St. Andrew's Pioneer Church is situated at 4778 Island Highway. It is one mile north of downtown Courtenay, B.C. and 27 miles north of the Fanny Bay Inn (See October 2nd, 2010 blog post, http://www.demolitionmama.blogspot.com/ Saturday Travel Feature, the Fanny Bay Inn, Fanny Bay, B.C.) on the very same highway as the Inn.
"Used since 2002 by Living Word Reformed Episcopal Church, this building is also known as St. Andrew's Pioneer Church. It was constructed in 1876 after a group of local Presbyterians, who had been meeting jointly with the people of St. Andrew's Anglican Church, chose to form their own congregation. The building was actively used by the original congregation until about 1950, at which time it was temporarily taken over by a Lutheran congregation in the process of building their own facilities. From approximately 1955 to 1977 the building was vacant and fell into disrepair. In the late 1970's the descendants of the original builders restored the building. It came back into use as a church in 1989 when Covenant Congregational Church began using it. They met there until late 2001. The main body of the church remains essentially unchanged. A small addition was made to the back of the church in the mid-1990's to house a kitchen and washrooms downstairs and office and Sunday School space upstairs.
Sanctuary with original pews
"The pews are original and were made from local materials not long after the building was constructed.... In the late 1990's wooden crosses were made and affixed to the end of the pews. I believe this was done about the same time the cross was added to the front of the church.... The pulpit, judging from the style, dates from 1900-1925 or thereabouts, but as far as I know has always been with the building. The Communion Table was donated to the St. Andrew's Heritage Society by Comox United Church, I believe at the time of the centennial restoration project in 1977.. Like the pulpit, it's made of quarter-saw oak and probably dates to the same time period.
"Based on the photos I have and/or have seen, the lychgate was built by Covenant Congregational Church, which used the building between 1989 and 2001." (See Reference.)
"The building is a great example of early Vancouver Island pioneer architecture, built from local materials. Of special interest is the portion of wall just inside the main doors. Preserved behind glass is a section of wall showing the original plaster made on-site from oyster shells and horsehair. The floors in the nave are still the original hand-cut timbers.
Photo: Taken in Courtenay B.C. in 2011 by SW.
For other photos see Link 2.
Link 2: http://homepage.mac.com/klock/lwec/index.htm