Western Bay Methodist Church is a small, modest church constructed in the vernacular Gothic style. Built in 1874, it is located in Western Bay, NL. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Statement of Significance
Formal Recognition Type
Registered Heritage Structure
Western Bay Methodist Church has been designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador due to it aesthetic, historic and cultural value. Western Bay Methodist Church has aesthetic value as it is a good example of a vernacular Gothic style church constructed locally using local materials. The steeply pitched gable roof adds dimension to this modest building. The Gothic arched windows are a mixture of single hung and fixed and are topped with arched raincaps. The steeply pitched roof is accented on the gables with subtle bargeboard. The porch appears to be a later addition and is very much Classical in its styling and roof line and features large cornice mouldings at the eaves. Western Bay Methodist Church has historic value as it is a physical testament to a way of life once common in small communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. The church was built through the communal effort of residents of the north side of Western Bay. Wood for the church was harvested either in the Stove Junk Woods or School House Gully, which are both in an area known as Western Bay Line, and was transported by horse and slide to the building site. All decorative features on the exterior and interior, including furnishings, were handmade. The church was constructed by volunteers and it was used by several religions, although it was mostly associated with the Methodist faith, later known as the United Church. Western Bay Methodist Church has cultural value due to the role it played in the community of Western Bay. The building was initially used as a church and Sunday school. Sunday services were not held here as they were held in the Methodist church on the south side of Western Bay. However, Sunday school was conducted here by laypeople known as Sunday School Superintendants and by the Ladies Church League. Week night services were also held here by laypeople and Methodist clergy from the south side church. Community meetings and rallies were held here as well. By the early 1960s attendance at Sunday school was waning and the practice was abandoned. By this time, the church was also being used as a funeral home. Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “Western Bay – Western Bay Methodist Church – FPT 4474”
Character Defining Elements
All those features that represent the vernacular Gothic style of the building, including: – number of storeys; – steeply pitched gable roof on main structure; – bargeboard trim on main gables; – narrow wooden clapboard; – corner boards; – window size, style, trim and placement; – size, style, trim and placement of exterior doors; – chimney style and placement; – size, style, trim and placement of the porch, and; – dimension, location and orientation of building.
This building was destroyed by fire on September 25, 2012. It was in the process of being restored.
Location and History
Not specified (Newfoundland)
19700101 - 19700101