As an Anglican congregation in a thinly populated, non-Anglican area, the experience of St. Jude’s was different from that of most Anglican Churches in the province.
The influx of immigrants to Manitoba in the 1890s sparked growth in the lakeside settlements of the east beaches. Fishing and lumbering businesses helped to establish the communities and attract new residents.
Out of these changes came the need for a local Anglican church. St. Jude’s became unusual as a Protestant church in a predominantly Métis community.
Despite growth, Grand Marais was still a small community on the edges of settlement in the province. St. Jude’s, likewise, was a backcountry church. Dozens of ministers circulated through to serve the congregation over the years, few of them staying long.
Reverend G. E. Sage’s ten years at the church between 1932 and 1942 was an impressive stint.
Some church members came to Grand Marais as part of ministry in the wider area. Captain W. A. Knight of the church army was posted to Scanterbury. From 1948 to 1952, he walked, biked, rode, mushed, or drove down to Grand Marais to conduct services.
Captain David Holmes served in Grand Marais, Balsam Bay, Scanterbury, and Victoria Beach from 1960 to 1963. The last regular minister at St. Jude’s was Reverend Robert H. Marsh, who began in 1969.
After him, Winnipeg and Selkirk supplied clergymen to drive out for services. Today, there is interest in the building itself for its intriguing architectural features and for its historical role in the area.