In the 1830s, when worship services began in Chelsea, the area was an outpost of the town of Hull, Quebec.
Not having a church building or a designated gathering place, the people worshipped in their homes.
By 1842, parishioners held their services in the schoolhouse in Chelsea. In 1875, they began the construction of the first St. Mary Magdalene Church (SMM) building on a hillside just across the road and north of where today’s church is located. Two years later, in 1877, that building received its dedication, officially becoming a church.
The parishioners worshipped in that first SMM building until the fall of 1943, when the church building was decommissioned, secularized, and then demolished. Undaunted, the small congregation moved their worship services to the Chelsea schoolhouse.
The SMM congregation grew, and from 1950 to 1956, they gathered in the United Church building in Chelsea, enjoying worship and fellowship, and engaging in community outreach. At last, the congregation was able to acquire land to build a new church. In 1957, Bishop John H. Dixon of Montréal laid the cornerstone for the new church. On December 6, 1966, that building, the second SMM church, was consecrated.
In 2000, the congregation undertook a major renovation project. To the church building, they added a wheelchair-accessible main entrance, two accessible washrooms, a Sunday school classroom, a vestry attached to the church sanctuary, an office and a spacious hall that includes a kitchen suitable for large community events.
Early in 2020, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, SMM had to adapt to the Diocesan and Quebec public health guidelines. When in-person worship is not permitted or presents a high-risk for transmission, SMM has acquired the technology to offer Worship Services on line.