The Church of the Transfiguration

1379 Newburne Rd, Newburne, Nova Scotia


On the fourth Sunday after Trinity, June 27, 1920 the Church of the Transfiguration at Newburne was opened for public worship, when the Rev. W. H. Knickle was Rector of New Germany.  The church records show that there were three services held there on that day:  10:00 a.m. Holy Communion with a congregation of 300; 2:30 p.m. Evensong with a congregation of 150 and at 7:00 p.m. with a congregation of 400.  At the Communion Service, Mr. Knickle based his sermon on the text from the First Book of Kings beginning with the words:  “And behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the Lord my God …”.   Mr. Knickle was assisted that day by the Rev. E. A. Harris of Mahone Bay and the Rev. C. H. Talmy of St. Martin’s Parish, Western Shore.  At the evening service the Rector turned again to the Old Testament to find a text for his sermon and from the Book of Ezra he chose the passage, “And the children of Israel, the priests and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy.”


Prior to this, services were held in the local schoolhouse.  The Mahone Bay Burial Register records the burial of a person whose last name was Besanson from Newburne and buried at Cornwall on February 24, 1861 by the Rev. W. H. Snyder.  Another in the same book records that of Henry William Allen Eisenhauer, age 6 weeks buried at Newburne on June 10, 1862 by the same clergyman.  Many of the people in Newburne during his period also went to Church in New Cornwall and Union Square.


The first step taken after it was proposed to build a church was in 1912 when the foundation was laid.  The Rev. W. R. Martell was then Rector of New Germany.  The land was obtained from Alban Joudrey, and the head carpenter was Newton Veinotte, assisted by members of the congregation.  The structure was designed by Mr. W. Charles Harris whose architectural imprint is to be seen on several Anglican churches including St. George’s at the Head of St. Margaret’s Bay and St. James, Mahone Bay.  Mr. Harris was brother of Canon Harris who ministered to the people of Mahone Bay for 47 years and who was Celebrant at the first Service of Holy Communion when the church was opened at Newburne.  Prior to the opening of the church, in order to finance the building, suppers and sales were held in the proposed church.


The first Wardens were Newton Veinotte and Albert Wentzell.  The Church was consecrated by the Right Reverend John Hackinley, at that time Coadjutor Bishop, on Aug 11, 1929 at 10:30 a.m.  The building is perpendicular gothic and appears today (1969) much as the original.  The only change was the removal twenty years ago of the wooden buttresses which stood at the corners.