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Christ Church, Anglican

16613 Old McLellan Road, Surrey, British Columbia, V3S, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1980/12/15

Exterior view of Christ Church, 2004; City of Surrey 2004
oblique view
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Other Name(s)

Christ Church, Anglican
Christ Church
Anglican Christ Church and Cemetery

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1884/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/11/10

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Christ Church is a vernacular wood-frame example of the Arts and Crafts style with a Gothic Revival influence, set in a prominent location on a rise of land in Surrey Centre. It is surrounded on three sides by the churchyard, which contains headstones and funeral monuments.

Heritage Value

Christ Church has strong spiritual and cultural significance for the people of Surrey as a reminder of the faith of the early Anglican pioneers. It was the first church, of any denomination, built in Surrey. Such was the enthusiasm for religious observance and community spirit that the first settlers worshipped in private houses and in the first Town Hall. When the Reverend William Bell arrived in the parish in 1884, he immediately organized a building committee of prominent local pioneers. Abraham Huck, the area's first pioneer, donated the land.

Christ Church is valued as a rare and early example of an Arts and Crafts variation on the Gothic Revival style. The church exhibits a marked verticality characteristic of Gothic Revival architecture; but its drop siding and internal and external scissor trusses indicate a vernacular Arts and Crafts rendition. Gothic Revival church architecture was, by the 1880s, the accepted vocabulary for local churches of all denominations, but Christ Church is indicative of the pioneer nature of this new community. It is similar in design to All Saints' Anglican Church in Ladner, B.C., which dates from 1881; both churches were built by contractor William Flood.

The historic structure is so valued that volunteers ensure its continued maintenance and security while displaying great sensitivity to the original building fabric; the church continues to be used for weddings, funerals, and special services.

The church is further valued as part of the local tradition of the Surrey Freemasons. Members of the Fraternity laid the cornerstone on August 6, 1884, and the church was dedicated with full Masonic rites. Every year since laying the cornerstone the Freemasons return to commemorate the event.

The churchyard and cemetery provide an important record of the area's pioneers in the memorial inscriptions. The sophistication and variety of headstones and monuments is an indication of the personal success achieved by many of the early settlers. A recent addition to the cemetery is a Memorial Garden, open to all faiths and valued as a testament to the multi-faith character of Surrey and the generosity and compassion of the Anglican congregation.

Source: Heritage Planning Files, City of Surrey

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of Christ Church include its:
- Setting in a historic cemetery
- location in Surrey centre on Old McLellan Road
- form, scale and massing
- wood frame construction
- steeply pitched gabled roof and a tall and slender bell tower, with narrow lancet windows
- exterior features such as the fenestration; the scissor trusses; the bell tower; the churchyard and memorial headstones and monuments
- interior features such as tongue-and-groove cladding; the wooden pews; the original priest's chair; the Bible, (a gift from the Vicar and Churchwarden of Besford, Worcestershire, dated April 7, 1884 and presented to the church by the Bishop of New Westminster); the oak lectern; the elaborately carved pulpit; and stained glass

Recognition

Jurisdiction

British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.967

Recognition Type

Heritage Designation

Recognition Date

1980/12/15

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions

Function - Category and Type

Current

Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Mortuary Site, Cemetery or Enclosure
Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Historic

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

William Flood

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Planning Files, City of Surrey

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

DgRq-17

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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