Photographing rural churches on the Canadian Prairies
Saskatchewan, Alberta + Manitoba churches
The prairies, specifically Saskatchewan is full of rural churches! Rural prairies are not what it is today. People had smaller plots of land, each rural municipality had multiple schoolhouses as well as churches. Religion was huge in the rural communities and building churches together as well as halls was very important. These churches and religious buildings became a place where people came together for weddings, funerals, gatherings, and more.
Things change and small farms became large farms, kids are bused to schools in large towns so schoolhouses closed and religion is not as prominent. Congregations dwindled so congregations usually moved to a church in town. It’s easier to get places these days with cars vs traveling by foot or horse.
With all these things changing it meant that there are many churches in rural Saskatchewan without regular services. Churches may be abandoned, still active, a historic site, or used a couple of times a year for a special occasion. The most common denominations we visit include Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, Anglican, United, and Presbyterian but we have also seen Russian, Romanian, Hungarian, Polish Jewish, and others. For Ukrainian Catholic and Ukrainian Orthodox churches visit the “Ukrainian Church Project” page.