St. Dunstan's Church 1908

St. Dunstans Church - 1908

Early in the 1900's there was a settlement of Englishmen north of Bittern Lake. An English maiden lady spent 500 dollars to build a log church. Ambrose Ladell's father was in charge of the building. The church was opened in 1908 and called Holy Angels and All Saints'. After the 1914-1918 war when any who could fight for England returned home, the population of the parish dwindled and the church was not needed. However, the Bittern Lake village did need a new church so in the winter of 1921 the little church was towed across the ice on Bittern Lake by twenty horses. Its name was changed to St. Dunstan's, which was the name of the parish. By 1928 the bell tower had been built, the chancel added, and siding covered the logs. The church was well attended by the Anglicans in the area.

By this time the Camrose and District Centennial Museum was opened and the Anglican Diocese of Edmonton offered it intact with all the vessels used for the services and all the pews and other gifts that had been placed in the church. Members of the Museum Society started to save, but the fund grew very slowly. In 1974 Ambrose Ladell who had been five years old when his father built the church, celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary and he persuaded his family and descendants of former parishioners to give him money instead of presents to move the Church. Thanks to his generosity, members of the Museum Society were grateful, relieved and excited to see the church finally coming along Highway 13.

The church was cleaned up and painted on the inside. It was also given a new roof. The church's restorations were completed when the organ was restored to working condition. St. Dunstan's was dedicated as a non-denominational church. Weddings are welcomed by clergy or marriage commissioners.