Click here to read article – A Brief History Of Grace Anglican Church by Kalvin Clark


Architect: John Turner:  Architectural features to note:   The original portion of this Church building is a front gable, with a modern metal roof.   Six Bay walls of clerestory and the aisle walls are separated by stepped brick buttresses with stone caps, front façade corners and chancel corners have diagonal buttresses.   The exterior walls are constructed in white brick lain in the Flemish bond pattern; stone crucifix and arch door head.   The east transept has a diagonal corner wall – the finial sit in stone coping on the tops of gable walls.   When the Bell Tower was added, the original gable roof and the pointed arch door porch on Albion Street were likely moved to the West Street (east aisle) entrance and reconstructed.    The west aisle entrance is very similar with diagonal buttresses but with a four centre with a pointed arch doorway that has been bricked-in which rises in a concave, ribbed arch to the east gable corner.   A modern building connects the west transom with the Parish Hall.   When the new church was erected and the frame one was moved to the rear, next to Pearl Street, services were held in it while the new brick edifice was being built.

  • 1 – Bell  Tower:  Building permit #5328 “Owner” Grace Church – brick tower for chimes; 1913; $40,000 – Given by Col. Reuben Leonard, a Brantford boy, in honor of his parents, his father Francis Henry Leonard and mother Elizabeth Leonard.  Francis Henry Leonard was at one time the Reeve of Brantford Township and warden of Brant County.  He was also a warden of Grace Church for 5 years.  Reuben Leonard was a civil engineer who worked at times for the CPR.  He also was involved in prospecting for silver and cobalt.   The stonework of the exterior walls is broken range work (likely sandstone), four octagonal, smooth cut stone pinnacles rise from diagonal stone buttresses at each corner.   Coupled belfry windows have wooden louvers, pointed arch heads and tracery, much like those of the original church.   The main front window is a large 14th Century Gothic tracery style, buttress base, course smooth-cut stone with curved profile.   The cut stone dedication block at the base exterior of the Tower reads: “This Tower and peal of bells is the gift of Reuben W. Leonard, an offering of praise and thanksgiving to God for Victory in this year of Grace.”   The inscription is a Chronogram, by which the date is given, though hidden.  The tower was officially opened with appropriate ceremony in 1918 after the signing of the Armistice which ended the First World War.  The Bell Tower doors weigh over 400 pounds and there are 72 steps from the street to the midlevel playing hall and 75 wooden steps from this level to the roof.   The Tower is approximately 110 feet high.  Since June 7, 1939 on the visit of their Majesties, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth to this city, the church has had visitors from all over the world.  The chimes are made up of ten bells, the largest one weighing 3500 lbs.  They were manufactured in London, England, by Mears and Stanibank and were intended primarily not for playing tunes, but for pealing and change-ringing.  Swinging a peal of bells requires a tower of greater strength and 450 feet of rope is needed to ring these ten bells.  The total weight of the bells is 14,815 pounds.  The chimes were installed in the tower late in August 1915. 
  • 2 – Baptistry and Leonard Window:  The Te Deum Window, “holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty. Blessing and honor and glory and power be unto him that sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.  Thou art the King of Glory, O Christ, Thou are the everlasting Son of the Father.” In this window is represented a scene such as that envisioned by John in the book of Revelation.   Christ sits enthroned, his hand, holding a star, raised in blessing.   In front of Christ are seven flaming torches representing the seven spirits of God.   Around him fly several angles and at the bottom of the window are depicted three of the archangels-Gabriel, Michael and Raphael.  Revelation 4: 1-11.
  • Other Notable Items in Baptistry – Baptismal Font: “All thy children shall be taught of the lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children”  reflects the importance of infant baptism of the day.  Litany Desk – dedicated by Alexander Hardy in memory of his wife, Mary Elizabeth Curtis.  Memorial Plaques – honoring the relatives of Reuben Leonard. 
  • 3 – Johns Window:  Dorcas full of good works and alms deeds, which she did.”   Dorcas (or Tabitha) was well known among Christians in the city of Joppa for her acts of charity and kindness.  When she died, the apostle Peter was sent for and when he came he raised her from the dead.  Acts 9: 26-42.   In memory of Hannah Phyllis Johns.  Mr. Johns had “Johns the Movers” and lived at the northeast corner of Dufferin Ave. and St Paul Ave.
