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A Pictorial View of the Comox Valley
Comox Valley - North
Churches of Merville
St. Mary's Church (Merville, B.C.)
The Church of St. Mary, Merville was built in 1915 at Grantham, within the Grantham Mission. The Mission was included in the parish of Sandwick and Courtenay, which was amalgamated with Comox and Cumberland in 1917. Comox was removed from the parish in 1919 and Cumberland was separated in 1921. Since 1982 the parish of St. John the Divine, Courtenay has included: St. Andrew's, Sandwick; St. Catherine's, Fanny Bay; Holy Trinity, Cumberland; St. John's, Courtenay; and St. Mary's, Merville. St. Mary's was never an independent parish and has been inactive since June 2003. The church was moved from Grantham to Merville (the Soldiers Settlement) in 1921.
An Article in the Comox Valley Echo, dated Friday, January 17, 2014
Former Church moving to Merville this weekend
In 1915, the pioneer farmers of the Grantham area decided to build a house of worship for the Anglican community. For the sum of $200, St. Mary's church was constructed near the present Tsolum School. When the Soldier Settlement project was established in Merville in 1919, the need of a church there was apparent and the little church was skidded up the gravel highway with a Clee tractor. The first sacrament was held in March 1920. According to one account, a Sunday service was interrupted by loud squeals from beneath the floorboards. A parishioner's pigs had followed them from their farm and were being harassed by a dog, disturbing the sanctity of the morning.
The Sunday School was held in a small room off the front porch until it was no longer
adequate. In 1960, an army hut originally from the WW2 Sandwick Camp was moved onto the site for the use of the congregation.
In 2003, the diocese decided the small church was no longer needed as transportation to Courtenay's St. Andrews was adequate.The buildings were deconsecrated, the altar vestments distributed respectfully and the church was sold.
After several owners, Alison and Brad Orr purchased the property in 2013. They were approached by Craig Freeman of the Merville Community Association with a request.He suggested the buildings, so linked with the history of the district, be moved to the Hall and renovated. The Orrs graciously accepted the idea and recently donated them to the MCA. "Once fixed up, these buildings will be available for smaller functions than the big Hall," says Freeman. "The church has a stained glass window and high ceilings, making it perfect for an intimate wedding."
The Community Association has struck a committee to raise funds for the move and subsequent repairs and will be soliciting local trades and businesses for support. Some donations have already been made and Regional Heritage funds have been applied for. A quote for the relocation has been received. "We intend to make the move a real event," says Freeman. “Perhaps inviting the antique tractor club to participate. A parade up the highway with the church, parish hall and the heritage outhouse on the move. We will invite a local celebrity to ride in the latter building!"
However, the first business is the clean-up of the accumulated detritus in and around the buildings. On Saturday, January 18 at 10:00, volunteers with brooms, rakes and trucks are needed to sort out the junk and transport it up to waiting dumpsters at the Big Yellow Merville Hall. The church is located just south a half kilometer from the MerylIle Store at 6567 Island Highway. For more information call Harold Macy at 337 5332 or email hqcreek@
|St. Mary's Church out house mentioned in the newspaper article.|
|The building that was once St. Mary's Church before the move to Merville Hall|
|Sign on the door of the old St. Mary's Church building|
Churches of Black Creek
Living Waters Fellowship
Affiliated with the Fellowship of Christian Assemblies
250 337 5053
Valley United Pentecostal Church
1814 Fitzgerald Ave.
Black Creek, BC
2277 Enns Rd.
Black Creek, BC
...........In 1937 a group of Mennonites that had been meeting in homes and the local school decided to formally organize as a congregation with 34 members under the leadership of Henry H. Schulz. At the same time, the decision was made to build a church. Bil Halbe donated the land for the church and also donated land for the cemetery and school (now Halbe Hall) for a total of three acres. Elder Jacob H. Janzen helped to raise funds for the church, collecting half of the $200 needed for the construction of the 24 by 36 foot building. United Mennonite Church was built by a group of men and women who, despite the challenges of cultural barriers and the Great Depression, were determined to have a central meeting place to worship God. The foundation was laid on 24 March 1937 and Rev. Janzen dedicated it in the fall when he arrived......
Mennonite Brethren Church
7898 N Island Hwy.
Black Creek, BC
ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY/BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH:
On December 30, 1934, a group of seventeen Christians began plans for the formation of what was to become the Black Creek Mennonite Brethren Church (Black Creek, BC). The decision was formalized January 6, 1935. After considerable discussion, the name "Merville Mennonite Brethren Church" was chosen, since, at that time, Merville, BC, was the closest Post Office. The name did not stick. As of a February 1, 1937 meeting, the official name was changed to Black Creek Mennonite Brethren Church. During this same meeting, members also decided to seek affiliation with the BC and Canadian Conferences of Mennonite Brethren Churches. Land for a building site was donated by [Isaac?] Goertzen and Henry Falk, and a five-dollar per member levy also helped cover costs. The building was dedicated December 1937, and served the church until 1953. At this time a new structure, seating about 200 people, was built almost entirely with volunteer labour. The new building was dedicated April 11, 1954 with Rev. J.F. Redekop and Rev.J.A. Harder as guest speakers.........
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