History of Church of the Epiphany
In 1887, the Anglican Bishop of Quebec, James William Williams, made an offer to the congregation of Way’s Mills and Barnston to fund the building of two churches, provided that they would construct a shared parsonage. The parsonage was built in Way’s Mills where the land for the two adjacent buildings was provided by Maggie and Arthur Cummings. Ben Kezar built the structure while Henry Clifford did the interior finishing. The stained glass window at the eastern end of the church was donated by Charles Jones in memory of his wife Cora, who died in 1891.
In 1889 the first minister moved in and on 30th November, St. Andrews Day, the two Anglican churches, Barnston and Way’s Mills, were consecrated. A number of ministers lived in the Way’s Mills parsonage until 1915, when Way’s Mills, Ayer’s Cliff, and Hatley parishes were combined. The incumbent then moved to Halley.
As time passed, services became less frequent, until in l989 a group of citizens got together to save the church, for which in 1991 they received an award from the Eastern Townships Heritage Foundation.
In 1998 the vestry of the Church of the Epiphany’ empowered The Way’s Mills Historic Churches Preservation Committee to seek grants from the Fondation du patrimoine religieux of the Ministry of La Culture et des Communications du gouvernement du Québec. M. Pierre Cabana, architect, supervised the restoration in 1998-1999.
In 2010, it was clear that major work would be needed inside and out, the roof to be replaced, the exterior walls to be cleaned, repaired and repainted, the tower structure to be consolidated and the stained glass window repointed. Once again, funds are being requested from Les Fonds du Patrimoine Religieux du Québec, and it is up to the community to raise matching funds.
Construction; wooden, based upon neo-Gothic design
The building is 20 metres long by 7.7 metres wide
Tower height 13.7 metres
Roof height 8.6 metres