Our love for Vancouver Island is no secret, that’s for sure.  We are lucky enough to call this wonderful island home, and we just love living in the picturesque Cowichan Valley.  Even after having lived here for years now, we still find and learn about new treasures in the area.  In today’s post we’re going to take close look at one of these discoveries in our running photoblog series “The Anglican Church Project“.  Today we visit a parish right in our very own backyard here at The Hollow, that is The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan.

The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Just before Christmas in 2013 we were invited to visit and perform a full session photoshoot at St Peter’s Quamichan.  This winter has brought us several snow events and the day we visited we were lucky enough to come upon the lovely little parish right after a fresh dusting of pure white snow.  This set off the entire shoot with the perfect mood, and both Mrs. Toad and I can honestly say this was one of our favorite visits to-date.

The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

As you come up the tiny path that leads to the church you are immediately taken by a sense of time melting away.  This parish is believed to be the oldest one in the Cowichan Valley that still serves the community.  Originally built in 1866, it was completed in 1867 and the first services were conducted in the spring of that year.  10 years later is was replaced by the building we see here today with more than double the capacity of the original structure.  On June 14, 1877, this church was consecrated and services began and still continue here today.

The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

One of the things that strikes you most about the church is the incredible amount of woodwork here.  Every detail is meticulous in design and construction, adding so much to the authentic feel of a visit.  The shape and wood used in constructing the door seen in this shot is one example of this.  I love this door and shoot it each time we visit.

The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Quamichan Lake, visible from our property at The Hollow, is just around the corner from the church.  The lake is an important local landmark.  It’s a key part of the ecosystem and history of the area, creating the perfect park and recreation place for a visit as well as being a crucial part of the local ecosystem as a whole.

The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

As with many of the buildings constructed during this time on the island, wood is a dominant element found in every aspect of design and construction.  As the official St. Peter, Quamichan site notes, even with this broad application of wood we find the inside to be warm and inviting.

The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Often time rafters are overlooked in terms of their design and underlying engineering and architectural beauty.  At St. Peter, Quamichan, they form an integral part of the interior of the facility and add so much character.  Looking towards the back of the church, the wonderful charm reveals an overall sense as well as great finer details, as noted in the pipes for the pipe organ.  Let’s take a closer look at those.

The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Beautiful lines and shadows add to the overall drama found inside the church.  With all this warm wood, the overall feeling of being enveloped in a safe and charming setting overwhelms you.  The rope we see dangling here from the ceiling is attached to the bell in the tower that we see in the outside shots earlier in this post.  This adds so much to the special nature of this beguiling church.

The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan - Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

The Anglican Parish of St. Peter, Quamichan – Cowichan Valley, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

As our visit comes to a close, we begin to focus on some of the details and vignettes found within the church.  The craftspeople who designed and created all these wonderful details have taken so much effort to ensure that each piece is as perfect as it is unique.

Every church we visit reveals something special and unique to us as we endeavor to capture the character and details of the facility.  Our visit to St. Peter, Quamichan was extra special due to its close proximity to our own home.  We hope we’ve managed to convey a bit of its story with you here today in our post, and through that we hope to have shared a little of the character of the Cowichan Valley.  If you have a chance to visit St. Peter yourself, whether it be to take in a service or if you are visiting to enjoy the building and the surrounding grounds, it will certainly be a visit you won’t soon forget.

Thanks for your kind visit today, we really appreciate it.  We love to connect with all our visitors, so please feel free to leave us any comments or thoughts you may have below.  Adios, my friends, until next we meet again!

The entire set of 28 HDR high quality photographs of St Peter’s Quamichan is available on our gallery.




  1. avatar Rachel Cohen says:

    Wow Toad, you’ve absolutely outdone yourself! Such a beautiful place, a stunning series of images superbly photographed and processed! What a beautiful experience you had! Thanks so much for sharing with us all my dear friend! 🙂

  2. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    What a beautiful church, both inside and out. That first image is my favorite. The snow covered grass and the way you have composed the scene makes it look so inviting. Peacefulness and tranquility exude from this image. Great post Toad.

    • Thanks a ton, Len, that truly means so much to us coming from you! Thanks every so kindly for visiting and commenting, I know for sure Mrs. Toad will be delighted to read your comments here!

  3. avatar Bev Oliver says:

    I’ve always been charmed by ‘the church in the woods’, and have never got as close as this. Stunning photos, again, Toad. Such lovely detail and luscious lighting! You’ve brought it beautifully to life. And love that early B.C. timber!

    • Thank you so, so much Bev, it’s a true highlight for us to see you pop by and leave us your wonderful thoughts!! I totally agree with you on the early B.C. timber, when I was visiting during the shoot here I found myself wanting to reach out and touch it knowing that it is so full of history and character. Thank you, dear friend, we really appreciate your kind visit!

  4. avatar Spencer says:

    Toads –

    All of you church shots are spectacular. I do quite enjoy the very first shot. This shot gives the viewer a nice perspective on the church, grounds, time of day, and big view (as I call it). The lights on in the church seems to draw the eye to the center of your photograph. They are like God’s invisible lines straight inside that church. Keep up the wonderful work and inspiration of my mind.

    • Thank you ever so kindly, Spencer, that just means so very much to us here my friend! Terrific comments, good sir, I think everyone who visits will enjoy these immensely! Take care!

  5. avatar Edith Levy says:

    These are beautiful Toad. What a lovely building and the interior shots are amazing. You’ve brought out the detail and tones in all that beauiful wood.

  6. Another great set of images, Toad. I love the richness of the woodwork inside the church. I don’t remember ever visiting a church were both the walls and ceiling were covered in wood like this. A great find my friend.

  7. avatar Daphne Swift says:

    Beautiful photographs of a beautiful church. I love all of the fabulous wood and the church is in such a wonderful setting. You will have to return to photograph it in early spring when it is surrounded by an explosion of spring flowers. It is simply breathtaking then!

    • Thank you so much for your visit today, Daphne, we always love to connect with other folks in the Cowichan Valley like this! Yes, indeed, I have been told about the flowers and we are totally planning on returning for that. If you see this happen before we notice, don’t be shy, drop us a note here and let us know!! 🙂 We really appreciate your visit, hope to see you here at The Hollow again in the future!

  8. What a great series! thanks for sharing, trying to catch up, sorry for now visiting for a while

    • Thanks Mike, I really do appreciate that! No worries on your visiting, my friend, we totally understand what it means to be busy. In today’s day and age that’s actually a good thing, isn’t it? 🙂 Thanks so much for all your support and encouragement, it means a lot to us!

  9. avatar Jim Nix says:

    lovely work as usual Toad, great series of shots, I am sure you are very proud of them my friend!

  10. This one is definitely among my favorite church buildings. Beside the art and the craftmanship that went into this kind of building, the love comes through as well plain and clear. The wood was freely available and the woodwork gorgeous, and you captured this essence and warmth with a meticulous tenderness (hope I said that right), love this posting.

    • Gosh, thanks so much Joseph, that means a lot to us here! I do believe you expressed yourself here quite wonderfully and I am sure everyone who visits will enjoy your comments my friend. Best wishes for your weekend!!