Heritage Register
Victoria West

310 Henry Street
Anglican Church of the Holy Saviour

Built 1891; 1893; 1899
Heritage-Designated 1979/Institutional

Architect: Thomas Burroughes Norgate
Builders: Parker & Phillips (1891);
Sullivan & Rutter (1893)

310 Henry


Commonly known as St. Saviour's, this church is prominantly sited in a neighbourhood which used to have two other churches, St. Paul’s Presbyterian a block west on Henry St and a Methodist Church a block north on Catherine at the corner of Wilson St. With its hall, built as a church school in 1893 for $600, and the 1911 manse at 512 Catherine St by architect Thomas Dealtry Sedger, it constitutes a complex entirely in keeping with the scale of the surrounding houses. The style is Gothic Revival, with fine stained glass windows and exterior detailing.


The Victoria West Episcopalian Mission Church of the Holy Saviour was established in 1888 in a blacksmith shop on Esquimalt Rd. It was operated as a “mission room” by St. Paul’s Church, Esquimalt. In November 1890 the congregation accepted the plans of T.B. Norgate, architect, patent solicitor and mechanical engineer, for a new building. The design was described as “of simple lancet character, with wagon roof.” VDC 20 May 1891 It was constructed for $2,644 and consecrated May 19, 1891 by the Rt. Rev. George Hills, first Anglican Bishop of BC. The church bell, a gift from the Dunsmuirs, came from an E&N steam locomotive. One rector apparently refused to ring it, as he believed it to have been stolen before being donated to the church!

In 1892 A. Cave designed a cedar chancel screen, pulpit and altar table. In 1895 the Rector was appointed Chaplain to the Imperial Troops and St. Saviour’s became the Garrison Church. The front pews still have “Officers” stenciled on them. In 1899 it was enlarged for $1,500 to accommodate more troops, but the troops were withdrawn from Work Point Barracks in 1905. An Estey tracker pipe organ was installed in 1901 for $1,500. The first organist was George Nelson Hodgson, a bookkeeper, who organized the first choir. Until c.1933, when the chancel and sanctuary were remodelled and a motor was provided for the organ, choirboys were paid $5 per month as hand pumpers to provide the organ air.

1891-1904: The first parish priest or rector, the Rev. William D. Barber (b. ENG, 1858) came to Canada in 1882. The 1901 Census lists him as a Methodist and unmarried, and he had a live-in Chinese cook, Ah Sing.
1904-11: The Rev. Canon Charles E. Cooper lived in Cherrimanse, the house at 410 Catherine St then used as the rectory. 1911-23: The first occupants of the new Rectory in 1912 were the Rev. Robert Connell (b. Liverpool, ENG, 1871-1957), priest, social reformer and naturalist, and his wife Janie Catherine (née Hodson, b. Co Rossconnor, IRL, 1872-1960).

1924: The Rev. Christopher Reed. 1925-26: The Rev. Frederick Lambert Stephenson (b. Stratford-on-Avon, ENG, 1866-1941) and Emily Elizabeth (née Fisher, b. Victoria, 1864-1960) married in Metchosin in 1889. He retired in 1934 after 50 years.
1927-30: The Rev. Edwin Moss (b. ENG, c.1890) and his wife Daisy married in Prince Rupert, BC, in 1923.

1932: The Rev. Alan Gardiner (b. London, ENG, c.1895) and his wife Kathleen Louise.
1933-34: The Rev. Canon Hubert St. John Payne (b. Bedford, ENG, 1871-1963) lived at 3125 Glasgow Av; he was single and retired in 1958 after 70 years of service.
1935: The Rev. Eric Mackay Willis (b. Glenfall, Charlton Kings, Glos, ENG, 1885-1982) never married.

1936-40: The Rev. Francis “Vernon” Venables (b. Shirley, Hants, ENG, 1877-1945) and his wife Frances Emily married in Enderby, BC, in 1903. Rev. Venables retired in 1940 after 44 years.
1946-62: The Rev. G. Douglas Kendell served the longest incumbency; he and his wife Mary lived at 2417 Cadboro Bay Rd.

The church’s Golden Jubilee was celebrated in 1951 with the installation of memorial windows, including one in honour of the Harper family (645-47 Pine St, Vic West). To commemorate its Diamond Jubilee in 1966, the church received a new roof, gutters and downpipes and new front and rear porches.


In 2010 the Anglican Diocese of BC made the decision to close seven of its Greater Victoria area churches: St Saviour’s was of one of them. The last service was held in March 2010. Rainbow Kitchen, a soup kitchen, continued to use St Saviour’s hall until 2011. The whole property (church, hall and rectory) was sold to a private purchaser.


• Vic West History

• Vic West Heritage Register

• This Old House, Victoria's Heritage Neighbourhoods,
Volume One: Fernwood & Victoria West

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