Get To Know Us

More than just a magnificent building, The Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul is a vibrant hub of caring people living and sharing God’s message of hope while reaching out to those in need in their local community in Montreal, Canada and worldwide. We are members of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. We hold traditional worship services accompanied by our renowned choir singing traditional sacred music every Sunday morning at 11 a.m. EST in our spacious sanctuary. In addition to the beautiful stained glass windows, the church also has a majestic organ, one of the largest in Montreal, to accompany our choir. Special services and musical performances are held throughout the year, all open to the public. Visitors are welcome to join us in Holy Communion which is held 6 times per year. There is also a Crèche (Nursery) and Church School (Sunday School) for your children, so please bring them along.

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Committees & Mission Projects

In addition, the Church has numerous committees that undertake our many mission projects. For example, in Montreal, we help close to 20 different local charities. We foster exchanges with a native community in Saskatchewan and provide hundreds of pieces of clothing for them. On the international scene, we work through the Presbyterian World, Service & Development agency that provides development and relief in challenged countries, especially Africa. Ten years ago, we welcomed a young African refugee who started a new life in Canada. Our congregation is currently sponsoring a Syrian refugee family and working with Action Réfugié Montréal and the YMCA Residence on Tupper Street in Montreal to provide help to hundreds of cross-border refugees from the US.

Our youth group brings together young people from Grade 6 through High School who are very active in the community, often helping with various events around the church and fundraising for many of our projects. Another group that we call “The Guild” organizes one of our largest events, our “Annual Fall Fair” in November where donated items and baked goods are sold to raise funds that are distributed to the many charities that depend on our support each year.

Pastoral Care

Our ministers conduct regular worship services, organize Bible Study classes, visit shut-ins and members who are ill and/or hospitalized, and minister to those needing spiritual guidance in difficult times. To supplement the work of our lead and associate ministers, we also have a Stephen Ministry composed of members trained in pastoral care. These Stephen Ministers are equipped to provide high-quality care to people who are experiencing a life crisis, meeting with each individual on a weekly basis to listen, encourage and provide emotional and spiritual support. The caring relationship lasts as long as the person is in need of support.

For more information, please send an email to info@standrewstpaul.com or to enquire about our Stephen Ministry, please contact one of our Stephen Leaders, Edythe Arnott or Diane Aitken at stephenministry@standrewstpaul.com or call 514-842-3431.

Our Community

As one of the largest and most vibrant Presbyterian Congregations in Canada, we welcome all to worship with us or join our community to participate in our projects and activities. Diversity is one of our mainstays as seen every year during our Heritage Service where we parade in over 30 flags of the different nations represented by members in the congregation. We also encourage you to join us after services for “Coffee and Conversation” to learn more about what we are doing.

Volunteering

As you can imagine volunteer participation is key to sustaining the many events and activities within our congregation. We are always seeking people with expertise in areas such as building management, archiving, teaching, singing, knitting, accounting, law, photography, communication and many other skills. We also need volunteers to be ushers, tour guides, to make sandwiches and squares for receptions, and many other duties.

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Ministers, Staff and Collaborators

Lead Minister

Rev. Dr. Glenn A. Chestnutt

The Rev. Dr. Glenn A. Chestnutt has been a life-long member of the Presbyterian Church, having grown up in Dervock, Ballymoney, Northern Ireland. He began his career as a teacher after qualifying with a B.A. (University of Ulster) and then a D.A.S.E (Queen’s University Belfast) before sensing a call to ministry within the Church. He was ordained as a minister in the Church of Scotland in 2009. He completed the Master of Divinity and the Master of Theology degrees at Princeton Theological Seminary, USA. From there, he went on to complete his Ph.D. at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland in the area of Systematic Theology, focusing on the theology of Karl Barth. He has won several awards including the Princeton Seminary Jagow Scholarship in Preaching. His publications include one book and several articles. Glenn has served on numerous committees of the Church of Scotland as well as various ecumenical initiatives. Glenn is married to Hannah and they have one son, Rowan.

