WHO WE ARE
The personality of any church is multi-faceted and Coldwater United Church is no different. The congregation has a deep musical foundation rooted in engaged musical leadership and talented junior and senior choirs led by a passionate director dedicated to the delivery of an uplifting spiritual message each and every Sunday.
Our congregation consists of a variety of ages and backgrounds. Several members of our congregation are second and third generation, and their engagement in the church's current activity gives a mixture of history and future to the ongoing life of the church. We welcome individuals, young families as well as mature adults to share in the life of the church. This breadth of uniqueness builds variety in our church life, those that welcome changes as well as those that thrive in rituals of history. We hope to combine those differences in a manner that allows us all to share in the fullest of diversity.
Coldwater United Church believes in the uniqueness of an individual's religion and the church is extremely tolerant and respectful of the differences that may occur. The church encourages those differences in the context of open and honest debate that allows for the expression of individual thought and utmost respect. The Coldwater congregation believes that each member is allowed and encouraged to bring forward their own ideas on references to the gospel. The church believes that its members can coexist and thrive on the differences that arise from prayerful study of the Bible.
By 1910, the congregation once again found its church too small, and so it bought a lot from Francis Craddock on the northwest corner of Craddock and Harriet Streets, where a third Methodist church went up. With seating capacity for 450, the new edifice cost $10,700 and was dedicated in March 1911. A series of fires culminated on March 26, 1923, and the building was destroyed. While a new structure was being built, services were held in the Presbyterian Church.
According to Coldwater United Church history, the Wesleyan Methodists began holding meetings in the school house in 1866. In November 1870, George Copeland gave the trustees of the congregation a quarter acre lot on the east side of the Coldwater Road, slightly south of Robinson Street (near the fairgrounds). The trustees at that time were John Borland, John Gill of Tay Township, William Gratrix of Medonte Township, Henry Lovering of Coldwater, and John & William Lovering who were farmers in Matchedash Township. Until 1855, the Methodists worshipped in a small frame church built on this lot bough from John Gray for $100. A Sunday School built on the east side once served as a classroom to house the overflow from the public school across the road. In 1903, a parsonage was built next door.
The present church followed the same plan as the original, but for $25,000. It was dedicated on November 11, 1923. In 1925, the Methodist Church became part of the new United Church of Canada.
Recent renovations to this beautiful old building include elevator access and updated kitchen, flooring and windows in the lower level, replaced/repaired stained glass windows in the sanctuary, removal of old chimneys and repaired brickwork.
HISTORY OF THE WOODSTOCK PIPE ORGAN
In celebration of rebuilding their church following the fire of 1923, Mr. W.J. Sheppard (Chairman of the Georgian Bay Lumber Co.) gave the church a pipe organ to be installed in the sanctuary. The organ was built in 1923 by the Woodstock Pipe Organ Company, and was installed in its present position when the building was completed in 1924. This installation was asissted by Mord Millard. It is with good authority that we know this as Mord's son, Bob Millard, remembers his father discussing the installation. After the organ was in place, Mord was hired by the Woodstock Pipe Organ Company so that regular maintenance could be carried out without a person coming by train all the way from Woodstock. Mord continued to maintain the instrument until he left Coldwater in 1977 at age 77. Maybe that's why this instrument is in such great condition.
This organ is one of the last remaining instruments of its size by the Woodstock Pipe Organ Company. According to our organ tuner, Blair Batty, this instrument is a "virgin" in that it has not been changed, or altered, in any significant way and stands as a unique example of the Woodstock Company's craft. This instrument was not designed as a solo performance instrument, but was built to lead the congregation in hymn singing and the choir in anthems. This it has done successfully for over 80 plus years.
Our facilities are available to rent for meetings, receptions, weddings and more. Visit our Rentals page for more information.