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The Lilies of St. Mary’s

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Post and Artwork by:  Suzanne Heron

There are 2 Anglican churches just 2 km apart in Metchosin, both named St Mary’s.

The current church in use is St Mary of the Incarnation, located on Metchosin Road next to Witty’s Beach Parking lot and across from the Metchosin Golf Course. But the real story is St Mary the Virgin, built in 1873, right in the village of Metchosin. It’s the third oldest Anglican Church in continuous use on Vancouver Island. When the foundation stone was laid, Sir James Douglas wrote to his daughter:

“Metchosin looked its best, the beautiful slopes, the richly tinted foliage, the bright clear sky, the warm sunshine, the glassy smooth sea and the grand mountains in the distance, formed a combination of indescribable beauty. I felt an exhilaration of mind which led me to wander away through the woods towards the white cliffs bordering the sea from whence I contemplated its placid waters with delight.”

 

St. Mary's Lilies

St. Mary’s Lilies

 

The original St Mary was used until 1991, when the congregation moved to St Mary of the Incarnation. But they still maintain St Mary The Virgin as a historical site – with the occasional wedding, funeral and burial – with help from the Diocese of B.C. It is famous for the wild lilies that cover the grounds in spring. April is the time to visit!

 

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