This is us
Saanich Peninsula Presbyterian Church has been a reformed Christian witness to the Saanich Peninsula since 1984.
Our community of faith gathers each Sunday at 10:00 a.m. to worship and praise God our Father, Jesus Christ, our Saviour, and the Holy Spirit, in whom we live and move and have our being, followed by a time of fellowship. We also share worship through Youtube each Sunday. Our regular gatherings for study, fellowship, and mission throughout the week will resume in the fall. We invite you to join us in seeking to follow our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
A Very Brief History of
Saanich Peninsula Presbyterian Church
Saanich Peninsula Presbyterian Church
In the late 1980s, a group of St. Andrew's PC members from Victoria, residing in or near the Dean Park area of North Saanich, began considering the establishment of a Presbyterian Church on the Saanich Peninsula. They formed a steering committee, and initial meetings were held in potential members' homes. Under the leadership of Bill and Phyllis Lindsay, along with others, plans for a new congregation started taking shape. Eventually, they found shared accommodation in a local church, with Rev. Gordon Strain and Rev. Bruce Molloy of St. Andrew's PC, Victoria, serving as ministers for the emerging congregation.
In 1987, Rev. Peter Coutts was appointed as the minister, and the local community, along with the Presbyterian Church in Canada through the "Presbyterians Sharing" program, provided strong support for the church's development. A property was purchased on East Saanich Road, and architects were hired to design the new church building.
One of the initial tasks was to choose a name for the congregation. While "St. Andrew's North" was a popular choice among members, the Presbyterian Church in Canada's policy of using names related to the geographical location prevailed. As a result, the church was established as the Saanich Peninsula Presbyterian Church (SPPC), despite the somewhat cumbersome name. Fortunately, the concept of "branding" gained prominence at the turn of the century, allowing SPPC to adopt a newly branded and shortened nameplate, "SPPC," following the footsteps of organizations like TH, RBC, IBM, and others.
With the support of its energetic membership, SPPC raised funds locally and hired architects to develop plans for the new building. The cornerstone was laid in April 1990, and in 1991, under the leadership of Rev. Peter Coutts, the congregation moved into the newly constructed church building.
Rev. Noel Kinnon succeeded Rev. Coutts in 1992, leading a growing church with nearly 200 members. SPPC remained active and continued to attract new members, spreading the Gospel on the Saanich Peninsula and beyond. Rev. Noel and his wife, Edna, are still members of the congregation today, with Rev. Noel serving as "Minister Emeritus."
In 1997, Rev. Kinnon retired, and a committee was formed to search for a new minister. In 1998, Rev. Barbara Young was called to serve SPPC, and the church thrived under her leadership until her retirement in 2005. Even after retiring, Rev. Barbara provided pulpit supply at SPPC and other local churches until her untimely death in 2019.
Following a formal search process in 2006, Rev. Irwin Cunningham, along with his wife, Diane, and family, relocated from Fort McMurray to serve as the Minister of Word and Sacrament. Since 2007, Rev. Irwin has guided the congregation through significant periods of change within the church, both locally and nationally.
Remarkably, some of the individuals who were actively involved in establishing and growing the church in its early days remain members to this day, as of the summer of 2022. Among them are Julie Van Netten, Russ Graham, Eileen and Syd Ens, Anna Wallace, Norma Scott, and several others who continue to serve and support the congregation faithfully. SPPC has been fortunate to have numerous dedicated members serving on session, as clerks, volunteers, choir members, organists, and various church committees.
From its early days, the congregation has actively supported the mission of the church worldwide while spreading the Gospel locally. Worship services have centered around traditional, Bible-centered teaching, adapting to the changing values and interests of the contemporary world. Music, particularly diverse choral interpretations, has always played a significant role in their worship.
Over the years, SPPC has adjusted its activities to suit the changing demographics of the congregation. However, one constant characteristic of the church is its warm welcome extended to all newcomers.
Since its establishment, SPPC has experienced the swift passage of time. Unexpectedly, in 2020, the global COVID-19 pandemic struck, impacting humanity in unimaginable ways. Many now view the world as "pre-" and "post-Covid." This unprecedented event has profoundly affected churches locally, nationally, and globally. SPPC takes pride in its positive approach to the necessary restrictions imposed to minimize the spread of the disease within the community. The congregation embraced substantial innovation, including the development of online worship services. Undoubtedly, as we navigate the post-COVID era, further evolution will be inevitable.
Change will always be present, and the universal church will continuously face new challenges while remaining firmly rooted in the central beliefs of the Scriptures and the call of the Gospel. Despite a decrease in membership, SPPC remains strong and continues to attract new members, including those who have relocated to the area. We extend a warm welcome to visitors and individuals seeking a new church home.
With confidence, we look ahead as we continue to bear witness to the call of the Gospel, serving our Lord, Jesus Christ, on the Saanich Peninsula and beyond.