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Our History

In 1952, the Anglican Diocese of Huron instituted a plan to construct a parish church in a sparsely inhabited area at the northern boundary of London Township. Although a mere 50 residences existed, the church had the foresight to recognize the growth potential. It was decided by the future parishioners that a "community church" would be most suitable and the Anglican Diocese undertook the responsibility for the building's completion.

The parish minutes state "The first meeting of the church-going residents of the Northdale and Stoneybrook communities took place in the Northdale School, on Wednesday, the 28th day of October, 1953 at 8:00 p.m. chaired by The Reverend John Birch." This same day also hosted the Feast of St. Simon and St. Jude. The Diocese approved the new parish dedication to the name of St. Jude.

The first service was held in the Northdale School, on the 1st November, 1953. Coincidentally, the same year as the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, which ultimately led to the church's designation as a "Coronation Church" (only one of two) and now shares this distinction with St. Stephen's in Brantford.

During this time, real-estate developers were demonstrating increased interest for development potential. The parishioners agreed to construct a church building capable of accommodating 200-300 worshippers. The Gerry Lumber Company concurred that the planned structure could be built for $35,000.00. This first building was designed as a temporary church, with plans to build a larger facility in the future, to accommodate the growth and the first building would eventually become a parish hall.

On Saturday, May 22nd, 1954, The Right Reverend George Luxton, Bishop of Huron, laid the cornerstone and the new house of worship was born. Although still under construction, the interior was sufficiently completed to host the first service on the 10th of June, 1954.
In 1954, The Rev'd John Birch was succeeded by The Rev'd John Henderson and on the 12th of September, Bishop Luxton led the Service of Dedication of the new church,. Because of the halt on local development, parish growth was minimal and it could not support a full time clergyman, so the incumbent remained a part-time appointment.

The parish continued to grow slowly. In August, 1956, The Rev'd John Henderson resigned and The Rev'd A.F. Wilkinson was appointed in his place in September. By now, local development and population growth made it possible for a full-time rector to be considered and a major figure in the parish's subsequent life, The Rev'd Lloyd G. Cracknell, was appointed.

In 1961, the area was annexed by the City of London and development began in earnest - subdivisions to the west and east began and the population increased dramatically. Growth has continued and the parish is now at the center of a very large residential complex.

By 1965, the church was frequently filled on Sunday mornings. The building, designed to hold about 200 people, had been known to house 350 on occasion. The Sunday School, which in December, 1966, had a registration of 197 children with an average attendance of 100, therefore, new classrooms were desperately needed. In 1966, an addition was approved to provide three new rooms totaling 1,700 square feet of space, as a projected cost of $12,000.00. It was ready for occupancy in early 1967, Canada's Centennial Year and became known as "the Centennial addition".

In 1975, the church supported enjoyed a "mortgage burning celebration" on the weekend of the 21st of June. With the continued growth of the local population, a building fund was established to finance the upcoming construction of the new church.

In 1986, The Rev'd Lloyd G. Cracknell retired and the rector, The Rev'd John H. Chapman, was welcomed.

Understanding the estimated cost of 1.5 million dollars for the new addition, a special "Mission 1990" was organized to raise $400,000.00. The new space would provide a much needed larger sanctuary, meeting room and offices. Work began in 1992 and the stone was laid by Bishop Percy O'Driscoll along with founding member, Mrs. Marjorie Quint, on the 30th of May, marking the site of the new building.

On the 1st of June, 1993, with the completion of the new building, service began in the old church and then the congregation proceeded to the new facility to complete the liturgy and officially begin worship.