  • 4 – West Street Door – North Narthex:  White window crests of the Anglican Church of Canada & the Diocese of Huron.  In memory of Bertha A. Whitehead by her husband T.H. Whitehead who was a warden in 1926.
  • 5 – Cockshutt Window:  And he said unto them, he that hath ears let him hear.”   Jesus preaching from a boat at the side of the sea tells the parable of the mustard seed finishing with this quote.  Matthew 13: 1-9.   In memory of Wm. Foster Cockshutt and his wife Minnie Turner Ashton.  He was the son of Ignatius Cockshutt who had a hardware and grocery store and was shipper of grain and produce.  He was also a member of parliament.
  • 6 – Frank Window: A Centurion who was worthy: not so great a faith.”  A Centurion comes to Jesus seeking healing for his servant.   His faith is so great that he does not expect Jesus to come to his home, believing that Jesus only has to say the word of healing and the servant will be healed.   Jesus is so impressed with the Centurion’s faith that he does as he asks.   Luke 7: 1-10.   In memory of Frederick William Frank, given by the citizens of Brantford and members of Grace Church.  Frederick Frank was Water Commissioner City of Brantford, and Warden of Grace Church for 12 years, 1906-1917.
  • 7 – Memorial Plaques
  • 8 – Stewart Window: He went about doing good.” Jesus is depicted in one of the many instances where he heals the sick and infirm.   The quotation is from a sermon preached by the apostle Peter.   Acts 10: 34-43.   Given by J.S. Hamilton, a vintner of wine. (St. Augustine communion wine) in Brantford and Pelee Island in memory of his wife, parents and infant daughter.
  • 9 – Memorial Plaques
  • 10 – Bishop Window: He is risen.  He is not here.”   The women have come to Jesus’ tomb to anoint his body as was the burial custom of the time.   Instead of Jesus’ body they find an angel who tells them that Jesus is risen.   Mark 16: 1-6.   In memory of John Bishop and his wife Margaret Susan by their son Francis John Bishop, who was warden of Grace Church for 7 years 1912-1918.
  • 11 – Memorial Plaques of fallen soldiers:   Prior to the establishment of this parish in 1830, Church of England supporters worshipped in the Mohawk Chapel, the first Protestant Church in Upper Canada.   During the past 178 years our parish family has reflected, in a variety of ways, the growth and development of this community.   Contributing in the sacrifices of two World Wars, support for the refugees from Armenia and continuing to build a faith community which now faces new challenges, requiring much courage, trust and faith in the power of the Holy Spirit. 
  • 12 – Memorial Plaques
  • 13 – Piano:  8 ‘ Steinway Concert Piano – eight keys short of a full keyboard – built in New York on March 21st, 1870.
  • 14 – Greer Window: Abide with us for it is toward evening: the day is far spent.”   On the day of his resurrection, Jesus appears to two disciples on the road to Emmaus.   The disciples invite him to eat with them but do not recognize him until he breaks bread with them.   Luke 24: 13-35.   In memory of Archibald Greer, former Manager of the Bank of Montreal, his wife Sarah and daughter Mary.   He was chairman of the building committee in 1856 when this church was built.
  • 15 – Regimental Colors and Flags – Display of Artifacts in Cabinet:  — Flags deposited for safe keeping by the 125th Battalion and by the Maude MacDonald Chapter of the I.O.D.E.
  • 16 – Altar:   On November 30, 2003, the parishioners of Grace and St. Stephen’s came together to form a One Faith Community, worshipping here at Grace Church.  Tapestries have subsequently been hung in the Grace Church Sanctuary and most of the holy vessels, candlesticks, lecturns, and altar have been relocated and are used in Grace.
  • 17 – Lecturn:    In memory of Gladys Hardy Starr, by Hon. Senator A. C. Hardy
  • 18 – Carvings:  – at the chancel steps – The early church fathers saw the four faces of the four living creatures in the book of Revelation as representations of the four gospels in the New Testament.  Quite often, on church banners or in stained glass, you will see the four gospels pictured as the four faces or forms of Matthew as a lion (representing Jesus’ royalty), Mark as an ox (Jesus’ servant-hood), Luke as a man (Jesus’ humanity), and John as an eagle (Jesus’ deity). 
