Our love for the heritage and history of Vancouver Island runs deep, and it seems we are continuously finding wonderful things to photograph and learn about.  The Courtenay/Comox area of Vancouver Island is a place we don’t visit often enough, and when we get a chance to we really enjoy capturing a bit of the essence of the place.  As the island was being settled and developed in the mid 1800’s, churches were a huge part of forming the communities that have since become our towns and cities.

Join us today as we take a brief look at St. Peter’s Anglican church.

Saint Peter's Anglican Church - Comox, BC, Canada

Saint Peter's Anglican Church - Comox, BC, Canada

Originally built in 1891 after the area became a parish in 1871, the original church is no longer on the property.  Rapid growth in the Comox area created a need for a much bigger facility, and in 1939 it was decided to demolish the original structure in favor of building a newer, larger building.  This is the result of that development.  The bell and white cross are preserved from the original facility and really bring the past forward to the future and add a lot of character.

Saint Peter's Anglican Church - Comox, BC, Canada

Saint Peter's Anglican Church - Comox, BC, Canada

The cities of Comox and Courtenay are nestled in a deep valley surrounded by high mountains that run down to the ocean.  It’s one of the key reasons my mom fell in love with the island, and why we moved out here in 1980.  There are all sorts of elements here; ocean, mountains and forests.  You can literally ski the hills in the morning and enjoy a lunch on an ocean-side deck in a short-sleeved shirt in the afternoon.

A hundred years ago, however, things were not that easy for people.  The winters can be quite brutal here, sometimes seeing prolonged periods of deep and cold snow.  The earliest pioneers must have toiled and suffered at times when trying to create a new life for themselves and their families.  It’s this level of dedication and determination that is so utterly profound, this steely willpower that makes people do what must be done to survive and move society forward.  We find inspiration in their stories.

Saint Peter's Anglican Church - Comox, BC, Canada

Saint Peter's Anglican Church - Comox, BC, Canada

The stonework in this fence is absolutely exquisite.  Each stone had to have been carefully picked, placed and installed.  The wrought-iron gate is slightly reminiscent of older European heritage sites, and in turn it adds character as well.

Never one to avoid a challenge, Vancouver Islanders are a hearty lot.  You can travel the island from north to south and see evidence of this in all our communities.  It’s with an honest sense of pride and love that we call this place home.

Many thanks for joining us today as we check out this historic church.  We really enjoy sharing these photos and stories with everyone, and we love to hear from all our visitors so please feel free to leave us any comments you may have.

  1. Very nice compositions, Toad. I especially like the one of the rooftop and cross – the light is gorgeous!

  2. avatar Edith Levy says:

    Beautiful building. It’s interesting that there’s a Star of David on the window just under the cross. I wonder if it also was a place of worship for the Jewish community at one point. Beautiful images as usual Toad.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      We wondered that too, Edith! Couldn’t find any information that would definitively state anything like this, but that feature really stood out to us too! Many thanks for taking the time to pop on by, it sure does mean an awful lot to us!

  3. avatar A.Barlow says:

    Once again a nice set sir. Like reading about these places. Interesting.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks so very kindly for your support here, Aaron, that really means a lot to us!!!

  4. I love how photography opens the world, I’ve seen and learned so many new things since picking up a camera with the purpose of taking more than just a snapshot. What a fun little church, I too am intrigued by the window’s design, great close up of it and the cross.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks Howard! We share your love for things discovered via photography! We talk of this often, how our horizons have been expanded since we started this work. It’s really a true highlight for us here. Many thanks for your kind visit & comments, good sir, it really means a whole lot to us here!

  5. avatar Edith Levy says:

    Toad just wanted to let you know that I’ve nominated you for a blog award. Thank you for always being inspiring. http://edithlevyphotography.com/2012/06/03/awards-nominations-a-big-thank-you/

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Oh my gosh, Edith, thank you SO much! What an honor, my friend! We’ll be all over that here in the next couple of days when we have a moment! You, my friend, are a true blue friend; many thanks for all you do for us!

  6. avatar Perry Bailey says:

    I love this set, especially the second image. Fascinating to see an Anglican church with such a distinctly Jewish symbol as the Star of David. Beautifully captured!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks, Perry! Yeh, it was really interesting to see this there. It really added a lot of character to the scene, and we really enjoyed photographing it! Many thanks for your kind visit!

