St. Clare-in-the-Cove is now the official name of the Anglican Church of Canada parish in the Deep Cove neighbourhood at the eastern end of North Vancouver.

St. Clare-in-the-Cove, in Deep Cove,
North Vancouver

In consultation with the Diocesan Ministry and Congregational Development Committee, Bishop Michael Ingham approved the name change March 27.

The parish is now named after St. Clare of Assisi (1193-1253), who with the assistance of fellow Assisian St. Francis founded an order of nuns which came to be known as the “Poor Clares.”

The 58-year-old parish decided on the name after a retreat in April, and decided to take the name because it valued “Clare’s utter and joyful identification with the poor and needy; her dedication to the contemplative life; her capacities for friendship and relationality as shown in her ardent friendship with St Francis.”

St. Francis and St. Clare, as pictured in the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, Italy. 

The parish was formerly named St. Simon’s Deep Cove. Its priest and several members of the congregation left the Anglican Church of Canada in 2004 over the issue of same sex blessings. The next year they turned the building over to diocesan officials and have set up shop in a school outside the Deep Cove neighbourhood. However they kept the name “St. Simon’s,” which caused a great deal of confusion in the local community.

The Rev. Carla McGhie, priest in charge of St. Clare-in-the-Cove, said her parish explored the possibility of a more descriptive name, and many suggestions were advanced. However none felt right, she said. “By selecting a saint’s name we made the clear statement we would like to have a name that links us specifically with our Christian heritage and tradition.”

The place name, “in-the-Cove” was included to affirm that the church values its location. “It’s such a special and incredibly beautiful setting.” The parish's official name includes the place name (including hyphens).

"In our own parish visioning we give high priority to living in meaningful community,” said McGhie, “offering service and care to those in need, developing as a strong spiritual center, and being creative and innovative within our time.”
 Several members of the parish congregation were involved in picking the name, St. Clare-in-the-Cove.