This Nova Scotia historic landmark was constructed in 1845 as a place of worship for the Uniacke family, their neighbours and friends. The corner stone laying service was conducted by The Rev. R. Fitzgerald Uniacke, rector of Newport. The stone was laid by Mrs. Martha Maria Jeffery, daughter of the late Attorney
General, Richard John Uniacke.
During the first years of its existence, the church seems to have been served by clergy associated with the Uniacke family. During the 1850’s, the church was served by the rector of Rawdon and in the 1860’s became a separate mission. Later in that century, it reverted to being a part of Rawdon Parish.
This little church had a rather private character until 1857, when the building and approximately seventeen acres of land were deeded by Martha Jeffery to the Colonial Church
and School Society and its successors for the sum of five
shillings. Shortly thereafter, the church was consecrated as “Holy Trinity”. After the turn of the century, around 1914, the church came under the direction of various students of King’s College, located in Windsor. Services were held from May or June through September or October. Holy Communion was celebrated at this time by clergy from Windsor or by the rector at Newport. This arrangement continued until 1931, when the Lakelands Mission was formally incorporated into the Parish of Newport/Walton. It is not known when the name “Holy Trinity” was changed to “Holy Spirit”.
For many years the church was closed during the winter months, but since the installation of a central heating system in 1966, donated by Geraldine Mitchell, daughter of the Rev. James Boyle and Mary Alma Uniacke, services have been held throughout the year. The original cedar shingles on the east end of the church withstood the vigorous elements for 152 years before their replacement in 1997.
The design of this historic church is unique to the early nineteenth century church construction era. Architect Charles Thompson combined the typical Nova Scotia timber frame construction with British classical architecture, incorporating elegant Gothic designs externally and internally, to provide a stately, but conservative and appealing, country church. The eyebrow mouldings over the windows, the Gothic windows and furnishings, including the stained-glass window over the altar depicting the baptism of Jesus Christ, transcend the invaluable heritage of Mount Uniacke and the Province of Nova Scotia.
Plans are already underway to celebrate the 170th anniversary of the beautiful Church of the Holy Spirit, and considerable work has been, and continues to be done to upgrade both the church and parish hall both for present worship and other activities in preparation for the very special celebration in 2015. For those who are around in 2045, the 200th anniversary celebration promises to be a most wonderful event indeed. May God continue to bless the church and parish as He has throughout its many years of serving him in this place.