Associate Minister

Rev. Dr. Kay Diviney

The Rev. Dr. Kay Diviney was inducted in March of 2013 as the first Associate Minister / Director of Christian Community at the Church of Saint Andrew and Saint Paul. This is Dr. Diviney’s first pastoral charge: she spent many years teaching English literature and language as well as flute at the university level before hearing the call to ministry in 2009. Dr. Diviney and her husband, Brent MacLaine, have two grown children.

Minister Emeritus

Rev. Dr. J.S.S. Armour

Dr. Armour was our Minister from 1983-1998, and named minister emeritus in 1999. Dr. Armour is the honorary chaplain of The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada and honorary life chaplain of the Royal Montreal Curling Club. He also serves on the board of the Mount Royal Cemetery. He is married to Margaret and they have four grown children and five grandchildren.

Church School Coordinator

Sharon Dworzak

Mrs. Dworzak has 22 years of teaching experience, including teaching children with special needs, and has taught Sunday School since her late teens and was Sunday School Superintendent as well as Youth Leader for two groups prior to teaching our Church School since 2003. Her main goal for the Church School is to help the children grow in Faith with a strong emphasis on scripture, having the children discover how the Bible relates to their daily lives, thus encouraging them to make a personal commitment to Jesus Christ.

Office Manager

Tiago Chiavegatti

Tiago is a life-long Presbyterian who has extensive academic and volunteer experience, along with skills in editing, translating, and accounting. His role as office manager is a busy one. He oversees the church office operations, computer services, general administrative work, bookkeeping, and the production of reports, bulletins and promotional materials. He is usually the first person people meet as they enter the church through our side entrance off of Redpath. He is so personable, helpful and a real pleasure to work with. If you are visiting the church during the week, you will probably enter by the side door, so make sure to say hello to Tiago.

Church Secretary

Susan Knell

That cheerful voice that we hear when calling the church office belongs to Susan Knell, our Church Secretary. When she is not pulling all of the components together to publish our weekly bulletin in time for our Sunday Services, she is delivering emails and e-blasts of upcoming church events, updating our events page on our website or taking care of the numerous day-to-day activities of the church. Sue is a wonderful part of our Church “family” and will certainly lift your spirits with her cheerful voice the next time you call.

Church Officer

Peter Sabourin

As Church Officer, Peter is known for being the main resource person at the church. If you locate him, he’ll probably smile and tell you what latest projects that he’s indulged in. DON’T bring up heating systems, he’ll talk your ears off. Sundays, he is Our Beloved Church Beadle, preparing the Church for Sunday Worship and is the care-taker of the “Word” (our church Bible).

Audio Visual Specialist

Stratsimir Dimitrov

If you sit up in the gallery during our worship services, you will see Stratsi hard at work operating the sophisticated audio visual equipment that is used to produce the live broadcast of our worship services, concerts and other church activities, as well as the recordings. Stratsi also uses his considerable experience and skills to expertly set up, maintain and operate all the microphones, monitors, projectors, lighting and sound equipment used in our meeting rooms and Kildonan Hall. In addition, he doubles as a cameraman to produce and edit many of the promotional videos of our church activities which we post on our website and social media. Stratsi is an invaluable member of our team allowing our ministers and congregation to reach out across the world to share God’s message of compassion and hope.

Music Staff

Director of Music

Dr. Jonathan Oldengarm

Director of Music and Organist at St. Andrew and St. Paul since 2008, Jonathan is a sought-after soloist, continuo player, arranger, accompanist and improviser, whose innovative interpretations are informed by historical research. He has a passion for bringing great sacred music and hymnody to life within Christian worship, its native context. Choral accompanying and transcription in the early 20th-century Anglo-American orchestral tradition is a particular interest, given St. Andrew and St. Paul’s magnificent 110-stop 1931 Casavant organ.

Jonathan is a prizewinner of the RCCO National Competition, as well as the International Organ Competitions of Calgary, Dublin and Montreal; he also holds the FRCCO diploma, degrees in organ and harpsichord performance from Wilfrid Laurier and McGill Universities, and studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Stuttgart, Germany.

