Alcove, Quebec

Alcove United Sunday School Room Sanctuary



The Alcove United Church was built in 1889 on land donated by Mary Edey Pritchard, for a ‘Methodist’ Church.  In 1925, the Methodists, many Presbyterians and Congregationalists united together to form The United Church of Canada, and the Alcove congregation enthusiastically joined them.

The building itself has a foundation of natural stone and limestone and the original wooden floor was eventually covered with tile, in more recent years wall to wall carpeting was added.  Two aisles lead to a raised platform accommodating the pulpit, communion table, organ and choir seating. The pulpit, pews and tongue and grove portion of the walls are original.  Approximately 80 people can be seated in the sanctuary.   Entrance to this one room church is via a wooden staircase rising up from Chemin River.  Many years later, an addition was added to the rear of the church accommodating a Session/Sunday school room, kitchen and bathroom. Just opposite the entrance there is a parking lot offering a wonderful view overlooking the Gatineau River.

On June 18, 1989, the congregation celebrated its 100th Anniversary.  Many current and former members gathered for this momentous occasion. The guest preacher was the Rev. Dr. Lloyd Shorten, son of the Rev. Arthur F. Shorten, minister during Church Union. Mary (Pritchard) Thompson, grand-daughter of Mary (Edey) Pritchard, read the Scripture lesson.  What a historical moment.  The reception following the service, lead us to the Pritchard Homestead where the inspiration and dream of this church had taken form.

By 2004, it was obvious that some decision had to be made about the church, given the dwindling congregation, aging population and too few people left to actually do the work needed to keep the church going. The hard decision was made and the church would close.  On October 10th, 2004 , with a mixture of sadness and relief, the congregations gathered to celebrate the life of the Alcove church on this Thanksgiving Day.  A ceremony honouring the gifts received by the church from individuals or families, who had given specific items used in worship took place. These gifts were communion sets, candle holders and offering plates.  In a solemn and very moving transfer, these gifts were passed on to the Rupert and Wakefield congregations.  This was a most meaningful presentation, rich in symbol and meaning for all.

Following the service, the congregations gathered at the Rupert Hall for Thanksgiving Dinner, a sharing of memories and joyful fellowship.