The Beautiful Christ Church Cathedral is located in the heart of the downtown area in Vancouver, British Columbia. The cathedral is dwarfed by its neighbors including the Fairmont Hotel which is directly across the street.
This church has a fascinating history. It was started by a small group of people in the mid-1880s on land purchased from the Canadian Pacific Railway. The basement was completed and worship moved indoors in October of 1889. Due to a lack of funding services were still being conducted in the basement in 1891. In two short years they had become known as the root house congregation.
When CPR dubbed the unfinished building an “eyesore” losing their land became a real possibility for the Parish. Two men were instrumental in saving the church. In 1892 Robert Mackay Fripp came forth with a proposal for the completion of the church and a financing scheme was developed by one of the congregation, construction began and the cornerstone was placed on July 28, 1894.
There have been many additions, upgrades, remodels and at least four organ transplants over the years but the lanterns in the church today are the fixtures installed in 1930 after the advent of electricity.
The evolution of human attitude becomes evident in the narrative of Christ Church. When in 1971 the congregation voted to demolish the building and construct a high-rise complex designed by Arthur Erikson. This time it was the public that opposed the upgrade and after an intense struggle the cathedral was deemed a Class A Heritage building in 1976.
This beautiful church is well worth a stroll up the street from the city harbor area.
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