As we continue our long-running photography project dubbed “The Anglican Church Project” here on Vancouver Island, we find ourselves visiting parishes all over the island and the surrounding Gulf Islands photographing the buildings and their surroundings. Each church is unique and does a wonderful job of representing the local community they serve. Each one exhibits features and details that are absolutely indicative of the parishioners and the history of the parish, and each one is a pure joy to visit and work with for us personally. In today’s post we are going to feature Holy Trinity Anglican Church located in the North Saanich region of the island.
Back in 1884 here on Vancouver Island, the pioneering spirit was strong as settlers were arriving from Europe and creating communities all over the island. The Saanich Peninsula is a perfect location for farms and livestock, featuring nutrient-rich soil that produces abundant crops in the area, a tradition that carries on today. The burgeoning population needed all sorts of services to support these new communities, including schools, health facilities, and of course churches.
Back then, churches were an integral part of the community they served. With no real roadways, travel by horse and cart was a long and bumpy process to go through to get places. This required churches and other important facilities were to be built near the community they served to make access easier. The churches also became very important places for people to congregate and support each other.
Holy Trinity Church was no exception. Consecrated in 1885 after being built by local volunteers who went through considerable effort to fulfill this ambition, the church immediately became an important landmark in the area. We believe this church is of a Gothic Revival or Victorian Gothic style of architecture, featuring tall ceilings and wonderful architectural features that lend to this particular style.
In 1889 a bell-tower was added, and the community rejoiced on Easter Day as the bell was first rung. Further renovations and enhancements were completed over the following years, carefully designed to compliment the original style and look of the church. Inside, the wood paneling is luscious and warm, creating a truly inviting space that is a delight to see in person and adds so much to the overall feel.
Wonderful vignettes were found at every turn, resulting in us working through the session as quickly as we could, while still trying to capture all the photographs that presented themselves in terms of outstanding composition.
Next, our focus turned to the cemetery in the churchyard. It has a very storied history, and is a very important part of this parish.
On February 1st, 1888, Mr. George Mills passed away at the age of 54 and he became the first to be interred in the churchyard that was subsequently enlarged and declared a burial site in 1891. Mr. Mills was one of the founding pioneers in the area and was responsible for many things that became the cornerstone of the community as a whole. Over the years the cemetery was expanded from half an acre to just over 2 acres where today it has 1700 plots, many of which hold people who were key to the creation of the strong community that exists to this day.
As we work our way around the outside, many different aspects of the grounds reveal themselves. Beautiful fall flowers dot the landscape as those who rest eternally here enjoy the peace and solitude found in the immaculately manicured grounds.
We had a truly wonderful time exploring the church and the grounds during our visit, it was a real highlight of the year for us. If you’d like to see the entire catalog of 48 high quality images, please feel free to visit our online gallery. You can also click here to be taken to a fullscreen slideshow of the set, allowing you to see all the photographs in as much detail as possible. It is well worth it as these photographs are beautiful to see.
Thank you very much for your kind visit to The Hollow today, we really appreciate it. As always, we love to hear from all our visitors so please feel free to leave us any comments you may wish to share below.