While embracing believers from a wide variety of faith perspectives, St. Mary’s Church seeks to maintain balance and focus on Jesus Christ, the head of the church.
St. Mary’s Anglican Church history started prior to the formation of the parish by the Bishop of Calgary. English immigrants worshipped together in various locations for several years. The CPR Railway building, the Presbyterian Church and a room over the old Co-op store were some of the sites used. On July 07, 1903 Bishop Cyprian of Calgary formed the Parish officially.
In November of 1904 lot no.11 in the Town of Ponoka was being sold by a NWT farmer for the sum of $140. To provide the funds to purchase the property a few women raised over $200 by cooking a chicken dinner for the town. The building that was subsequently erected was the second church building in Ponoka and was called “The English Church.” Travelling lay missionaries provided sporadic services and in 1914 Bishop Allen Gray of Edmonton consecrated the church building. In 1921 an addition was made to the church and in 1928 the first Parish Hall was completed as a separate building on the property. To provide sacraments and other services for the parish a Priest came from Wetaskiwin by horse and buggy or sleigh, dependant on the weather.
In 1957 a second Parish Hall was dedicated by Bishop Howard Clark. This building was built with some discarded materials from the Provincial Mental Hospital. The parish was a mission church until 1957 when financial assistance from the diocese was no longer needed. In 1963 the old church building was torn down. A new church was erected, dedicated on May 2, 1965 and consecrated on June 12, 1974 by Bishop Burch. It included in its architecture a free standing altar, a new concept, placed in the center of the sanctuary with the congregation seated on three sides.
In 1985, due to new safety regulations for public buildings, the parish decided to build a new hall connected to the church. On September 22, 1985 Bishop Kent Clarke dedicated the new addition. A mortgage burning took place on April 15, 1999 making St. Mary’s debt free.
Today’s building is well maintained. The church hall is used for many community functions including funeral teas.