His discography includes two independent releases (Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria, BC; and the Weimbs organ in Zell, Germany), as well as recordings with Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal and the Choir of the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul on the ATMA label.

Recent performance highlights include the Maison symphonique, Notre Dame Basilica and St Joseph Oratory (Montreal); the Montreal and Thunder Bay Symphonies, l’Ensemble Caprice and the McGill Chamber Orchestra; the MSO Chorus; Antwerp Cathedral, Belgium; the Grote Kerk, Vlissingen, and the St Augustinuskerk, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; the Pro Organo series, Ottawa, ON; and the 2008, 2009, 2014 and 2017 RCCO National Conventions.

Conductor

Dr. Jean-Sébastien Vallée

Maestro Jean-Sébastien Vallée is a rapidly rising conductor on today’s concert music stage and an internationally recognized scholar, and pedagogue. Dr. Vallée is Director of Choral Studies and Chair of the Conducting Area at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University in Montréal. Prior to his appointment at McGill University, he served as Director of Choral Studies at California State University in Los Angeles, and was on the choral faculty of the University of Redlands.
Ensembles under his direction have sung for the American Choral Directors Association and California Music Educators Conferences, and were awarded first and second places at the San Luis Obispo International Choral Competition in 2011. In 2015, Maestro Vallée was the runner-up for the American Prize in Choral Conducting.
Jean-Sébastien Vallée holds degrees from Laval University, Sherbrooke University, the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a doctorate in conducting from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Director of Music Emeritus

Wayne K. Riddell CM

Wayne Riddell has been described by music critics as “a choral trainer of genius”. The founder and former director of the Tudor Singers of Montreal, Mr. Riddell has established a reputation as one of Canada’s distinguished musicians who instills in those who sing under his direction a consistent sense of ensemble and musicality which have been hailed by the most demanding of audiences and charmed the most difficult critics. His drive, personal discipline and sense of humour are reflected in the respect and devotion of all who have worked with him, whether artist or support staff. Mr. Riddell and the Tudor Singers have toured from coast to coast in Canada many times, as well as concertizing extensively in Europe and the United States. The choir has been frequently broadcast on the C.B.C. and has several recordings to its credit.
Mr. Riddell is a graduate of McGill University where he also served for a number of years as Director of Choral Music Activities. He also studied in West Germany as a guest of that country’s government. In 1980 the choir was awarded the first Healey Willan Prize by the Canada Council. He was chorus master of the Montreal Symphony and has been invited as guest conductor of that and other orchestras. Mr. Riddell is in constant demand as an adjudicator, workshop leader and guest conductor with many of Canada’s leading choirs and orchestras. In addition, Mr. Riddell maintains an active performing and conducting career abroad.
In July 1988, Wayne Riddell was named a member of the “Order of Canada” in recognition of this outstanding contribution to choral music. In May 1992 he was honoured with the “Distinguished Service Award” from the Association of Canadian Choral Conductors.


Leading With Care

Leading with Care

A Policy for Ensuring a Climate of Safety for Children, Youth and Vulnerable Adults in the Presbyterian Church in Canada

We are committed to providing safe and compassionate environments for all people, in particular all children, youth, and vulnerable adults who participate in the church’s programs and ministries and/or use the church’s facilities.

THIS POLICY IS TITLED LEADING WITH CARE BECAUSE:
Our Lord modeled for us how to lead with care as he healed the sick and infirm, and welcomed the young, the weak, and the vulnerable.
It is our awareness that some people in our church need special protection.
It affirms our commitment to training and supporting teachers and leaders in our church so they can effectively and compassionately support this policy.

