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 1980’s, some members of St. Andrew’s PC, Victoria , who lived in, or near to, the Dean Park area of North Saanich began to consider establishing a Presbyterian Church on the Saanich Peninsula. Soon a steering committee was formed and early meetings took place in the homes of potential members. Plans to develop a new congregation began to formalize under the leadership of Bill and Phyllis Lindsay, and others. In due course, shared accommodation was found in a local church. The plans developed under the direction of Rev. Gordon Strain, and Rev. Bruce Molloy, St Andrew’s PC, Victoria, served as minister of the fledgling congregation.
In 1987, Rev. Peter Coutts was appointed to serve as minister and the development of the church was well supported locally and by the Presbyterian Church in Canada, through the “Presbyterians Sharing” programme. A property on East Saanich Road was purchased and architects were engaged to plan the new church building.
One of the first tasks was to establish a name for the congregation with St Andrew’s North, being a strong favourite. However, the policy of the PCC to use names related to the geographical location prevailed over the usual Knox or St Andrew’s…..and Saanich Peninsula Presbyterian Church was established, albeit with a rather cumbersome name. Fortunately, at the turn of the century, in the world of business and society, concepts of “branding” developed, and SPPC joined the likes of organizations, such as TH, RBC, IBM and many others, with a newly branded, shortened “name-plate” ….. SPPC.
The energetic membership raised funds locally, and architects were appointed; plans for the new building were developed and the cornerstone was laid in April 1990. The growing congregation was led by Rev. Peter Coutts, and the new church building opened in 1991.
Peter was followed by Rev. Noel Kinnon who was appointed in 1992 to lead a growing church of almost 200 members. The active SPPC continued to attract new members and the congregation prospered, witnessing to the Gospel on the Saanich Peninsula and beyond. We are very pleased, today, to have Rev. Noel and his wife, Edna, continuing as members of the congregation, where Noel now serves 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 the congregation of SPPC, and the church continued to flourish until Rev. Barbara’s retirement in 2005. After her retirement, Barbara continued to offer pulpit supply at SPPC and other local churches until her untimely death in 2019.
In 2006, after the formal search process, a new minister was called and Rev. Irwin Cunningham, his wife, Diane, and family, moved from Fort McMurray. Rev. Irwin was called to lead the congregation as Minister of Word and Sacrament. Since 2007, Rev Irwin has led the congregation through some of the most challenging periods of change within the church, both locally and nationally.
Interestingly, some of the people who were so actively involved in the establishing and early growing of the church are still members today, in the summer of 2022. These include Phyllis Lindsay, Julie Van Netten, Brian McQuitty, Russ Graham, Eileen and Syd Ens, Anna Wallace, Norma Scott and several others who, as they are able, still loyally serve and support the congregation. This congregation has been blessed to have the wonderful service of so many members of session, clerks, countless volunteers, choir members, organists and members of countless church committees.
From the early days, the congregation has witnessed locally, and generously supported the mission of the church world wide.
Worship services have been centred on traditional, bible centred teaching, sensitively and sensibly responsive to the changing values and interests of the contemporary world in which we live.
Music, with an emphasis on diverse choral interpretations, has always played an important part in our worship services.
Down through the years, the variety of church activities has been adapted to suit the changing demographics of the congregation. One of the essential characteristics of SPPC still includes the warm welcome which is cordially extended to all newcomers.
The years since the establishing of SPPC have passed quickly, and unexpectedly in 2020, the great world wide Covid pandemic struck, affecting humanity in ways unimagined in our contemporary world. Many now perceive the world in terms of “pre- and post- Covid”. This has had a profound effect on all churches, locally, nationally and beyond.
At SPPC, we take some satisfaction from the positive approach taken to the necessary restrictions which were developed to minimize the spread of the disease within our community. The congregation “enjoyed” substantial innovation, including the development of on-line transmission of regular worship services. No doubt, there will be a continuing evolution as we work through the later stages of what we now hope will be the post-Covid era.
Change will always be with us, and the church universal will always have to deal with new challenges, but still be must be rooted firmly in the central beliefs of the scriptures and the call of the Gospel.
Our church, SPPC, continues to be strong. Despite a diminished membership, we continue to attract new members, some of whom have re-located to this area. Today, as do many congregations, we all face the challenge of the changing demographics of membership.
We offer a warm welcome to visitors and folks who are seeking a new church home.
We look forward, with confidence, as we continue towitness to the call of the Gospel to serve our Lord, Jesus Christ, on the Saanich Peninsula and beyond.