Holy Trinity Anglican Church
Holy Trinity Church
Links and documents
1884/01/01 to 1885/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Holy Trinity Church is a late 19th century one-storey wood-frame church with a prominent steeple and Gothic-arch windows located at the southeast corner of Mills Road and West Saanich Road in North Saanich. The church is surrounded by a picturesque rural cemetery and offers commanding views across West Saanich Road to Patricia Bay. The formal recognition includes the church and one metre of land surrounding the building.
Dedicated in 1885, Holy Trinity Church is valued as a reflection of the strength and continuity of the pioneer community that settled in North Saanich in the late nineteenth century. It is also valued for its architect and architecture.
Holy Trinity Church stands as a testament to the community effort that led to its construction in the late 19th century. It was built on land donated by local farmer George Mills, funded locally through the efforts of J.J. Downey and Walter Collins, with site preparation by a group of volunteers that included members of the Brackman, Collins, Downey, Horth, Ker, McIlmoyl and Roberts families. Charles Wales floated the lumber south from Genoa Bay, and T.B. Shaw of Cowichan, who also worked on St. Stephen’s Church, Saanich, was awarded the contract for construction. Since its consecration on June 27, 1885, by the Reverend George Hills, the first Bishop of British Columbia, Holy Trinity Church has continuously served the Anglican community of North Saanich.
Holy Trinity Church is a significant surviving example of the work of John Teague, a prolific Victoria architect of the late nineteenth century, noted for his design of Victoria City Hall and the Church of Our Lord in Victoria.
Holy Trinity Church has architectural significance as an example of the Gothic Revival style, one of the most favoured architectural expressions for Late Victorian religious structures in British Columbia. The original church building was a modest structure with Gothic pointed-arch windows and wooden drop siding. Later additions provide evidence of the church’s evolution over time, including an 1889 belltower, an 1893 tinted glass window placed in memory of founding church member Henry Brackman, and 1921 alterations to the structure, detailing and interior. Although changes have occurred, the original character of the building has been beautifully preserved.
Source: Planning Department, District of North Saanich
Key elements that define the heritage character of the Holy Trinity Church include its:
- prominent corner location at the intersection of Mills and West Saanich Roads, across the road from the waterfront, with expansive views of Patricia Bay and Saanich Inlet
- situation within a picturesque rural cemetery, surrounded by the remains of many local settlers and area residents
- continuous use as an Anglican church
- ecclesiastical form, scale and massing as expressed by its one-storey height, rectangular plan, steeply pitched front-gabled roof, and projecting rectangular bell tower with quadrilateral steeple and louvered vents
- wood-frame construction with original wooden drop siding under later shingle siding
- Gothic Revival details, such as Gothic pointed-arch window openings, and cross finials on the quadrilateral steeple
- Arts and Crafts details, such as cedar shingle siding and triangular eave brackets
- early wooden front doors at the north entrance, with iron strap hinges
- windows, including: Gothic pointed-arch windows with diamond-leaded panes, some with wooden tracery, in single and triple assembly; multi-paned leaded glass casement windows; tinted glass memorial window
- interior features such as an original pew at the north entrance and exposed scissor trusses
Local Governments (BC)
Local Government Act, s.967
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Philosophy and Spirituality
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Religious Facility or Place of Worship
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
District of North Saanich Planning Department
Cross-Reference to Collection