St. Stephen's Anglican Church - Summerland, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 49° 36.029 W 119° 40.628
11U E 306563 N 5497654
The first Anglican church in Summerland, St. Peter's, was also the first church in Summerland. Built at an unknown time in the late nineteenth century, it was replaced by St. Stephen's in 1910.
Waymark Code: WMPYMK
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 11/11/2015
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member Dunbar Loop
Views: 2

The laying of the cornerstone for St. Stephen's took place on 3rd October, 1909, the first service being held about six months later, on Easter Day, Sunday, 29th March, 1910. This is a beautiful old stone church, built of native field stone by an Italian stonemason.

Inside, the church holds many historical artefacts relating to the Church of England while, outside, at the rear of the church, is a remembrance garden and a wooden cross, around which the ashes of many parishioners are buried. On the back wall of the church is a large and striking mural, framed by a stone arch, making it appear as though one is looking through a window to the outside world.

Atop the church is a relatively small crenellated bell tower holding a single bell, surmounted by a tall wooden steeple, all clad in wood shingles.

See a more extensive history and description of the church and church grounds further below.

St. Stephen’s Anglican Church, on the corner of Prairie Valley Road and Rosedale Avenue in Summerland, is known as “The Stone Church” and was built in 1910.

In the last decade of the 1800s the earliest white settlers were being served by the Rev. Thomas Greene, itinerant Anglican priest. St. Peter’s Church was built on the site of the present Anglican cemetery on Giant’s Head Road in Summerland. The Rev. H.A. Solly came in 1907 as the first resident rector. Owing to overcrowding and the need for a central location, the cornerstone for St. Stephen’s Church was laid on October 3, 1909. Services began there March 27, 1910. The distinctive exterior of the church is of native fieldstone, now ivy-clad.
From St. Stephen's

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The first Anglican church was also the first church in Summerland. Its name was St. Peter's and was located where the Anglican Cemetery is located on Giant's Head Road. St, Peter's became too small and it was decided a larger church, closer to the town of West Summerland should be built. Partially financed by the "Mother Church" St. Botolph's in Chevening, Sevenoaks, Kent, UK. The Foundation Stone was laid on 3rd October, 1909. The first service was held on Easter Day, Sunday, 29th March, 1910.

The church is built of orchard stone by an Italian Stonemason, Alfredo Biagioni, whose family still resides in Summerland.

THE BAPTISMAL WINDOW, called 'The Generations Window", was installed in 1985 to celebrate St. Stephen's 75th anniversary. An original design by Lutz Haufschild it depicts some of the children and adults baptized in this church. The adults clustered at the top are Priests who have served in Summerland and on the extreme top right is the designer. Lower left is Rev. Bob Matthews holding a newly baptized baby.
See the GARDEN OF REMEMBRANCE developed at the end of WWII to honor those who paid the supreme sacrifice. The ashes of many parishioners are buried around the centre wooden cross.

THE PARISH HALL beside the church was opened on 5th November, 2006.

The Mural... on the East exterior wall of St. Stephen Church was designed to commemorate its 100th Anniversary in 2010. Painted by Larry Hunter, local artist of Penticton, it reflects the style of artist Maxfield Parrish (1870-1966) whose work was famous at the time St. Stephen was built. Mr. Parrish's use of vibrant colour in scenes which emphasized the beauty of nature reflects local elements of the surrounding locale of St. Stephen. The large overhanging oak tree in the foreground echoes the heritage oak grown from an acorn on the Windsor Castle grounds in England. The Oak Tree is located near the roundabout. Planted in 1953 by Summerland Girl Guides to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the background of water, hills and vegetation is reminiscent of the Okanagan Valley. We hope the mural speaks to you of the peace and tranquility of "The Garden of Remembrance".

Associated historical items include...

- A picture of St. Botolph's of Chevening, Kent, England and a brass rubbing from that church
- A replica of the church in fired clay on the table at the back of the church.
- The stone font under The Generations Window which has supported stone through to the basement.
- The four brass candlesticks at the front of the church made from the original brass Communion rail.
- Enlarged photographs of the church in the early days are displayed in the hallway.
- Two Brass Vases, donated by Grace Church, Hamilton, Ontario in 2006
- Old Brasses are located throughout the church. The eagle holding the bible; the christening vessel on the font; the collection plate to the right of the communion table; the tall candlesticks and the brass cross at the front of the church; and the portable bible stand on the communion table.
- The Oak Table, located at the back of the church, was the Council table used by the first elected Council in 1906.

A Heritage Designation Plaque... was donated by the Heritage Society of Summerland, and is located on the West exterior wall below The Generations Window.
From St. Stephen's Anglican
Type of Marker: Cultural

Type of Sign: Historic Site or Building Marker

Describe the parking that is available nearby: Street parking and parking lots nearby

What Agency placed the marker?: The Heritage Advisory Committee of Summerland

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