  • 19 – Pulpit:  The pulpit was dedicated in memory of Rev. R. H. Starr, rector from 1874 – 1879.  There is not too much recorded about Rev. Mr. Starr, except to say that in 1879 he resigned after having become much interested in the work of the church in the United States.  He died in New York City in 1926.  To his memory this handsome pulpit was erected as a memorial tribute from Mrs. Starr.
  • 20 – Altar Window: I ascend unto my Father and your Father.”   40 days after his resurrection, Jesus ascends to take his rightful place in Heaven.   Note that there seem to be 12 disciples – there were, in fact, only 11 disciples at the time of the Ascension.  The 12th figure, with the golden halo and the blue gown depicts the Virgin Mary.  This window given by Wm. Yates, Senior executive of Grand Trunk Railway.  He is known for building “Wynarden” or Yates Castle, a Brantford residence near the train station.  He was a close friend of Canon Usher after whom he named the street in front of his house “Usher Street”. 
  • 21 – Choir Stalls:  The Bunnell Family are long standing members of Grace. 
  • Other Chancel Notables:  The Chancel Railings, the Communion Rail, the Prayer and Reading Desks, Sanctuary Lights – among many other memorial gifts given in love by their families.  Please note that the Processional Cross was given by the Sergeants of the Dufferin Rifles of Canada.
  • 22 – The Reredos: From the Wikipedia definition, a reredos (also spelled raredos) is a screen or decoration behind the altar in a church, usually depicting religious iconography or images. It can be made of stone, wood, metal, ivory, or a combination of materials. The images may be painted, carved, gilded, composed of mosaics, and/or embedded with niches for statues. Sometimes a tapestry is used, or other fabric such as silk or velvet.  Our reredos was given in honor of the Rev. G. C. Mackenzie who was rector from 1879 – 1917 – exceeding the length of service of any rector at Grace, so far.  Rev. Mackenzie was not content with the active supervision of his own parish, but was the prime mover in the establishment of St. James, (Terrace Hill):  St Paul’s, (Holmedale):  and St. John’s, (West Brant) – all handed over to the Diocese free of debt.  These were some of the material achievements but who can compute the value of the kind counsel, affectionate regard for less fortunate and active concern for all in trouble and distress.  He was said to have had “an uplifting buoyancy in his religious faith – qualities which rightly endeared him to not only his congregation but also to the community at large”.   He resigned on his 80th birthday and the congregation of Grace put in the reredos in 1917.  The two carved figures – one male and one female – our insight is that they may be the earthly parents of our Lord – but that is just an educated guess.
  • 23 – Organ:  In 1867 our organ was two manual and pedal built by Marshall Co. of the U SA.  In 1906 Casavant Freres moved and installed the Organ (with some additions) to the chamber on the Epistle side of Chancel.  In 1951 it was rebuilt and expanded by Keats Organ Co.  A new console and some additions including the positive division were the extent of this renovation.  In 1968 there was repair to choir chest by Neutel Organ Co.  In 1975 there was a fire in the church and the organ was cleaned and refurbished by Keates Organ Co.  In 1987 there were limited renovations by Dubay Organs Ltd.  The console was rebuilt to solid state, rebuilding of wind reservoirs, four new stops and a general cleaning and re-felting of stopped ranks.  In 1979, 25 deacon chimes were added – dedicated in memory of Edgar A. Wray, father of John Wray.
  • 24 – Chapel Window (Shadbolt):  Suffer the little children.”  When children approach Jesus when he is teaching one day, the disciples try to shoo them away, but Jesus calls the children to him.  Mark 10: 13-15.  This window was given in memory of Mary H. Shadbolt, daughter of E. M. Shadbolt, who was a manager of the Bank of Montreal.
  • The Chapel – note quilts made by Susan Clark – one of her earlier creations hangs in the chapel and the quilt in the hall just outside of the chapel door is also the work of Susan.  Susan created this quilt as a fundraising idea for the “Lift / Accessible” project.  The chapel is used on Wednesday mornings at 10 a.m. when we celebrate the Eucharist.
  • 25 – Starr Window:  This window shows “the Epiphany” – the visit of the wise men to Jesus, Mary and Joseph.   The wise men pay homage to Jesus as the King of the Jews and present him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  Matthew 2:1-12.  This window was given by Rev. Reginald H. Starr and Mrs. Starr in memory of their son.
