In the early 1960s, Brossard was a growing community. New homes were rapidly being built and families were moving in from other areas of the south shore and Montreal. As well, many new families were emigrating from various countries around the world. Many of the newcomers were Anglicans or associated with the Anglican Church. Seeing the need for a spiritual home, a number of families in the area, then called Brossard Riverside, undertook to establish a new Anglican community.
Connie and Allan Bridgeman were the first to open up their home and in the fall of 1962, a Sunday School started meeting regularly in their basement. Connie and Allan were to remain the longest-serving members of this faith community for the rest of their lives.
On June 23, 1963, the first Anglican service took place across the street from the Bridgeman’s in the home of Ethel and Fred Dawson as an extension of St. Barnabas’ Parish in St. Lambert. A message, read to the congregation that Sunday from the Reverend William Bothwell, the Dean of Montreal, included:
…Those of you who come together at 465 Place Vimy during the next few weeks will be making history and will be Charter Members of a house-church from which some of the spiritual leaders of the future may (and should) come.
Eventually, land was purchased on Provencher Boulevard and St. Joseph of Nazareth Church opened its doors to the surrounding community. In 2015, St. Joseph’s will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. By the grace of God and by the power of the Holy Spirit, it will remain a beacon of hope and a symbol of faith in Him through our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, not only to Anglicans but to any and everyone in the community.
To be a beacon of light and truth in our community inviting all people to receive God’s promise of salvation through Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.