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St Anne’s Log Church

Parksville

Stepping Back in Time: A Visit to St Anne's Log Church in Parksville

Activity:
10 Minute Stop
Difficulty:
Easy
Location:
Parksville
Time:
10 min
Distance:
.1

Activity:

Accessibility:

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Where to this weekend, Vancouver Island: Vancouver Islands Oldest Surviving Log Church

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If you’re planning a visit to Parksville, there’s one place you absolutely can’t miss: the historic St. Anne’s Log Church. As the oldest surviving log church on Vancouver Island, it stands not merely as a religious edifice but a testament to the pioneering spirit of early settlers. Easily accessible via Church Road and with ample parking available, it’s a convenient addition to any itinerary.

This charming little church nestled in the heart of Parksville has roots dating back to 1893. Canon Charles Cooper, newly arrived in Canada from England, undertook a journey first to Victoria, then Nanaimo and finally to Port Alberni – all with the aim of building a place of worship in the northern part of the island. The church was completed just in time for St. Anne’s Day on July 26, 1894.

St. Anne’s is not just a church, it’s a living heritage and a standing archive of local history. The first pioneers and settlers found their final resting place here, while the first wedding took place in 1896 between Irish Catholic Tomas Kinkade and Sarah Coqulamat. St. Anne’s remains one of the oldest churches on Vancouver Island and the oldest north of Nanaimo.

Thanks to a few key renovations over the last 100 years, the church retains its use, hosting special occasions that continue its traditional role as a gathering place for the community. Pay a visit to St. Anne’s An and you’ll be stepping back in time, touching an important part of Vancouver Island’s history and experiencing a unique slice of Parksville’s culture. It’s a wonderful quick stop for any visitor to the Parksville area.

 

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Key Historic Events for St. Ann's Church

Stained glass window on the North side of the log church in Parksville BCSt. Ann’s Log Church Timeline:

  • April 17th 1894 The site was chosen and Canon Cooper purchased the property out of his own funds
  • June 24th 1894 The walls were raised with free burial plots offered to all who assisted with the construction
  • July 26th 1894 Finishing touches were completed in time for St. Anne’s Day
  • 1921 The stone front was donated by Mrs. Cooper in memory of Canon Cooper, who died in England in 1916
  • 1921 The log vestry was constructed
  • 1934 The old cedar block foundation of the church was replaced with new cedar blocks due to the cost of concrete at the time
  • 1936 The bell was installed
  • 1938 The east window was gifted by E.B. May in memory of his wife Dorothy May
  • 1977 Restoration: insulating paper from the ceiling was removed, a new roof was installed, and the bell was repaired to allow it to ring again
  • 2000 The present gate was built
  • 2022 New roof was installed, along with repairs to the church’s steeple and lychgate

Source: The Parish of St. Anne and St. Edmund website

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Original Author:

Modified: October 17, 2023
Last Visit: September 12, 2023

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