  • 26 – Cabinet for Altar Frontals and Memorial Plaques:  — The frontals of the altar are kept in this case.  Depending on the church season, the Altar Frontals are changed.  This cabinet was built from the pews that used to be here.  When the Accessibility / Lift project used part of the sacristy to accommodate the lift shaft, the frontals were moved to this area.  The sacristy was also renovated at this time with custom designed cabinets for the linens.
  • 27 – Hutchinson Starr Window: “Christ’s First Miracle,” The Wedding at Cana.   In this window is illustrated the first miracle that Jesus performed which was at a wedding feast.   The host had run out of wine and, at his mother’s urging, Jesus changed large containers of water into fine wine. John 2:1-12.  Given by Rev. Reginald H. Starr, our third Rector, in memory of his wife, Ruth Hutchinson Starr.
  • 28 – Memorial Plaques
  • 29 – Bunnell Window: This window shows “the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple”.   It was required by Jewish law that all first-born males be brought to the temple where a sacrifice was made on their behalf.   When Mary and Joseph bring Jesus to the temple, they are met by an elderly man and woman, Simeon and Anna.   Simeon and Anna give thanks for the birth of Jesus and prophesy over him   Luke: 2:22-28.  Given in memory of Enos and Cornelia Bunnell.   Enos was one of those to whom the land for the church was conveyed prior to the erection of the first church.   Enos Bunnell built the 2nd cabin at Brant’s Ford and was involved in the Grand River Transportation Company, which conveyed grain by boat from Brantford to Buffalo and was a warden in 1866.   His son Arthur Kennedy Bunnell gave the window.  Arthur was 8 years City Alderman, 35 years Treasurer of the City of Brantford and established Bunnell Hitchon Insurance and Accountancy Business.   The Bunnells were grandparents of Cynthia Bunnell and Babs Norsworthy of our parish (now deceased but are in our recent memory as active church women).
  • 30 – Memorial Plaques
  • 31 – Reville Window: “All that hear him were astonished at his understanding”.   When Jesus was twelve years old, he traveled with Mary and Joseph to Jerusalem for the Passover celebrations.   When they began the trip home. Neither Mary nor Joseph realized at first that Jesus was not with them.   They returned to Jerusalem and found him in the Temple in deep discussion with the learned religious teachers.  Luke 2: 41-52.  The window is in memory of Ralph Reville, a pioneer in golf journalism and a member of the Golf Hall of Fame.
  • 32 – Coronation Hanging:  This hanging of embroidered gold was given to St. Stephen’s Anglican Church, the first church consecrated to commemorate the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
  • 33 – Bodley Window: “And straightway they forsook their nets and followed him”.   When Jesus begins to call to him, the twelve disciples, among the first that he calls are Andrew and his brother Simon, (later called Peter.)   Jesus calls to them saying that now they are to “fish for people.”  Without hesitation, Simon and Andrew follow.   Matthew 4: 18-22 and Mark 1:16-20.   This window is in memory of Frederick Charles Bodley who was an architect of many buildings and schools in Brantford.  The Board of Education honored him by naming a school after him.
  • 34 – Armenian Plaque:  The Armenian refugees were welcomed here at Grace and they, in turn, made Grace their church community.
  • 35 – Bennett Window:Sing praises unto the Lord.”   St. Cecilia the patron saint of music is pictured in this window playing an organ.  The window is in memory of Mary Ella Bennett.
  • 36 – Albion Street Door – South Narthex: The crests of the Diocese of Huron, the Canadian Military Chaplain Service and of Wycliffe College (the University of Toronto) adorn this window in honor of the Ven. F.R. McRitchie, a former rector of Grace Church. 
  • Other Notables in South Narthex:  Tombstones of Reuben Leonard 12.26.1836 and G Wells 12.22.1875. 

The land adjoining the first church was used as a cemetery, so many of the bodies were re-interred close to the building while some were taken to Greenwood Cemetery.   Only one remains under the church; that of a Mr. Richardson, father of Mrs. Henry Racey.  It was Mr. Racey who, in 1852, established “The Expositor” in Brantford.  On May 13, 1872 a motion was passed forbidding any more burials in the church grounds. 

Please feel free to respectfully peruse the gravestones.

We hope you enjoyed your tour and your visit with us and some of our history.

We welcome you graciously.