Monday, June 03, 2019

Exploring Close to Home




On a windy, but sunny afternoon, we took our Vancouver children to the ferry and planned on a hike on the way back home. After consulting our local hiking guide, we chose to visit Butterfield Park. The guide says, "Your trip to the park takes you through a lovely pastoral landscape of rolling fields and hedgerows reminiscent of an English countryside." 


Wild daisies lined the pathways and the woods were alive with birdsong, but otherwise very quiet. I didn't see any hedgerows, though.


After exiting the woods, we walked along a roadside path and down a lane to find St. Stephen's Anglican Church - believed to be B.C.'s oldest church in continual use on its 1862 site. 


Surrounded by fields and set above the landscape that slopes gently to fields and the ocean beyond, it was a truly lovely find. We had no idea of its existence prior to reading about it in the guide. The door was open and we entered quietly, absorbing the peace of this place of worship. One stained glass window lit up the wall behind the altar. Plaques on the other walls commemorated soldiers lost in the wars that ravaged Europe in the 20th century. 


The graveyard surrounding the church contains the graves of many whose names are now remembered as streets and parks in our city. The marker above had me doing some research when I arrived home. Ted Harrison was born in England and immigrated to Canada where he lived in the Yukon for many years before spending his last decades in Victoria. He is a well-known author and illustrator. One of his children's books is on our bookshelves.


Do you see the little sparrow in front of the white cross, perched on the peak of the roof over the entrance to the church? He is singing his heart out. 


So many of the gravestones mentioned birthplaces far away - Cheshire, England, Scotland, South Africa, and more. These settlers left their homelands forever in search of a better life for themselves and their families. The graves date from the early years (1870s) to present day. 

As we walked out of the churchyard, I glanced down at a stone and was surprised to recognize the names there - names of a couple with whom Tim collaborated on a charity project in Africa for several years. We knew they had passed, but didn't know that they were buried here in this peaceful spot. 


A pair of stray poppies bloomed alongside a gate we passed on our return to the car. Are they not a bright and cheerful sight? 
It was so interesting for us to learn more about our local history. This walk and the church are a place we will likely return to in the future. 

Linking to Mosaic Monday, hosted by Angie of Letting Go of the Bay Leaf.  

26 comments:

  1. Thanks for taking us on your walk! Love the old church!

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  2. St. Stephen's church is lovely, it reminds me of similar ones seen in Scandinavia.
    I love Ted Harrison's illustrations - I too looked him up - thanks for the introduction to his delightful books.

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  3. History is fascinating. What a lovely walk you had....but yes, England's hedgerowws are very much part of our landscape.

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  4. Beautiful hike of discovery

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  5. I love to explore historical places, especially in our area, I have found that each time we visit we discover something new! There is a historical outdoor drama performed in our mountains each year, called, Horn In The West, we were able to take all our grands, at different times, They enjoyed it so much. Thanks for sharing, beautiful photos.
    Blessings,
    Sue

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  6. What a fun discovery! So much history and such a serene place. How cool that you “found” old friends, too. I have found a fun discovery in the local cemetery recently myself. Wonder if I’ll ever write about it. 🙃

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  7. What a beautiful place to discover and am sure I would go back too:)

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  8. What an enchanting tour you took us on, beautiful and uplifting. The Church and the graves holding so many treasured memories of a bygone era.

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  9. Looks beautiful Lorrie. We have a school friend who was married in that church in 1974. It’s charming...there’s another small church on South Pender just up the road from Poets Cove. How lovely that you were able to walk inside as not all churches stay open when mass is not in session.

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  10. I enjoyed your pleasant walk, thank you very much. I can imagine the peace and beauty of bird songs from your words and pictures. :-)

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  11. Wonderful. Your prose is as peaceful as the churchyard where they wait for the Resurrection of the dead.

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  12. Lorrie - isn't it interesting what we can find in our own "backyard"? A lovely excursion to take with your family. The church is a classic, and certainly brings back pleasant memories of many a church in England, although they tend to be made of stone. Cemeteries can be fascinating places, if one does not consider that a morbid comment. I always think poppies represent a soul bursting forth to remind us to cherish our days on earth. Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday!

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  13. What a lovely walk you’ve shared with your grands and with us, Lorrie. I sighed at your finding the names on the stone, of people you knew. That must’ve tugged at your heart!
    I also read your previous post and live your new purchases of the garlic pot and the oil dispenser. I have a garlic pot, but I’ll be on the lookout for a beautiful oil dispenser. William Morris’ advice is inspiring!

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  14. I love trails like the one in your first picture. And then you end with a poppy, just love!!!The little church is just plain sweet! Thanks for sharing!

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  15. Lorrie, what a beautiful way to spend a sunny afternoon! Your beautiful photography makes me feel as if I were right there with you.

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  16. What an interesting find. The photos were giving serious English countryside vibes.

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  17. My goodness! What a beautiful walk and the pictures of the church and tombstones are just wonderful.
    My mother had a yard full of those poppies around a cherry tree. Just beautiful. xo Diana

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  18. Such a lovely place for a quiet walk, dear Lorrie, absolutely full of atmosphere and charm.
    Amalia
    xo

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  19. What a pretty place! With those wild daisies, roses and a sparrow it really could be England, but the church architecture really gives it away. x

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  20. Lovely post. Thanks. I Love poppies and wish I would remember to buy them and grow them! My clematis is stunning I must say, right now.

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  21. I did enjoy your photographs.
    Such a wonderful place to walk.

    Al the best Jan

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  22. Lorrie, one of my most favourite things to do is walk the paths through the woods. Unfortunately, I'm a bit paranoid these days to do that because of the deer ticks that are showing up. My son found one on his hand when he was working out at the North Shore the other day. Thank goodness he got it in time!
    What a beautiful walk you had! Your venture through the old church and cemetery was so interesting. I love the older churches. You know, the ones that look like churches. We would have enjoyed that as well.
    It's too bad you missed Dalvay by the Sea when you were here. I suppose if you're fixed on watching the ocean which is straight across from it, it would be easy to miss. Perhaps you will make it back one day. Thank you for your visit and have a lovely day.

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  23. Now that is a great walk! So lovely. :) Kit

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  24. Such a beautiful post, lovely photographs, especially the poppies.

    All the best Jan

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