The town of Fort Macleod was an outpost founded by the N.W.M.P (North West Mounted Police – the precursors of the present day R.C.M.P) in1874. It was established to help eliminate the illegal trade of alcohol to the Aboriginal tribes in the area.
In 1878, The Rev. George Mackay from England came to open a mission. He also ministered to the local Anglicans. In 1885, The Rev. Canon George Mackay helped establish the parish we know as Christ Church. In 1886 the church burned to the ground. (The rumor is that someone sneaked some contraband alcohol under the floor boards and they exploded.)
Christ Church is the second oldest Anglican church building which is still operating in all of Alberta.
Some Famous Canadians who were connected to Christ Church in Fort Macleod:
Brigadiere Frederick Harvey – Winner of the Victoria Cross during World War I – He was married and had his funeral at Christ Church
Henrietta Muir Edwards – Founder of the VON (Victoria Order of Nurses) – Member of the Famous Five – a group of Canadian women who helped establish women as “persons” under the law. Henrietta’s funeral marker is inside the church.
Rev. Howard Clark – Born in Fort Macleod and went on to become Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada.
The Rev. Pilar Gateman was the first person (and first woman) ever ordained a priest in Christ Church, in 2010.