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Leith Church 1865 - Church Bookings at a Glance
Fire number - 419134 Tom Thomson Lane.
Leith United Church, an "Auld Kirk" (Church of Scotland) Presbyterian Church when it was erected in 1865, is one of the finest examples of pre-Confederation architecture in Ontario's Sydenham Township. As such, it is a designated heritage site under the Ontario Heritage Act.
The design follows the tradition of simple chapel building practised by the non-conformists of the British Isles. With its large rectangular windows, box pews and a singular lack of ornamentation, Leith Church truly reflects its Scottish roots and the austere soul of Calvinism. The only adornment was a ceiling chandelier (with its many kerosene lamps), which hung from the existing ornate plaster medallion until 1945 when electricity was installed. Below it, a high box pulpit gives commanding testimonial to the importance assigned by Presbyterianism to preaching.
The Leith Pioneer Cemetery in the adjacent churchyard, also a designated heritage site, is a fitting tribute and memorial to those pioneer families who first settled the Leith area over 150 years ago. The cemetery is also the burial place of the acclaimed Canadian painter Tom Thomson, whose grave is visited each year by an ever growing number of pilgrims. They come to pay homage to this famous son of Leith whose work so influenced The Group of Seven. Thomson grew to manhood on a nearby farm and attended services here with his family. He sang in the choir and it is said he used hymn books as sketch pads to draw caricatures of the congregation when his interest in the sermon waned.
Since 1992, a group of 'Friends of Leith Church' have undertaken to preserve and restore the
building which was closed in 1969. Funds are raised for the church restoration by a series of
concerts and special services.
Seating plan for concerts -
The Hamlet of Leith is located 8 kilometres east of the City of Owen Sound, on Georgian Bay in the Canadian Province of Ontario.