On Sunday, November 7, the congregation, family members, and friends of Christ Church, Hope gathered to mark the 160th Anniversary of the parish. Bishop John Stephens presided at the service of Holy Eucharist as Celebrant and Preacher. Deacon, the Reverend Carole Neilson, Deacon from Holy Trinity Cathedral in New Westminster joined Bishop John and the Reverend Tim Morgan, vicar, in leading the congregation in worship. Lori Ann Steberl, a former organist in the parish returned to play the keyboard on this special occasion, while Keisha Kirksey led the processions as Crucifer, and Beverly Kreller, ODNW served as Bishop’s Chaplain. Following the service, Bishop John blessed five items – the name plaque in the Scattering Garden, three outdoor benches given in memory of former members of the parish, and the new lighting system in the parish hall, also a memorial. A luncheon, prepared by the parish ACW was served, and all who attended enjoyed the refreshments and the fellowship. It was a marvellous day!
The construction of Christ Church began in July 1861 and was consecrated on November 8th, 1861, by Bishop George Hills, the Colony’s first bishop. It still sits on its initial site, so is the oldest church in the province on its original foundation. The church was commissioned by The Reverend Alexander David Pringle, a missionary from Scotland for the Anglican Communion, and he became the first Rector of the parish. The church was built by the Royal Engineers, Columbia Detachment, as they were laying out the town of Hope at that time. To this day, the exterior of the church looks much the same as it did when it was first built. Inside the church, the pews, the pulpit, and the Baptismal font are original. The cross at the High Altar is in memory of Reverend Charles Croucher, who was Rector from 1891-1917, and the first bible – dated 1857 – remains in the showcase at the back of the church.
Christ Church became a Canadian National Historical Site in 1995. The Gothic Revival style of architecture was a significant factor in the Canadian Board and Monuments’ decision to honour the site.
Many thanks to members of the parish for these photos and to Rev. Morgan for curating them