Today’s photoblog post finds us at a location that we didn’t previously know even existed.  One of our prime loves here at The Hollow is architecture, especially if it has a historic or heritage meaning behind it, as it most certainly does today.  We’re going to look at St. Andrews Church at Cowichan Station, on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.

Cowichan Station is a very tiny community located near the south end of the Cowichan Valley on the island.  I’ve lived here since 1980 and before Mrs. Toad and I bumped into this on one of our photo shoots, I wasn’t even aware of it.  As we were heading back home from our intended shoot, we came across this wonderful, old church.  You can well imagine the plume of tire smoke that arose from our chariot as we placed both feet firmly on the brakes to check out this find…

St. Andrews Anglican Church - Cowichan Station, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

St. Andrews Anglican Church - Cowichan Station, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

It was a warm day, but we can clearly see the clouds in the sky providing an ominous backdrop to the overall scene facing us.  Little did we know when we returned home and began to investigate the church history, this would have some bearing on the post we make and share here today.  The red of the shingle siding and the spire on the roof were 2 of the elements that made us take notice of this facility when we first encountered it.

St. Andrews Anglican Church - Cowichan Station, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

St. Andrews Anglican Church - Cowichan Station, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

As we came around the back of the church, the sun poked out from behind the clouds to provide this brighter setting for us to capture.  Colorful, friendly, happy, beautiful, hopeful…  all words we would choose to describe this.  This might be one of my personal favorites from this shoot as we really get a strong sense of the scale of the tower, and there are a ton of textures and details to take in with the woodwork so prevalent here.  We think the building is a true work of art.

St. Andrews Anglican Church - Cowichan Station, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

St. Andrews Anglican Church - Cowichan Station, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

It would seem the decline in regular visitors and the accompanying effect this has had on collections and donations is having a direct impact on the long-term plans for this wonderful place.  An article published March 10, 2010 “Cowichan Station to fight church closure” shares some of the problems with consensus on these future plans.  The article seems to state that closure is likely with a resultant sell-off of the property and buildings.  It’s a wonderful location, little doubt the church would be torn down and replaced with single or multi-family dwellings of some sort.

St. Andrews Anglican Church - Cowichan Station, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

St. Andrews Anglican Church - Cowichan Station, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

One of the things we love to do here at The Hollow is document these heritage and historically significant buildings before they are gone forever.  This opportunity to shoot the church is a fine example of the work we love to do.  This picture is definitely in my favorite list for this series, with the wonderful black door to the tower and all the weathering on it, and the tower itself, providing so much interest.

St. Andrews Anglican Church - Cowichan Station, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

St. Andrews Anglican Church - Cowichan Station, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Doors and gates, I can’t help myself, I love them as subjects.  With the red shingles providing the framing for this wonderful set of warm, brown doors, this scene beckoned me to photograph it.   Here again, we have some weathering to enjoy in the textures provided in the scene.

St. Andrews Anglican Church - Cowichan Station, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

St. Andrews Anglican Church - Cowichan Station, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

And here we have our gate.  This wrought iron work on this gate was just exquisite, undoubtedly manufactured by a local artisan.  The stone pillars that flank the gate have subtle decorative crosses embedded directly in the stonework; something you might miss at first glance, but once noticed really adds an element of character here.

St. Andrews Anglican Church - Cowichan Station, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

St. Andrews Anglican Church - Cowichan Station, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Mrs. Toad deserves all the credit for this picture.  She first noticed it as I was setting up for some of the earlier shots in this post…  she mentioned that this was a fabulous subject with a lot of details to provide interest.  The spire itself is not straight…  the wood frames and slats are painted 2 different colors, one yellow, one blue…  and of course there is the every-present rich texturing we see here from 100 years of west coast weather.

We don’t know for certain what the future holds for this most wonderful facility.  We just love this sort of history, and the architecture really speaks of the times.  We can find no further information online as to the near term plans for the church, and at the end of the day are thrilled beyond words that at least we had a chance to get this series of shots to preserve the church forevermore.

Thank you so very much for your visit today, we hope you enjoyed the post.  As always, we encourage you to leave us some comments as we truly love to hear from all our visitors!




  1. avatar Jim Denham says:

    What a wonderful place and fantastic job documenting it! The red siding is just awesome. Well…so is the rest of it! Great job toads!

  2. avatar Jim Nix says:

    great series again Toad, I especially love that second shot with the tall tower and cool clouds – have a great weekend mate!

  3. avatar Curt Fleenor says:

    What a wonderful post! This is a great piece of architecture and you guys have done a marvelous job of capturing and sharing it with the rest of the world.

  4. avatar Chris Nitz says:

    Another fine set of images! I love how much that red siding just explodes off the page against that wonderful green backdrop.

  5. avatar Dave DiCello says:

    What a cool accidental find Toad! I love the wide angle perspective you offer to us, it certainly lends to impressive shots of this church! I hope you enjoy your weekend my friend!

  6. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    Another great find Toad. Excellent images especially the last one – love the details. Really appreciate how you document your finds.

  7. avatar Heather says:

    Churches & Barns run a close tie for me for favorite photography subject! This is really impressive Toads!

  8. avatar Tom Barnett says:

    Wow!! Toad you really hit a home run on this one! Great photos and text. Great subject and give Mrs. Toad a hug for the last shot. Great stuff here. I just wish I could go explore it myself now!

  9. Simply beautiful. You’ve really captured the heart and spirit of St. Andrews in these photographs.

  10. avatar A.Barlow says:

    Really nice shots Scott. One thing I have noticed about the buildings you shoot. They all have this unique brick red paint; at least to me they do. Wonderful shots.

    • Hey Aaron, thanks so much! I do agree, we have a lot of that color up here that’s for sure. And I have a thing for brickwork, I find the textures to be awesome. Thanks so much for your kind words my friend!