St. John the Divine Parish (Central Park, Burnaby, B.C.)

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St. John the Divine Parish (Central Park, Burnaby, B.C.)

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The building of the inter-urban between Vancouver and New Westminster led to increased settlement along its route. One of the results of this settlement was a desire, by the people, for a church. A Church of England mission, the first church mission of any denomination in Burnaby, was established and grant monies from the diocese in place for a January 1, 1899 beginning. The Rev. A.J. Greer initially held services in private homes until the original St. John's was built on the south side of Westminster Road [now Kingsway] to serve the Central Park and Burnaby Lake areas. This original church, which was actually built within the boundaries of Central Park, was destroyed by fire in 1904. A second church was built on the north side of the street, in 1906, where the parish continued to worship until 1999. Over the years, facilities expanded with a parish hall and bowling alley added. In the 1950's the church building was re-oriented on its site and expanded with the addition of a crypt. During the 1980's St. John's property was considered as a possible site for a Diocesan Centre. While deliberations were underway, St. John's parishioners were hampered as they tried to realistically consider future ministry in buildings and at a location that were no longer suitable for parish purposes. Ultimately, the Diocesan Centre was not developed. The Parish was the first in the diocese to make use of the suggestions in the "Spencer Commission Report" and with the Ministry and Congregational Development Committee as a guide, the diocese and St. John's renovated the old St. Andrew's, Broadview church building (unused for six years). On March 21, 1999 a Service of Thanksgiving for 100 years of Anglican ministry on Kingsway was held as the last service in the old building. On March 24, 1999, the Parish, with Bishop Michael Ingham celebrated a Service of Consecration for the newly reopened building at 3426 Smith Avenue.


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