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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.