to the delimitation of the border between Upper and Lower Canada resulted in the arrival of Protestant communities on the Vaudreuil-Soulanges territory. English settlers, who thought to be residing in the Lancaster township (Upper Canada), were very surprised to learn that they were in fact on the Nouvelle-Longueuil seigneury of Lower Canada.

Color photograph, long show of side-view of a small country stone church surrounded by trees and a cloudy sky.

Côte St. George Presbyterian church, Saint-Télesphore, 2003

This situation became quite disagreeable on both parts and escalated to violence. In 1830, the Upper Canada government pressured London to annex the territory of Vaudreuil-Soulanges. The large French-speaking population and division between the communities prevented this transfer. It was only in 1860 that provincial borders were officially established.

Old black and white photograph, long shot taken in winter, façade and side-view of a stone church and its square steeple.

St. James Anglican church in Hudson around 1940

As of the mid 19th century, the Scottish, Irish and English population grew in numbers on the territory. These communities established mainly on the Ontario border (old Nouvelle-Longueuil seignory and Newton township) as well as on the shores of the Lake of Two Mountains, more precisely, in Vaudreuil and Hudson.

Color photograph, long shot of church interior with a dome entirely sculpted out of wood, in the foreground, wood pews on each side of a main aisle, on the sides, colored stained glass windows, in the background, an atrium with multi-colored windows.

Interior of St. James Anglican church, Hudson, 2003

The oldest Protestant church built in the area is the St. James church in Hudson in 1842. It was followed by the Côte St. George Presbyterian church in Saint-Télesphore in 1866 and the Anglican St. Mary church in Hudson in 1867.

Color photograph, long shot of a red brick church facade with a steep sloped roof and square steeple, in the front, a sidewalk leads to a wood door on the righthand side of the building.

Wyman Memorial church (United Church of Canada) Hudson, 2003

These historical protestant churches are mainly distinguishable by their simple and modest interiors. They contain no statues or religious accessories. They are primarily decorated with varnished wood and colored stained-glass, and generally contain a large and imposing organ.

Built upon the British church models of the time, they display particular architectural features that contribute to the territory’s cultural landscape.

Color photograph, long shot of a church interior with exposed wood beams, in the foreground, wood pews holding red books, in the background, a large copper pipe organ.

Interior of Wyman Memorial church (United Church of Canada), Hudson, 2003