Union Bay Community Church

Posted: 25th September 2012 by ToadHollowPhoto in Photography
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Churches are much more than a refuge for our hearts and souls, they are a communal gathering place and a sign of something significant in a community.  In most cities and towns, the churches are some of the most intricate and fascinating buildings around.  Here on Vancouver Island we have a history steeped in influence from Europe during the time that colonization was taking place.  And as such, in many cases our architecture reflects this.

Union Bay Community Church - Union Bay, BC, Canada

Union Bay Community Church – Union Bay, BC, Canada

Quaint is one of the first words that immediately jumps to mind when you encounter this wonderful little heritage church sitting in the seaside town of Union Bay on Vancouver Island.  As you travel up and down the island you come across quite a few of these lovely little towns, and each one is an expression of the community that lives there.  In this photo we can clearly see the ocean just out front of the church here, and the style presented with the red cedar shakes as siding beckons the visitor inside.

Union Bay Community Church - Union Bay, BC, Canada

Union Bay Community Church – Union Bay, BC, Canada

Very little information exists online for this church, but we do know it was built in 1906.  We believe this is an interdenominational facility as no specific details were uncovered during our research.  We definitely could be wrong on that, so if any of our visitors have more information we’d love to hear it.

Union Bay Community Church - Union Bay, BC, Canada

Union Bay Community Church – Union Bay, BC, Canada

Stained glass windows are always one of our favorite elements to a church.  The beauty in the design in the art showcased in the windows is really quite remarkable, and you can just imagine the stunning light that streams into the church on these bright, sunny days.  Unfortunately the church was locked the day we were here, so we were unable to get photographs of the inside.

It’s a small church, but is full of local character.  For over 100 years now it’s played host to all sorts of events and has wound itself deep into the heart of the community.  It represents much more than a simple building, it represents togetherness and hope for all.

What a great way to celebrate our spirituality and each other, we think.

Thank you so much for visiting us today, we really appreciate it.  We always love to hear from all our visitors, so please feel free to leave any comments you may have!




  1. Great bones and structure. Thanks for sharing.

  2. avatar Rick Louie says:

    Interesting architecture. Those windows are unique, especially with stained glass. There definitely is European influence in the building. Thanks for sharing!

  3. avatar Edith Levy says:

    I’ve never seen stained glass windows that size and shape that’s very interesting. From the first image it looks like the church is right next to the water. Really lovely.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you, Edith! Indeed, it is right across the street from the ocean and it sitting in the loveliest little town here on the Island. We really do appreciate your visit and comments today, thanks so much!

  4. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    Quite the interesting church Toad. Unusual shape and windows. That glimpse of the water shows that it sits in a prime location. Well done as usual, my friend.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      It’s truly a wonderful place, thank you Len! We sure do appreciate you taking the time to visit us and leave your thoughts here!

  5. avatar LensScaper says:

    What a pity the church was locked. This would be fascinating on the inside, and inside looking out through those unusual stained glass windows. Churches are often locked in the UK – a sad reflection on society that it is unsafe to leave a place of refuge and quiet contemplation open for fear of vandalism and burglary.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Don’t even get me started. I remember a day when you could leave your house or car unlocked… no way these days, that’s for sure! Thanks for your kind visit today, Andy, that really means an awful lot to us!

  6. avatar ehpem says:

    I love these old wooden churches. Each one is unique, echoing the origins of the community, or at least of the priest that directed its building. I am thinking of the small churches on Indian Reserves which reflect their builders, not their communities.
    And sometimes their stylistic origins are even more obscure. There is one church on the north coast in a small First Nations village that is said to have been designed by a Japanese architect working in a cannery at the mouth of the Skeena River (there has to be a story in there somewhere). It has an unusual exterior design and diminutive scale – you drop the last unexpected inch or so into the pews when sitting, and nearly trip on the low stairs. It has over the entrance a beautiful wood carving, a scene of a village with a church spire in fog, and in the distance, Mt. Fuji, of course. I was not allowed to take pictures in that church, sadly.
    So, as you can probably tell, I have a soft spot for these churches. Those windows look, to me, as if they are a make-do kind of window – there is not enough height in the walls under the eaves for much of a window, and as we all know, church windows should come to a point at the top. I expect they look great from the interior.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      I can’t even begin to tell you how much we appreciate your comments, Ehpem. They always add so much to our posts. I never really considered in-depth before the extent the priests who built the churches originally had on the design. It does make sense! I would love to see this church you mention on the Skeena River, it sounds wonderful. I think that many of the churches we see here on the west coast are full of rich character. Wonderful comments here today, my good friend, thank you so much for taking the time to pop by and leave these for us and all our visitors to enjoy!

  7. Beautiful pictures Toad! Those windows are unique works of art by themselves. I’ll bet that’s a peaceful feeling right by the water!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      It’s a really small community that really has such a quaint and wonderful feel to it. The red wood siding and those windows were the two biggest reasons we pounded on the brakes as we rolled by! Thanks so much for your kind visit today, kind sir!