Manitoba Historical Society
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MHS Centennial Organization: St. Matthew’s Cathedral

The Anglican Church of Canada is divided into regional groupings called dioceses, each of which has its own bishop, who is responsible for the constituent churches. The Cathedral Parish of St. Matthew was founded in 1882 as the Church of England parish church for the newly incorporated City of Brandon (which, along with St. Matthew’s, is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2007). At the time, Brandon was located in the Diocese of Rupert’s Land. The establishment of a church in Brandon was aided by an annual pledge of $800 from the Parish of Holy Trinity Church, in Winnipeg.

The first St. Matthew’s Church was located on Eleventh Street, between Princess and Lorne Avenues. It became self-supporting within a year, eliminating the need for funds from Holy Trinity. The cornerstone was laid for the current structure at the corner of Thirteenth Street and Louise Avenue in 1912. It was completed and dedicated the following year. In 1924, following the election of the first Bishop for the Diocese of Brandon, St. Matthew’s was named Pro-Cathedral, which became a Full Cathedral in 1952 once its building debt had been retired. The conferral of Cathedral status was presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Geoffrey Fisher. A large parish hall and office wing was added in 1962, and the church building itself was designated as a provincial heritage site in 1999. Later this year, on the weekend of 21 to 23 September, the church will celebrate the parish’s 125th anniversary.

St. Matthew’s church has played an important role in Brandon’s spiritual and community life, having among its parishioners such noteworthy Manitobans as Thomas Mayne Daly, who among his many distinctions, served as first Mayor of Brandon and first Judge of the Manitoba Juvenile Court. Besides its role in fostering the spiritual well-being of Brandonites, St. Matthew’s is well known among the students and faculty of Brandon University’s School of Music for its visual and acoustical beauty. Numerous community organizations meet in its facilities. And for over thirty years, St. Matthew’s has hosted the Brandon-Westman Christmas Cheer Registry, which provides support for families in need at Christmas.

An MHS Centennial Organization Award was presented to Dr. Philip Goernert, People’s Warden of St. Matthew’s Cathedral, on 28 April 2007.

Page revised: 15 May 2011

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