St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Nanaimo is one of the oldest Anglican churches in the province of British Columbia. Situated on the traditional lands of the Snuneymuxw First Nation, it is a centre for ministry and community service. The site has had three buildings, and there is a plan in the works for a new building that will facilitate open interaction between the church and the community.
As St. Paul’s is a designated historical building, and its worshipping community has been part of downtown Nanaimo for 153 years, it is a point of interest for tourists and others in the community area. The church has the finest collection of stained glass windows in the mid-Island area and guided tours are available any weekday morning throughout the year.
St. Paul’s Anglican Church has contributed in many ways to the community. From early days, when one of the clergy started what is now the Nanaimo Concert Band, the oldest such musical group in Canada, to more recent times when they started a food bank from their office and eventually grew into the current Loaves and Fishes Food Bank. Because of its downtown location and daily hours, the church serves many of the less fortunate in a variety of ways – local bus tickets for doctors' appointments; bus fare to get to other points on the Island and Mainland; Thrifty Foods Smile Cards available the week before welfare cheques; clothing and household items from Central Island Thrift; the filling of prescriptions and provision of baby formula and diapers in emergency situations; and counselling and comfort where necessary.
The current facility has two halls. The Fireside Room is a meeting style room for around 25 people, and the main hall downstairs, which as an excellent kitchen facility, as well as a large floor space plus stage can hold up to 250 people. Apart from the summer months when things are quiet, one or both of the halls are in use by community groups and/or parish groups every day of the week. Listed on their website is the multitude of groups that make use of the space at St. Paul’s.
St. Paul’s values being an integral part of the downtown business community and does not want to be in the business of competing as a downtown space for community use. They continue to look for groups and mission partners that could use the space in ways that align with the Ministry Plan, offering quality facilities and resources to those serving the community. The new building will offer comfortable and inviting spaces that allow people to gather in clusters, thereby enhancing fellowship within the parish and community. The building plan also includes a kitchen equipped for parish use and for serving the needs of various mission partners and groups connected to St Paul’s.
The Capital Campaign is the means by which St. Paul’s will achieve their goal to create a financial pathway, funding both the Building Plan and Ministry Plan. The new building is essential to serving the community and parish.
"It is an honour for me to be asked to play a role in this campaign. Having done so in large campaigns in the past for The United Way, The Nanaimo Hospital Foundation, St. John Ambulance and others, I have experienced, first hand, the amazing things that can be accomplished when a committed group of people work together for something that is right and is needed. It is a great thrill to succeed in a campaign like the one we have embarked on at St. Paul’s. I am looking forward to sharing the thrill of success with my St. Paul’s community and the people of Nanaimo when we reach our goal." – Tom Harris, Honorary Chair, and President, Tom Harris Group
If you would like to support St. Paul’s Capital Campaign, please find contact information here.