  7. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    Another gem of a post Toad. Interesting find. Interesting to find a Star of David in a church. I’m sure there is a story there somewhere.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      There has to be, eh, Len? Many thanks for taking the time to pop on by and see us here today, we sure do appreciate your kindness and support my friend!

  8. avatar Chris Nitz says:

    That second shot is damn nice. Nice find and great write-up as always, Toad 🙂

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks so, so much there, Chris! We really can’t tell you how much we appreciate all your friendship & support here!

  9. Love that second shot. Great composition and beautiful light. And I was intrigued by the star on the church as well.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks, Steven, we really appreciate you taking the time to pop by and leave us your awesome comments here! Many thanks, my friend!

  10. Nice series of images, Toad. The second one, as simple as it is, is just perfect.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so, so much Mark, that means an awful lot to us here my friend!

  11. avatar Rich McPeek says:

    Another awesome write up and photos Toad! Great work!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you, good sir, your support & encouragement here really means an awful lot to us!

  12. avatar Jim Denham says:

    Love that stone wall! Excellent!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you Jim! Coming from you, that really means a whole lot to us Toads here, many thanks!!

  13. avatar Jim Nix says:

    love that roof shot, perfect light! nice work Toad!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks, Jim! We really appreciate all your friendship & support here, my friend!

  14. Great series, love the second shot, well done

  15. Hi

    Wonderful coverage and superb technical shooting! Great work!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks Erik & Kathleen, we really really appreciate your kind comments and words of support here!

  16. avatar Jimi Jones says:

    Nice series, as always. Really like that last shot with the stone wall and wrought iron gate. Classic look. All are so nicely processed.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so much Jimi, that means an awful lot to us up here in The Hollow my friend!

  17. avatar Rick Louie says:

    That star of David shot is outstanding. The light peaking out above the point of the roof really makes it!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so very, very much for your visit and comments here, Rick, that really means so much to us!

  18. Excellent post and shots Toad! It always seems to be a shame when a church is torn down to build something new. I am always fascinated by all of the older style architecture. How these types of buildings were built with such precision and they didn’t have the tools we have today. That fence is true craftsmanship. I wonder if it was built when the original church was built or afterwards.
    One of these days I will make way up there to do some exploring. Ever since I have been following your blog, I have become fascinated with the whole country. It is a beautiful place and I can tell you have a special place in your heart for your home!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      What wonderful comments to share here, Michael, how do we begin to thank you? Gosh almighty, we sure do appreciate that my good friend! I really don’t know if that’s the original fence, but I can honestly tell you that there is a good chance it is! I love your comments about the tools they had to build these places back then in comparison to today, and I wholeheartedly agree with you on that. If ever you do have a chance to come on up, my friend, please know you’ve got a pair of friends just waiting on the island to take you around and show you all the best the island has to offer!! 🙂

  19. avatar Adam Allegro says:

    Another fantastic post my friend! I love that contrasting star of david and cross on the second photo. 🙂

  20. avatar Rachel Cohen says:

    Lovely images and post as always Toad! I find it very interesting that there is a Star of David in the window below the cross. I’m wondering if they put that there for a religious reason, or as a geometrical design. Thanks for sharing another wonderful part of your world Toad!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks, Rachel! This definitely has been a source of question since the post went live the other day, that’s for sure. We really can’t find any information online about it. It struck us as an element of the church that stood out, that’s for sure! Many thanks for taking the time to pop on by and see us today, we sure do appreciate it!

  21. avatar Jim Lyster says:

    Hi Toad. Have just come across your site. Beautiful pictures of the church. The building interiors were completely renovated 6 years ago, with new stained glass windows in the sanctuary. I’d be happy to send along a photo, if you’re interested. BTW I’m the current parish priest here at St Peter’s. Thanks for including us. Love to have you visit agian.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      What a wonderful set of comments, Jim, this means an awful lot to us here! Thank you so much!! We’d love to post a shot of the inside as you have mentioned here, and I am sure our readers would too! I just sent you an email with the hopes of making arrangements to visit again and have a chance to photograph the inside of your lovely church! Best wishes, we hope to hear from you soon!

  22. avatar brenda says:

    beautiful pictures!! i love to take photos of churches and yours is breath taking!!!!

    • Gosh, Brenda, thank you so much!! Please stay tuned, we’ve got some simply incredible features coming up here at The Hollow! The churches we have here on Vancouver Island are simply wonderful, and we love to photograph and share them with everyone! Many kind thanks for taking the time to visit and for your terrific comments today, we hope to see you here again!