St. Stephen's Heritage

A Brief History of St Stephen’s Anglican Church

On February 11, 1862 William Thomson deeded five acres of his land to the Right Reverend George Hills, Bishop of British Columbia, for the purpose of building a church and a school.

On June 3rd of the same year, the church held its dedication and first service with the Bishop, Rt. Rev. George Hills and Priest, Rev. Richard Lowe officiating.

St. Stephen’s was later consecrated by Bishop Hills.

St. Stephen’s Church is the oldest church in British Columbia used continuously as a place of worship since its construction.

In 1984 the church was designated a Heritage Building by the District of Central Saanich.

For almost 150 years now, St. Stephen’s has been a place of refuge and rest.

Generation after generation have come here to worship.

Pioneers of our beautiful Mount Newton Valley have made St. Stephen’s their faith home and had their burials in our cemetery.

With cremation becoming the standard in today’s burial practices, many have chosen to be interred in family plots enabling us to make wise use of our cemetery land.

The booklet "Symbols of Faith" can be downloaded from the attached file "St Stephen's Early History - Symbols of Faith" below. It was written by Gwen and Michael Wilkey. Due to its size (65 pages, or 19.1MB), if you choose to read it online, it may be slow to load, and the pages may momentarily be out of focus.


Caleb Pike / Duncan Lidgate / William Thomson circa 1856

Following is a photo and a paragraph excerpt from The History of the Pike Family which is located at                    

This is the historic St. Stephens Church in Saanichton.

The Lidgate and Thompson families were well known in the Saanichton area as they also played a part in the creation of the St. Stephen Church which is said to be the oldest church in B.C. and where most of Duncan Lidgate’s family is buried with the exception of his daughter Elizabeth.


To read more about the Cemetery, click here.


To return to the History of the churches, click here.