Learn More

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Our Building and Garden

The Building

At the front of the church are the Chancel gates, a gift of the Allan family. You will notice the ship motif, evident throughout the Nave, repeated in the brass models of the brig “Jean”. This was the first Allan ship to transport Scottish immigrants to Canada. The other two emblems on the gates are a sheaf of wheat and a chalice, symbolizing the bread and wine of Holy Communion. Three steps though the ship-motif gates lead to the Chancel, dominated by the pulpit to the left, the lectern to the right and stalls for our 50-voice choir.
To your right beyond the choir stalls is the console of Montreal’s largest organ, a four-manual 1932 Casavant. There is a second console in the gallery. Most of the organ is hidden from view by the grillwork on both sides of the Chancel and on the west wall of the gallery. The visible pipes overhead are the Trompette en chamade.
A total of seven steps – the Biblical number for perfection – ascend to the white stone Communion Table on which are engraved the Cross, the Paschal Lamb, the Dove of the Holy Spirit, and on either end, the Alpha and the Omega. Surrounding the Table are the Elders’ Stalls in which the members of the Kirk Session sit for the celebration of Holy Communion. The stalls are surmounted by hand-carved heads whose faces express the commandment of Jesus to his followers to “watch and pray”. On the ceiling you may discover the symbols of Holy Communion: the Cross, the Chalice, the Crown and the Dove. The silver cross on the Communion Table was a gift of Wayne Riddell, Director of Music Emeritus.


The Quiet Garden

The Quiet Garden

The Quiet Garden

Lord, thy call we answer. Take us in thy care. Train us in thy garden. In thy work to share.

Between the church and the Musée des beaux arts to the east, is the Quiet Garden, a bicentennial project that opened in 2003. It provides a haven for reflection in this busy downtown neighbourhood. During the summer, it is often the site for Bible Study and post-service receptions. The entrance off Sherbrooke Street is open seasonally from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST. Our Quiet Garden is a spiritual oasis in the city; a place for busy people to find a quiet interlude for prayer and meditation. Everyone is welcome to enter into this beautiful and secure space. It is filled with life and growth and colour, reminders of God’s reassuring work in our world. We hope that in our garden, visitors, friends and neighbours will find solace, serenity and the radiant presence of our risen Lord, who first came to his followers in a garden.

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Our History

Tradition and Change…

The first Presbyterian service in Montreal was held in 1787. In 1803, when the city’s population was about 9,000, St. Andrew’s Church was founded near the present site of city hall on Notre Dame Street. St. Paul’s Church was opened nearby in 1843. In 1853, as Montreal grew, St. Andrew’s built a new church on Beaver Hall Hill (on the present site of a Bell Canada building). In 1867, St. Paul’s Church also decided to move and they built on a site on Dorchester Boulevard, (now boulevard René Lévesque) near today’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel. By 1918, the two congregations decided to unite and the present building was erected in 1931-32. The former St. Paul’s church was dismantled and reconstructed just south of the present site of Vanier College in Ville St-Laurent, where it now serves as a museum.

As part of our church’s bicentennial in 2003, The Rev. Dr. J.S.S. Armour published Saints, Sinners and Scots, a history of our congregation. It is available at the Book Stall in the Narthex.



Black Watch

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The Black Watch

On the first Sunday each May, The Black Watch of Canada (Royal Highland Regiment) marches in its annual Church Parade along Sherbrooke Street from the Bleury Street Armoury to the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul and back again. All are welcome to share this testament to peace.
This historic regiment has a long association with our church. Their presence honours the many members of our congregation who have given their lives in our defence. Their names are inscribed on our walls. The Colours (flags) of the Regiment hang in our Sanctuary to represent their sacrifice in defending the peace we cherish and our freedom to worship in liberty.
You can also see other instances of symbolism in the Church Parade. Soldiers march to the church – the army comes humbly to God’s house. They lay down their Colours, which are a record of history, on the Lord’s Table and worship in peace. The Commanding Officer reads the Lesson, acknowledgement of the dominion of God’s word. The haunting bagpipe lament during the service mourns those who have died in honour, its sound fading as a reminder to never forget their sacrifice. The Sermon by the Regiment’s Chaplain reminds us of the supremacy of Christ’s message to the world. As the service ends, the regiment carries its Colours, furled as they depart from the Sanctuary, ready once again – as in our national anthem’s call to duty – to stand on guard for us.
You will find more information about The Black Watch at their website.