100th Anniversary for Sheridan United by Linda Reed
Sheridan United Church will celebrate its 100th birthday Nov. 2.
The red brick church at the intersection of South Sheridan Way and Sir Winston Churchill Blvd. has survived despite rapid industrialization in South Peel.
The church formerly servived the community of Sheridan which was bisected by the Queen Elizabeth Way and north and south service roads. All that remains of the community is the solid brick church which was built in 1869 for approximately $1,400 on land donated by Ferris Lawrence.
The congregation is still going strong because it amalgamated with Park Royal Trinity United Church in 1963. When changing conditions reduced Sheridan's membership to 35 the congregations welded into Sheridan Park Royal United Church. Park Royal Trinity Church drawing members from Park Royal subdivisions, started in 1955 in temporary quarters.
The history of the church began in 1867 when Rev. Thomas Howard was stationed in the community. Services were held in an old frame school house before the church was built.
A trustee board was formed which included Ferris Lawrence, William Clark, Richard Wilson, John Wilson, Peter Greeniaus and George Long.
The first service under the oil lamps in 1869 was memorable. The building was dedicated by Rev. Samuel Philip, pastor of the church.
The choir, led by Stephen Oughtred, who used a tuning fork, included William and Allen Oughtred, Mary Brownridge Misses Rhoda and Amelia and William Falconer of Zion Church of Frogmore (a small hamlet on Dundas Hwy. three miles west of Erindale) Mary and Hannah Gable and Mary, Edward and William Savage.
Amelia Falconer played hymns on an organ loaned by Ryerson Kelly for the event. She was the grandmother of Edna Lawrence of South Sheridan Way, who also played the church organ.
Miss Lawrence has watched the church go through most of the 20th century and has fond memories. She says many fine ministers preached at Sheridan including Rev. H. S. Lovering who stayed 13 years.
The anniversary will be commemorated by a stone cairn which will be erected in front of the church. The interior of the building is being decorated for the event.
Anniversary services at 10:15 and 11 a.m. will be conducted by Rev. Donald Gillies, a former minister.
The minister of Sheridan Park Royal is Rev. Arnold Foster.
Over 159 invitations have been extended to former members.
Ellena Savage, a 95-year-old woman who has attended Sheridan United all her life, will attend the service in a wheelchair. Hymns from the first service will be sung at the anniversary.