Our parish dates from 1821 when William Macaulay errected a building at the corner of what is now Church and Union Streets. The parish was established in 1823 when Bishop Mountain of the Diocese of Quebec appointed the Reverend William Macaulay of Kingston Rector of the parish of Hallowell.
Macaulay served for 47 years. The church, rectory and curate’s house were all built on Macaulay’s property at his own expense. That church is now the County Museum and the rectory, also a part of the Museum, has been restored to what it would have been like in the 1860’s.
In 1890, property on Main Street was purchased and the parish hall was built where the Church now stands. The house that existed on the property became the new rectory. In 1912, the parish hall was moved to its present location at the back of the lot. On 1 May, 1913, the cornerstone of the present Church building was laid. A history of the parish, A Goodly Heritage, by Alan Capon (1980), relates with intriguing detail much of the debate that surrounded the abandonment of the old church and the construction of the new one.
With its wineries, beaches and lively theatrical scene, Picton today is a popular place for retirement. As a result, the Church today has a great mix of people from varied backgrounds.
The Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment
In 1920, the 16th Prince Edward Regiment and the 49th Hastings Rifles were amalgamated to form the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment. The Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment won more Battle Honours during WWII than any other Canadian Infantry Regiment and served well and selflessly when called upon, always living up to the Regimental motto: PARATUS meaning READY in Latin.
The Regiment was affilated with the Royal Sussex Regiment of the British Army and was granted the privilege of using the Royal Sussex Regiment’s colours of old gold and royal blue. The Queen’s Colour of the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment, now proudly preserved in the frame above, was consecrated on October 14, 1934, and presented to the Regiment by Lieutenant General Sir Archibald McDonald. This is known as the Queen’s Colour because all Colours became the Queen’s Colours upon the death of King George VI. Previous to his death, this Colour would have been referred to as the King’s Colour.
The Queen’s Colour was ‘laid up’ at St. Mary Magdalene on October 4, 1964, along with an empty staff which once held the Regimental Colour. The Regimental Colour was stolen on the night of February 19, 1961 and has never been recovered. The Church of St. Mary Magdalene is the Regimental Church of the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment. A service of celebration officiated by The Venerable Bradley D. Smith, Padre of the Regiment, Archdeacon of the Diocese of Ontario, was held on November 18, 2012 to ‘re-dedicate’ the Colour.