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  About Us  



  The Church

Nanaimo’s Anglican congregation was served in the early 1850's by missionaries from the SPG (Society of the Preservation of the Gospel) from England. In 1861, the Parish of St. Paul’s was established, with the cornerstone for the first church being laid by the Bishop of London in December of that year. Services began in the new building on Whitsunday, 1862. That building served until 1907, when it was deemed to be too small for the congregation. It was pulled down and a new church built. That building was burned to the ground in the Nanaimo fire of 1930, which destroyed 6 blocks of the downtown area. A new building was erected, made of concrete, and serves the congregation to this day. The hall was added in 1952. 

The Congregation

According to the 2008 Statistical Report, the congregation consists of 304 persons, representing 89 couples/families and 133 individuals. Of these, approximately 20 do not attend services because they are in Care Homes. As our Lay Eucharistic Ministers take them Communion on a regular basis, they are considered active members of the congregation.  

The Finances

Our expenses for 2008 were $277,660.00. Of this amount, 11% was spent directly on outreach projects. What does not show on the Financial Statement is the considerable amount of community outreach that is done through the use of our halls. (Please see “Use of Hall” section for these details.) Our expense budget for 2009 was accepted as $277,695.00. This includes a projected budget shortfall of $10,143.00, as we will be paying two fulltime priests. 

The Facility

In addition to the church proper, St. Paul’s has two halls - the upper hall (or Fireside Room) which is a meeting style room for about 25 people, and the main hall downstairs, which has an excellent kitchen facility, as well as a large floor space plus a stage and can hold up to 250 people. Apart from the summer months (July and August) when things are quiet, one or both of these halls are in use by community groups and/or ourselves every day of the week.  

Regular Users of the Fireside Room

Community Groups:

Pass-It-On AA Group                - Every day but Sunday, 7:00 am. - 8:30 am.

Monday Alanon             -Weekly at noon for 2 hours

Narcotics Anonymous   -Weekly Tuesday noon for 1 hour

Thursday ACOA Group -Weekly from 7 - 9 pm.

 These groups pay minimal fees - $100 per month for the daily AA, and $25 per month for the rest.

Women’s Peace Movement (WILPF)     -Bi-monthly on Tuesday morning for 2 hours.

AA Intergroup                           -Monthly on Sunday afternoon for 2 hours

War Resisters Group                            -Monthly

Mid-Island Early Music Group   -Bi-weekly on Sunday afternoons

Pilots’ AA Group                                   -Bi-weekly on Saturday mornings

 Philippine Dance Group            (VIVA) -Friday and Saturday evenings throughout the year when preparing for a performance.

 Farmers’ Market Executive      -Monthly (bi-monthly in summer).

These groups pay nominal fee of $7.50 per use

Parish Groups:

Wednesday Bible Study -  Meets weekly.

The following groups meet monthly -

 Reaching Out Committee.

Fun, Food & Fellowship.

Parish Council.

Anglican Church Women. 

Christian Education. 

Regular Users of the Main Hall

Nanaimo Supportive Lifestyles  -Cooking Group every Tuesday afternoon.

Nanaimo Supportive Lifestyles  -Dance one Friday or Saturday per month.

Citizen’s Advocacy                               -Semi-regular bi-monthly meetings

Nanaimo Community Living                   -Coffee Houses

Open Minds Open Windows                  -Social events

These community groups use our hall free of charge.

Red Room Studios             -Large blocks of three-evenings per week rehearsal time.

Nanaimo Theatre Group     -Large blocks of three-evenings per week rehearsal time.

International Children’s Festival -One or two weeks, all day, for the Festival.

Theatre One                                         -Blocks of three weeks, 9 am to 6 pm, rehearsal time.

The Church supports the work of the local arts community, so these organization pay only 50% of the normal hall use donation.

Mid-Island Weavers & Spinners Guild    -Two wednesday evenings per month.

This is one of our oldest continuous use groups. They also have a storage cupboard and a library cupboard in the hall. Their user fee is $50 per month.

Other Community Groups that use the hall frequently

Order of the Eastern Star -  Teas.

Job’s Daughters, Bethel 11 -  Teas and Fashion Shows.

The Community Choir -  Rehearsals space.

Global Village -  Meetings.

Ultreya (Cursillo Movement) -  Monthly pot-luck suppers.

Other Uses

The hall is also used for wedding receptions and private parties, as well as church groups, and for funeral receptions. As stated earlier, one or both of the halls is in use daily, often by more than one group.


Uses of the Church Proper

Worship Services -  Worship can be looked on as a community activity, as all are welcome at St. Paul’s. 

Weddings Weddings are usually held on Saturdays in the church, with rehearsal the evening before. We have between 6 and 14 weddings per year.

Funerals - These are also held in the church. Numbers for these cannot be predicted, but we average about 12 per year.

 St. Paul’s Choir - Practices in the church every Thursday.

Community Uses

Bel Canto Island Singers - Rehearse in the church every Tuesday; September to May.

Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra   -Holds four concerts per year in the church.

 Choirs      -A variety of choirs hold concerts in the church. In the past concert series in the week of August, with choirs from Germany, Finland, England and a string quartet from Toronto have been held.

Recitals     -The church is a good venue for individual recitals, as the acoustics are excellent and it holds about 200 people, which is just right for most of these events.   

Historical Tours

As St. Paul’s is a designated historical building, and a worshipping community that has been part of downtown Nanaimo for almost 150 years (2011), it is a point of interest for tourists and others in the community area. We also have the finest collection of stained glass windows in the mid-Island area. We offer guided tours by our receptionists any weekday morning throughout the year, or there is a self-guided tour brochure available. When cruise ships come in, we keep the building open and have guides on hand to take passengers through.  

General Comments

St. Paul’s Anglican Church has contributed in many ways to the community. From early days, when one of our clergy started what is now the Nanaimo Concert Band, the oldest such musical group in Canada, to more recent times when we started a food bank from our office (which gave out 6 large bags of food once a month) and eventually grew into the current Loaves and Fishes Food Bank. Because we are downtown and open during the day, we serve many of the less fortunate in a variety of ways - local bus tickets for doctor’s 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.

  © 2012   St. Paul's Anglican Church, 100 Chapel St., Nanaimo, BC   V9R 5H2