St. Paul’s Church and its Furnishings
The architect, W. H. Archer, designed a Gothic revival church of shingle walls built on a sandstone foundation. The roof is a timber-frame scissor-truss structure with tongue-and-groove panelling. It is supported in the nave by eight cast-iron columns topped by carved Corinthian capitals. Dormer windows are found in the nave, and rosette windows in the west and east walls, the latter glazed with a depiction of the Holy Spirit descending as a dove. Some windows are glazed with the original diamond-patterned leaded lights.
The church contains some notable furnishings and accoutrements. The stone font, octagonal in shape, carries the coats-of-arms of the Anglican dioceses of the ecclesiastical Province of British Columbia and Yukon. The handsome organ was built by Casavant Freres of Sainte-Hyacinthe, Quebec, and is reputed to be the oldest instrument of its kind in Canada west of the Rockies. Other notable pieces are the wooden pulpit and sounding board with decoration carved by two women parishioners, and the brass lectern dating from 1909.
Iconography in the church
The early parishioners built a church that in many respects would have reminded them of the churches they or their parents had left behind in the British Isles. Not least among the features that bear this resemblance are the stained glass windows set in all four walls. At the east end of the church above the high altar, the Rogers Window depicts the church’s patron St Paul preaching to the people of Athens on Mars Hill. In the north transept another Rogers Window depicts Faith, Hope and Charity. It is believed that these two windows, installed in the early days of the church, were made by Tiffany of New York. The latter is, perhaps, the finest of all of the windows in the church.
The later windows show depictions of Christ, reflecting changing attitudes in iconography compared to earlier times. In the south transept, the King Window depicting Christ the Good Shepherd was installed in 1955 to commemorate Canon Harold King who served as Rector for thirty-one years. The four windows in the north wall of the nave were installed in the 1950s. The Roper Window shows Christ with a family, the Sanders Window depicts the Nativity, the Milnes Window shows Christ as the pathfinder, and the Gordon Window depicts the resurrection. The four windows on the south wall were installed in the 1960s and 1970s. The Ingledow Window shows Christ welcoming children, the Thompson Window shows Christ with Martha and Mary, the second Ingledow Window shows Christ calling Peter and Andrew, and the Anniversary Window depicts the Commissioning of the Apostles (“Go into all the world….”). Christ is displaying his wounds and there are only eleven disciples at the table, showing that it is post-crucifixion.
In 1990, an icon of St. Mary, which had belonged to Don Woodworth, a beloved organist who had died of AIDS-related disease, was placed in the church. This was joined in 2000 by a wood carving of Our Lady of Walsingham, depicting a legendary visitation made by St. Mary in the eleventh century at Norfolk in England. This carving was installed in the Lady Chapel to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the induction of the-then Rector, the Venerable Neil Gray. In 2002, the cross that once stood in the Chapel of the Holy Child was restored to the south transept, and in 2004, a well-used processional cross was retired to the north transept. More recently, more icons have been placed in the church: an icon of the Holy Trinity and an icon of St. Paul in the south transept, and icons of the Three Hierarchs and of the Myrrh-bearing Women in the sanctuary.