Title and statement of responsibility area
Topsail Pastoral Charge fonds
General material designation
- Graphic material
- Textual record
Other title information
Title statements of responsibility
- Source of title proper: Title based on contents of the fonds
Level of description
Edition statement of responsibility
Class of material specific details area
Statement of scale (cartographic)
Statement of projection (cartographic)
Statement of coordinates (cartographic)
Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
- United Church of Canada. Topsail Pastoral Charge
Physical description area
6.5 cm of textual records
Publisher's series area
Title proper of publisher's series
Parallel titles of publisher's series
Other title information of publisher's series
Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series
Numbering within publisher's series
Note on publisher's series
Archival description area
Name of creator
Topsail United Church had its beginnings in 1837 with the formation of a small Wesleyan Methodist "meeting house." Before this, the settlers (farmers and fishermen who had moved into the area from Portugal Cove around 1822) had been holding church meetings in various homes throughout the community, visited by clergymen from St. John's.
By 1869 the meeting house which was used for both church and school was too small for the growing congregation. It was time to build a bigger church. A short time later the old church in Topsail which was opened in 1837 by Rev. J.S. Addy was superseded by a new substantial and elegant structure. The exact date of opening of the church is not known but it is understood that the church was built in November, 1871. This church contained two rooms - the church sanctuary and the school. It had no tower, no bell, no organ and rough benches for pews. Gradually a tower was built and a bell installed to call the people to worship.
This little church of 1871 was the edifice that became so well known throughout the island. The church became the landmark in the area and became known as "The Church by the Side of the Road." In 1971 the church by the side of the road celebrated its 100th Anniversary. By now this building was badly in need of repairs. The church members were faced with a big decision, whether to renovate the old church, maintaining this historic landmark, or to build a new church that would met the needs of the vigorous and growing congregation. It was decided that the old church would be replaced but the new church did not materialize until December 1977. The site of the old church is marked by a simple wooden cross constructed from its own timbers.
Today Topsail United has a membership of approximately 465 families. The old brass bell, which was removed from the old church, still sings out from its tower on Sunday Mornings, as it has done for many years.
Topsail was for a time connected with Mount Pearl. Then Topsail was made a separate pastoral charge and the vital statistics records were maintained in the Topsail Pastoral Charge until they were transferred to the United Church Archives sometime after 1960.
Scope and content
Fonds consist of records pertaining to the Topsail Pastoral Charge. These records relate to the activities of the Charge and its functional bodies. The majority of the records are in the form of minutes, financial records and annual reports and vital statistics.
Fonds is arranged as follows: Baptism, Marriage and Burial Records, 1886-1984; Membership Records, 1887-1946; Women's Groups Records, 1935-1952; Board and Committee Records, 1886-1908; Legal and Property Records; Youth Groups Records; Church Histories, 1982; Funds and Congregational Financial Records, 1947-1958; Annual Reports, 1988; Correspondence, 1985.
Immediate source of acquisition
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Finding aid is available.
References to the Topsail Pastoral Charge may be fond in the private papers of Rev. Rowsell.
Further accruals are expected.
Standard number area
Place access points
Name access points
Genre access points
Description record identifier
Rules or conventions
Level of detail
Dates of creation, revision and deletion
Created - May 17, 2013
Language of description