Sunday, April 6, 2014

                                            195 East Windsor Road

St. Martins Anglican Church
North Vancouver, B.C. Canada

The first worship service of this church was held in October 1910. In early November, 1910 the church became a mission of St. John's Anglican Church, North Vancouver (See Blog Post 9/30/12.).  And later in November 1910 the name of the church was officially St. Thomas Anglican Church.  (For more on this building see blog post 3/12/14.)

This first service was held in a small rented hall on the north-west corner of Lonsdale Avenue and Queens Road in North Vancouver District.  The building was built by Thomas S. Nye as a warehouse to store building materials.  In 1918 it was purchased for $800 by the church congregation, then enlarged. 

"...the parish was officially rededicated on Nov. 11, 1919, to St. Martin of Tours "in commemoration of the signing of the Armistice on St. Martins Day in 1918, to perpetuate the memory of those who were killed in the Great War. (REF 1.)

St. Martin's Anglican Church continued to meet in the Thomas Nye warehouse for 13 years. (The hall ran parallel to Queens Rd. with the entrance on Lonsdale Ave. and the altar at the west end. REF 4.)  "The last service was held at this location on the 1st Sunday in September, 1923" (REF 3.) In 1927 it was sold for $300 and became a builder' supply store. (REF 3.) "It is the current location of a gas station at the corner of Lonsdale and Queens." (REF 2.)

"In June 1921 two lots (The cost was $850.-REF 3.) on East Windsor Road were purchased to build a parish hall (The cost was $1800-REF 3.) for the community.  The hall was opened in early 1922, and by 1923 this former parish hall became a temporary church. (With the altar located at the east end-REF 3.)  

Alterations had to be made  and in 1927 this hall was turned 90 degrees on the property (With the altar now located at the south end-REF 3.)  It was raised and a basement was built beneath." (It is the present church nave.) (REF 2.) The cost was $850.  (REF 3.) 

Description of Church (REF 4.)

In 1947 the southern apse was added and in 1950 the (Windsor Rd. bell) tower was built. " (Link 2.)  The bell tower featured a Celtic Cross on the front.  "The church offers an attractive Craftsman adaptation of the Gothic Revival Style.   (REF 1.)

Construction of Apse and Transept
(North Vancouver Archives photo  # 6324)

Church and Transept
(North Vancouver Archives photo #6327)

Rear of Church/Apse on left

Tower and Front Entrance on Windsor Rd., 1950
(North Vancouver Archives Photo # 6328)

The entrance to the Sanctuary was later moved from the front of the bell tower to the east side of building. (See top photo.)


The nave of the Sanctuary features a center aisle with stained glass windows lining the side walls. These windows replaced the original rectangular windows.(See NV Archives photo #6327) Diamond patterned leaded glass panels  flank the some of the tall rectangular stained glass windows.

Side Stained Glass Window

Side  Stained Glass Window Panel
(Note: St. Martin in the right panel.)

The pulpit is made of white oak with dark oak panels.  The yellow cedar tracings are brown English oak. (REF 4.)


The arch on the east wall of the chancel originally led to the Wallace Memorial Chapel in the added transept. (It now frames the organ pipes.) The chapel was dedicated in 1951 in memory of the Wallace's son, Blake Wallace. The chapel included three stained glass windows also dedicated in memory of  Blake Wallace. In 1969 it was closed to accommodate new organ pipes. The stained glass windows were  mounted together and moved to the west wall of the chancel. (REF 4.)

Wallace Memorial Chapel
(North Vancouver Archives Photo # 6333)

The entrance to the chancel (the rood) is a dark wood frame topped by the words "God So Loved The World".  Above this message is a carved crucifix.  On the left is a small choir loft and exposed organ pipes.  The organ is on the right.

The Transept and Altar

A brass cross, once at St. John's School Chapel, sits on the altar. (REF 4.) Stained glass windows are on the walls to the right and left.

"The lych-gate was originally built in 1924 for St. James Church in Vancouver, and was designed by Richard T. Perry.  Expansion of that church required its removal, and it was moved to St. Martin's in 1935."  At that time it was erected on St. Georges Ave. at the entrance to the original church hall (now the nave of the present church). Then in 1965 it was moved to its present site as the entrance to the church complex on Windsor Rd. (REF 1.)

 Lych Gate

The same year, 1965, the new parish hall (seen behind the lych gate in photo above) was built running north to south along St. Georges Avenue.  This hall with its basement is the activity center and Sunday School area for the church congregation.

Church Bell
(REF. 4.)

In 1913 the ship's bell of the SS Zafiro of Battle of Manila Bay fame (The flag ship of Commodore Dewey in the Spanish-American War of 1898.-REF 1.) was donated to the church and hung in a rustic, ground-standing belfry.  In 1920 the bell was built into a turret and placed on the roof of the hall (on Queens and Lonsdale), now named St. Martin's Church. The bell and turret were later moved to the roof of the church built at Windsor and St. George's in both the east-west position of 1923, and the north-south position of 1927.  It was moved into the present bell tower in the summer of 1950. (REF 3.)

In 1989 the church was renovation for $250,000.  The architect was Brian Sim and the construction company was Leyland Construction.  During the renovation Sunday worship services were held in the church hall. (REF 6.)

In 2002 a stylized round stained glass Rose Window designed by Irene Alexander was set above the rear entrance to the Sanctuary.  (REF 7.)  It can also be seen on the exterior Windsor Rd. wall to the west of the bell tower.  The Rose Window replaced the original set of three clear glass windows.  (See black and white photo #6328 above.) 

Rose window in rear of church
installed 2002

The hard working and dedicated congregation of St. Martin's Anglican Church has supported the many changes in the physical plant of the church.  They have also donated many of the stained glass windows and much of the church furnishings.

For more information on St. Martin's Anglican Church see Blog Posts 3/30/14 and 4/13/14.

Thank you: To church secretaries Yolanda and Margaret. 
Photos: Colored photos taken in January 2014 by SW.
Reference 1: North Vancouver Heritage Inventory, 1984, available at the North 
                          Vancouver Archives.
Reference 2: North Shore News, "Home and Garden", 'St. Martins Church' by                                  Dorothy Foster, Dec. 4, 1992.
Reference 3: Chronological History, St. Martin's Anglican Church, 
                          Feb.27, 2005 .
Reference 4: A Short History of St. Martins, 1910-1956, North Vancouver, 
                           B.C., Roy Pallant.
Reference 5: 1930 Fire Insurance Map available at the North Vancouver
Reference 6: The Vancouver Sun, 'Pulpit',  January 11, 1989.
Reference 7: North Shore Historical Society, "The Stained Glass Windows of                                  St. Martin's Church", Irene Alexander, June 2002.


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

No comments:

Post a Comment