St Mary's History

In June 1987, a committee was formed with the intention of raising sufficient funds to establish a church building and church hall for the use of a Sunday school and other religious activities to encourage the youth of the area to take part in cultural and religious education at Powder Point Road, Nanoose Bay.

The first vicar of Nanoose Bay Mission was The Rev. Tony Essex in 1988. The church hall was moved onto the site in 1990. Both of the necessary foundations were installed under the direction of Jim Bailey, one of the first of our parishioners. In 1999, plans were drawn up for an expansion of the little church from Errington which had a capacity of 75 people. At that time there were over 200 people to be accommodated in the church at one time. The result was the church building you can see today. The narthex of the original church was removed, the building strengthened by placement of a steel arch surrounding the original wood frames and the new extension, designed by our architect Manley LeFoy of Parksville, was installed projecting into the parking lot. The pews in the original church were turned around from the old east facing altar, to the new altar at the west end of the extension. Additional wooden pews were donated by St. John's Church, Cobble Hill, and the pews in the new section of the church were donated by the Pentecostal Camp in Nanoose Bay. These pews were refinished and recovered by our parishioners. Washrooms were installed in the wing projection towards Powder Point Road, the new entrance to the church was fitted in the wing projecting towards the Church Hall, and the whole building was upgraded to earthquake standards prevailing at the time. Island Hearing Services donated the equipment for a "loop" system to assist hearing impaired people with the appropriate type of hearing aid.

Pacific Shores donated plants and an advisory gardener to complete the gardens surrounding the Church. These are maintained today by volunteer parishioners.

This work was started in January 2000, and the first Service was held in the new building in May 2000. The contractor who completed this work for us was Rick Earl of Watercress Developments.