Anglican Churches on Salt Spring Island
since 1869

Anglican worship and community have been a vital part of Salt Spring Island life since 1869 when clergy from Chemainus came by boat to hold services in private homes and schools.  Between 1884 and 1891 clergy from Victoria began hold services in the four schools - North End, Central, Burgoyne Valley and Beaver Point. In 1891, the first resident minister, Rev. Belton Haslam, was appointed.

A church had been started in 1889, named St. Mark’s, and was completed in 1892 on land given by H. Stevens out of his farm, now the Cunningham property and still known as Church Hill Farm.  Click here for more about St. Mark's early years.

Two years later, St. Mary’s at Fulford was finished, built in a cemetery donated by Mr. Sparrow, whose son had been killed in a hunting accident.

In 1894, Rev. Edward Wilson followed Rev. Haslam. As a former missionary to Ontario natives and founder of the Shingwauk Indian residential school near Sault Ste. Marie, he lived in his own house, Barnsbury, on the site of the present Salt Spring Island golf club house. Here all the activities of the church and rectory took place, other than actual services. These included nursing sick members of the congregation from time to time, and even being used as an operating theatre for one of Wilson’s sons; Wilson assisted the surgeon.

When his son Norman took over Barnsbury in 1909, a new rectory was needed. Churchwarden and active parishioner Harry Bullock provided the land, opposite the golf course, from Baker Road to Vesuvius Bay Road, and built the house. It was later sold when Archdeacon Holmes wanted to live closer to the new St. George’s in 1941; it has been a turkey farm, private home, youth centre, and bed-and-breakfast since then.

In 1913, St. Paul’s, a shingled structure with a rounded sanctuary and windows of yellow honeycomb glass so that inside it seemed the sun was always shining, was built on the corner of Dean Road and Fulford Ganges Road. A suspicious fire destroyed St. Paul’s on December 27, 1939.

St George's and St Nicholas'
1940 and the 1950s

Gavin Mouat gave the land on Church Road (now Park Drive) on which St. George’s was built in 1940. He also gave land for a Sunday School hall in the 1950s, on Vesuvius Bay Road at Chu-an Drive, which became St. Nicholas’ Church. When attendance dropped to an average of six persons in 1977, St. Nicholas was sold as a residence to the poet Phyllis Webb.

More recent history
St George's transformed to All Saint by-the-Sea 1993-1994

St. George’s Church established in 1940 underwent a remarkable transformation during 1993 and 1994. It was physically moved across Park Drive and expanded into the facilities that became “All Saints by-the-Sea” with its blessing amid a month of joyous celebrations in October 1994. These were two intensive years which saw scores of parishioners involved in all phases of the project from planning to committee meetings, to fundraising to actual construction work by volunteers (well over 20,000 hours’ worth).  The vision for establishment of this new "Anglican Centre" in Ganges is well-described in the 1992 fundraising brochure - which can be downloaded here

In July 1993, St. George’s Church was cut loose from its hall, moved across Park Drive to the parking lot, and set on its new foundation. Construction then began, which doubled the size of the nave and added an upper and lower hall, and offices.

This new "Anglican Centre" in Ganges was completed by September 1994 and blessed as “All Saints by-the-Sea” by Bishop Barry Jenks on October 9th.

St Mark's, Central

St. Mark’s became 100 years old in 1992, and on the weekend of May 15th-17th, parishioners from all three churches gathered together, many in turn-of-the-century garb, to mark the occasion with a garden party under marquee and a church service taken from the prayer book of the day. In the spring of 2022, as worship services on Salt Spring Island are now centralized at All Saints by-the-Sea in Ganges, St. Mark’s Church was deconsecrated at a quiet service led by Bishop Anna Greenwood-Lee.

St Mary's, Fulford

In May 1994, it was St. Mary’s turn when our vital little church at Fulford celebrated its centenary. Like St. Mark’s, many parishioners took on the look of the 1890s. A sold-out dinner/dance at Fulford Hall, a strawberry tea and open house, Friday Evensong, and special Sunday Eucharist was celebrated by Bishop Barry Jenks. The weekend was a glorious occasion.

St. Mary's is now primarily used as a host facility for Star-of-the-Sea events - click here for more information on their programs.


All Saints by-the-Sea, Ganges

The Anglican Parish of Salt Spring Island has now consolidated worship and outreach at the All Saints by-the-Sea building in central Ganges.  This parish and building is a “busy, vibrant parish of committed Christians”, perhaps made even more so by the expanded facilities which allow us to serve the community and has enabled the community to know us better. An indication of this was the very noticeable increase in the daily activity in and around the parish office.

Since 1995, the parish had grown in faith and in serving the island community with various outreach programs such as Soup’s On, Music and Munch and Tea á Tempo. Every year there was a Salmon Barbecue, garage sales, and a very successful Christmas Bazaar.  Community groups continue to use the sanctuary and upper and lower halls extensively and many musical concerts given in our nave.

In 2020, the church and halls were closed suddenly with the onset of the COVID19 pandemic. Online YouTube services were offered weekly via our website, with great success, up until Easter of 2022, after which in-person services resumed.