A group of dedicated Anglicans anxious to worship in the Anglican tradition worked tirelessly to raise money to establish a church in Sauble Beach.
It has been remembered that Ann Stephenson, (Treasurer for 22 years) held garage sales on her lawn for many years. Collecting items from wherever she could, all proceeds going to the church.
Land was purchased December 16th 1949, from John K Davidson for $500 and deeded to the Diocese of Huron.
The building now known as St. Peters-by-the-Lake was built by E.J. (Ed) Downs, father of Jack and Pat, before 1913, and was used as a barber shop. In 1913 Mr. Downs built the building now used as a furniture store and used the first building as a place to display caskets.
He then rented the building to a Mr. Plant who operated a shoe repair shop. After Mr. Plant passed away the building remained vacant.
The Presbyterians held services in the hall above the furniture store but found it difficult to climb the stairs and so Ed Downs was approached by Mrs. Wm. Sinclair and sold the building to her for $250.00. The building was then renovated and used as a Presbyterian Church. As the attendance at the Church became smaller the building was finally closed and eventually sold to the Diocese of Huron which moved the building to Sauble Beach in 1950. It was covered with siding and a steeple was erected.**
**(From Green Meadows & Golden Sands, Ann Stephenson & Echo Graphics)
It was dedicated by the Right Reverend George Luxton, Bishop of the Diocese of Huron on July the 8th, 1952. This lovely little church now houses many beautiful items. A hand-carved Alter, Altar Rail and Lectern and hand crafted pottery vases made by Ike and Marjorie Ashman.
Although St. Peters was part of the Wiarton Parish, in the beginning priests on vacation would reside with their families in the cottage and conduct services. Later they were joined by theological students. When we look at the early entries in the vestry book we see many familiar names of men and women who have since been ordained and became prominent figures in this Diocese and throughout the Canadian church.
Since 1979, St. Peters By-the-Lake has been home for students of theology for the summer months. As part of their spiritual formation, students of theology in the Diocese of Huron have participated in the summer ministries at St. Peters By-the-Lake. As worship leaders, the students gained much experience in preparation for ordination. However, summer ministries go beyond the Sunday services.
As Summer Lay Pastors, students at St. Peters have provided pastoral care through home, nursing home and hospital visitation. Involvement in ecumenical events and church services has helped to build connections between St. Peters congregation and the congregations of the other churches in Sauble. The student is very much a part of the annual Turkey Dinner. This is great training for parish ministry.