St. Saviour’s Pro-Cathedral is an excellent example of a Gothic Perpendicular church in stone, and thus reminiscent of many English churches. Visitors are amazed by the jewel-like stained glass windows that depict stories from the Bible and, by their dedications, provide a connection to the history of families that helped build Nelson.
St. Saviour’s congregation began in 1890 when Nelson was a raw mining town. In the early days St. Saviour’s was likely a haven for homesick English men and women far from their homes. The words and music of the traditional Church of England services, no doubt, brought great comfort. A Mission Room was erected in 1892 and the stone church was opened in 1899. The church burned to its granite walls in 1928 and was rebuilt in 1929. The stained glass windows that grace the church were donated after the fire. St. Saviour’s is still one of Nelson’s best loved heritage buildings.
Dear and I had a very enjoyable visit with a couple ladies from the church who welcomed visitors on this day.
I am the good Shepherd and know my sheep.
The Good Shepherd window-McCauslands masterpiece for this church, was donated by Consolidated Mining and Smelting President Selwyn G. Blaylock in memory of his parents Rev. Thomas and Mrs. Eleanor Blaylock.
John 10:11-18 English Standard Version (ESV)
11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
The Good Samaritan.
The Miracle of the Widow’s Son is in memory of Dr. William Rose who was not only a medical man but also became mayor and a Provincial Legislator.
A representation of the Holman Hunt painting “Behold I stand at the door and knock” is in memory of Mary Spurway, mother of noted Nelson photographer Dick Spurway. Her husband Rowland was a true frontiersman-a cowboy and trapper who could speak 3 First Nations Languages-Blackfoot, Cree and Sioux.
The Faith Charity and Hope window is in memory of Florence Douch one of Nelson’s unsung heroes of the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918.
Jesus as a boy talking with the elders in the temple. In memory of Charles Wesley Busk, who was a pioneer and surveyor in the area. He donated the land for St. Michael and All Angels Church in Balfour and All Saints Church Longbeach. He had an estate at Kokanee Creek and was instrumental in forming the 1st Scout Troop in Nelson–Scouts still meet at Camp Busk.
The Joy window showing the Risen Christ.
The Ascension window is in memory of Lesley Vivian Rogers and his wife Eva Jane. Rogers was the “Home Child” from England and later served as a drummer boy in the Boer War. He became the Principal of Nelson High School keeping his position for 24 years – L. V. Rogers High School (the present day Sr. high) is named after him.
The Nativity Window created by McCausland of Toronto -it has a typical scroll on the lower edge and it is the only window in the church which shows the McCausland signature.
The window of the Last Supper is in memory of Bishop Frederick Patrick Clark, who died suddenly while visiting Cranbrook in 1954. An overflow of 400 people attended the funeral at St. Saviour’s with clergy from around B.C., Alberta and the U.S.A. This it the newest window in the church and is a bit controversial as “consecrate is spelt wrongly and Judas has been given a Halo. The window was not made by the McCauslands as their quote for $1120.00 was turned down.
This Coronation Tapestry is an actual tapestry from the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, June 1953. Drapes and tapestries decorating Westminster Abbey during the Coronation ceremony were later distributed to all Cathedrals in the Empire.
The crochet of the Last Supper has an interesting history. It was given to a young nurse in gratitude for her part in saving the life of a sick child. The young nurse was called out to a lonely farmhouse in the depth of winter and stayed for several days until the child recovered when the impoverished parents gave her the tapestry. Many years later on the death of her husband the nurse unrolled the tapestry and had it framed as a memorial to her husband.
After our visit to the church, which we really enjoyed, we walked down a few blocks to enjoy a snack of mussels and fresh bread at Jackson’s Hole and Grill. We walked back to our car and drove to the cemetery and then headed back home to the U.S.A.