Margaree Pastoral Charge is set among the scenic hills and intervals that lie along the beautiful Margaree River in Cape Breton Island. From the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the west, the Margaree communities run east from the rugged coastline.
Calvin United Church
Picturesque Calvin United Church in Margaree Harbour overlooks the gulf at the mouth of the river, near the famous Cabot Trail. The congregation was Presbyterian and its records date back to 1865, although it is a decade or two older. A small middle-aged to senior congregation of about 20 families worships here. However, attendance almost doubles during the summer because of summer residents and visitors. Anniversary Sunday takes place in July, and a beautiful service with Holy Communion is held on Christmas Eve. There is a Good Friday morning service, and an outdoor Sunset Service is held at nearby Whale Cove on Holy Saturday, with tea and sandwiches afterwards. Other events include an Advent pageant and, as of 2013, a Memorial and Celebration Hymn Sing in September.
Calvin United Church is at 67 Margaree Harbour Village Road. The regular Sunday service of worship is at 11:30 am.
Wilson United Church
The Margaree River Valley, famous for its salmon fishing, extends along the southern portion of the Cabot Trail. Wilson United Church is located just off the Cabot Trail in Margaree Centre. The congregation was Congregational and began in 1822. About 140 families are under pastoral care. There is a fine hall next door that is used frequently for church and community events. Approximately 60 people attend regular Sunday services, and there is a strong choir and an active Sunday School. Activities for youth include Messengers, Explorers, and Canadian Girls in Training (CGIT), as well as various events throughout the year. There is a United Church Women (UCW) group, the Anne Bellis Group offers women’s fellowship, study and fund-raising, and Bible study for the pastoral charge is offered regularly. A Celebration of Light takes place on the Saturday evening before Advent, with music and activities for all ages. The Anniversary Service is held in October, and Sunday School and CGIT evening services take place during Advent. There is a Good Friday evening service and an Easter Sunrise Service on Phillips Mountain, which is followed by a pancake breakfast and a service with Holy Communion at 9:30 am.
Wilson United Church is at 1625 West Big Intervale Road. The regular Sunday service of worship is at 9:30 am.
Directions to both Calvin and Wilson United Churches are well marked on the Cabot Trail.
Big Intervale United Church
Big Intervale United Church, located near the headwaters of the Margaree River, is a heritage church that was built in 1828. The congregation was Presbyterian. There are two worship services a year. The congregation celebrates its anniversary with a morning service in late summer, and a well-attended Christmas Carol service is held on the third Sunday evening in Advent. As a wood stove warms the sanctuary, a reliable pump organ accompanies the candlelight singing of “Silent Night.” Deep in the woods, it is a reminder of winter services held long ago.
Big Intervale United Church is at 3207 East Big Intervale Road.
Minister: Rev. Alicia Cox