Sunday, November 27, 2011

                                                                                                                       November 27, 2011

3400 Institute Road

St. Clements Anglican Church
Lynn Valley, North Vancouver, B.C.

"Our Roots in "The Valley"
March 16, 1899 the first Anglican Service was held on the north shore and the following year St. John the Evangelist, the first church was opened. It can be readily understood why Anglicans in Lynn Valley desired a "Chapel-at-ease", as a Mission Church was known as in the olden days. Attending Divine Service at St. John's necessitated walking the long distance on a plank road, skid-road and forest trail in the days of yesteryear - with women wearing long dresses and button-up shoes on a hot summer day. The only horse and buggy was that belonging to the postmistress in the "Valley" and of course it could only travel on the plank road, with seating accommodation for two.

"On May 6, 1908, "the Reverend J.H. Hooper, Vicar of St. Johns Parish, North Vancouver, visited the Valley calling upon sundry church people and spoke to them concerning the expediency of starting Church of England services in the valley." So reads the opening chapter of the history of this parish. From these humble beginnings grew our parish church. The next day the first service was held in the old school house, which became the community hall known as "Institute Hall".

                                         Original church on Church St. (REF. 1)

"The new parishioners purchased a lot for $150, and built the new church on the road subsequently named "Church Street" which remains so today. At the official opening, Easter, April 18, 1909, 100 people crowded into the newly built small church.
                                    Location of church on west side of Church St.
                                                                    (REF. 2.)
"In May of 1927 the Church was rolled from the site on Church Street to the present location on Institute Road and was known as "Saint Clement-by-the-brook".

Anchor and peaked roof of the Chapel/1909 Sanctuary

                                                           Chapel/1909 Sanctuary
                                                  (Note 1912 Memorial Window)

                                            WWI Plaque on Rear Wall of Chapel

"In May of 1927 the Church was rolled from the site on Church Street to the present location on Institute Road and was known as "Saint Clement-by-the-brook".

"In the '40's and early '50's additions were added either side of the original 1909 Church, which today are the offices, upper room and St. Mary's Room. The rear section of the original church is now our Chapel. The front section with a vestibule, where the Memorial Garden is now, was deemed unsafe and demolished in the late '60's.

"In 1959 the present Panabode church was built for $35,000 with devoted labor and donations from parishioners. Projects over the years have added; the Bell Tower (1970); finishing the basement (1975); the wheelchair ramp into the church (1984), the Memorial Garden (1985); the Church Office downstairs (1987); the wheelchair ramp to the lower hall (1995); and the handi-cap washroom (2002).

                                Present Sanctuary of the 1959 Panabode Church
(The hand carved wood triptych screen behind the altar (the reredos) was reclaimed from a Hope, B.C. church that was demolished at the time St. Clement's was being built. (JG)

"St. Clement's Church was served by many part time priests from 1909 - 1941 and since 1941 has had 7 full time priests whose portraits are located in the upper room, next to the Chapel:

Reverend Canon Hinchliffe.........1941 - 1952
Canon J. Leigh..............................1952 - 1955
Reverend T.D.B. Ragg.................1955 - 1957
Reverend John Lowe....................1957 - 1974
Reverend Ron Barnes..................1975 - 1989
Reverend Ron Hunt......................1990 - 1999
Reverend Sarah Tweedale...........1999 - 2008
Reverend Lynne McNaughton.....2008 to present

"Today The Church has made significant building upgrades over the past five years, with enhancements to the basement and the kitchen.  One thing that marks our Church is the lively social events and our nicely equipped kitchen is well suited and prepared to host many guests and cooks.

"St. Clement's AnchorThe Anchor, a relic of bygone sailing days was recovered from Burrard Inlet by Dillingham Corporation and donated to the church in 1977. The Anchor is a symbol of St. Clement, and a reminder of how he lived and died for Jesus with steadfast faith amidst persecution.

"St. Clement was the Bishop of Rome from about 85-96 AD. After a life of steadfast witness to the Truth of the Gospel, much of which is included in his first Epistle to the Corinthians, St. Clement was arrested and exiled by the government in 95AD.

"Even in the prison camp, he continued his ministry as a Bishop, resulting in his martyrdom. He was tied to an anchor, and thrown into the Black Sea. His victorious death is celebrated every November 23rd, "St. Clement's Day". (Link 1.)

St. Clement's-By-The-Brook was an appropriate name for the church when in 1927 it was moved from Church St. to its present site on Institute Rd.  The church was placed at the crook in Coleman Creek.  The creek skirts the north side of the church, then bends along the east side of the church before it bends again and flows diagonally across the property at 3401 Church Street and then under Church Street itself.

                                                Former manse at 3401 Church St.,
                               Church Street, with Coleman Creek in foreground (2011).

In the 1970's a 6 bedroom new St. Clement's  manse was built for Rev. Ron Barnes family of 6 children in the area of the old church on Church St.  (The old manse had been to the north of this property. JG)  The new house faced south and the creek, rather than Church Street to the east.  To facilitate the families walk to church, a bridge with cement abutments was built across the creek between the backyard and the church.  This bridge was rebuilt in 1985/86.  In the late 1990/s the manse was sold and the bridge removed, but the cement abutments remain.

                             Cement abutments on both sides of Coleman Creek
                                  with former manse in the background, 2011.

Each week at the beginning of the Sunday service the young people of the church ring the bell in the 1970's Bell Tower as a welcome to St. Clement's Anglican Church.  It witnesses that God as revealed by Jesus Christ is present in the community.

St. Clement's Anglican Church (2012)

Thank You: To congregation members Jack Griffiths (JG) and
                 Larry Terrace for information on the history of
                 St. Clement's Church, manse and bridge.
Photos: Taken in 2011 and 2012 by SW.
                 Black and White photos taken in 2004 by SW and on file at the
                 North Vancouver Archives.
Reference 1: "History of Lynn Valley", Draycott, page 15.
Reference 2: North Vancouver Archives Map #275.
Link 1:
Link 2:



God, be with the persecuted Christians through out the world. Amen (SW.)

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