Historic Sites of Manitoba: St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church (Ninth Avenue South, Virden)
An Anglican church was established in Virden soon after its founding in 1882, holding services in the homes of parishioners. In August 1885, the North West Land Company, acting on behalf of the Canadian Pacific Railway, gave the Anglican community a parcel of land at the corner of Ninth Avenue and Queen Street. A wooden structure was erected on the site by December 1885 and the Parish of St. Mary the Virgin, in the Diocese of Brandon, was officially created in April 1886.
The original church remained on the site until 1891 when it was sold and removed. The present church was constructed of fieldstones from the Assiniboine River valley. Construction began in 1892, with a corner stone (containing a tin box with local newspapers, building plans and other documents) laid by Nina Gertrude Watts, wife of the Rector. It is believed that Winnipeg architect Walter Chesterton based his design on a small church on the Isle of Wight. The church was consecreated in 1905 by Archbishop S. P. Matheson. It features a large stone tower, numerous stained glass windows (including two windows designed by artist Leo Mol) and impressive woodwork throughout.
Additions have included a fieldstone fence built in the 1950s, and a cloister and roof extensions to protect exterior sidewalks. The foundation under the tower was upgraded in the late 1970s.
Photos & Coordinates
Promotional brochure, St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church.
Rev. Lloyd Victor Gedge, FindAGrave.
We thank Rev. Matt Koovisk and Roger Harrison for providing information used here.
Page revised: 1 February 2020