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Historic Sites of Manitoba: St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church (Ninth Avenue South, Virden)

Link to:
Clerics | Photos & Coordinates | Sources

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.

Rectors

Period

Rector

1885

F. F. Davis

1885-1890

William John Garton (1856-1937)

1890-1896

Henry Watts

1896-1901

Edward L. King

1901-1916

W. H. Robertson

1916-1926

George F. Findlay

1928-1929

H. J. Tompkins

1929-1932

Arthur E. Minchin

1933-1939

Cecil C. Landon

1939-1940

T. J. Kelly

1941-1949

Alfred H. Cummings

1949-1952

Herbert H. Vines

1952-1958

W. H. Gregory

1958-1960

?

1960-1963

Lloyd Victor Gedge (1923-2015)

1963-1969

John A. Pilling

1969-1973

Donald A. Varcoe

1973-1977

George E. House

1978-1985

Richard Condo

1985-1988

Philip Wadham

1989-1995

Grahme Spear

1996-2005

Kim Salo

2006-2016

Don Bernhardt

2017-present

Matt Koovisk

Associate Priests

Period

Associate Priest

2016-present

Anna Sproule

Photos & Coordinates

Postcard view of St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church

Postcard view of St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church (no date)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough, 2016-0065

St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church

St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church (July 2010)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church

St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church (October 2017)
Source: George Penner

Interior of St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church

Interior of St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church (October 2017)
Source: George Penner

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.84692, W100.93343
denoted by symbol on the map above

Sources:

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.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and George Penner.

Page revised: 1 February 2020

Historic Sites of Manitoba

This is a collection of historic sites in Manitoba compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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