Friday, July 13, 2018

Canada Day And Church

I stopped at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church on Canada Day while coming back from the War Museum. The church is the only non-government building along this stretch of Wellington Street, set across from the Supreme Court of Canada. It is the oldest Protestant church in the city, with a church first erected here in 1828, founded for and built by the Scottish and Irish crews working on the Rideau Canal at the time. The current building was erected from 1872-74, and is in the Gothic Revival style. It is typical for the church to open up through the day on Canada Day, and at this time of year it is open for a few hours mid-day through the week for visitors to stop in.

A homeless Jesus sculpture stands near the main entrance, done by Timothy Schmalz, the same Canadian artist who did a different take on the theme, one that I showed you at Christ Church Cathedral during my Doors Open series. In this case the tell-tale is the mark of a nail in the outstretched palm. These two sculptures are also in other places around the world. Scripture is inscribed at the base, the passage from Matthew 25 verse 40: "Truly, whatever you did for one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you did for me."

The sanctuary inside features prominent stained glass windows, majestic in sunlit conditions.

The organ stands high over the sanctuary, which is organized with the pulpit off on the side as opposed to being at one end.

The church has quite a history with prominent worshipers and events. The baptism of Princess Margriet of the Netherlands happened here during the Second World War. Photographs from the congregation's history are often on display in the sanctuary, including the one below from the Great Fire of 1900, taken from somewhere on Parliament Hill. The inferno started on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River, destroying much of old Hull (present day Gatineau) before springing across the river at the islands around the Chaudiere Falls. The spire of the church can be seen against the backdrop of the smoke; the fire was brought to a halt west of there, at Lebreton Flats. Seven lives were lost, two thirds of Hull and a fifth of Ottawa were destroyed, and 15 000 people were rendered homeless.


  1. It certainly is an old and beautiful place. Great photos William!

  2. Love those stained glass windows!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. Majestic organ and some more beautiful windows - Happy Canada Day to you and yours.

  4. Uma bela escultura de Jesus que gostei bastante pela sua originalidade.
    Um abra├žo e bom fim-de-semana.

    Dedais de Francisco e Idalisa
    O prazer dos livros

  5. Happy Canada Day! Interesting church and post. I had no idea about that awful fire. That sculpture is incredibly powerful - and clever.

  6. ...Timothy Schmalz's work is so powerful. A church in Buffalo has a Homeless Jesus lying on a park bench.

  7. what an amazing space,, truly beautiful,

  8. Love the interior shots. Were the Irish and Scottish crews prisoners? I learned in Australia that especially the Irish were labor crews and one could get 7 years for stealing a handkerchief. Life for stealing a horse. Was it the same in Canada?


  9. The stained glass windows are beautiful.

  10. @Pat: thank you!

    @Lea: they're quite striking stained glass.

    @Rosemary: thanks!

    @Francisco: thank you.

    @Mike: it was a monstrous fire.

    @Tom: from his website, I've seen quite a few of both in various places.

    @Laurie: it is quite a church!

    @Janis: no, they came to Canada seeking new lives, a chance to prosper. It was a hard life, late 1700s, early 19th century, but they built lives here and contributed to the building of the country.

    @Nancy: that they are.

  11. Another wonderful church to visit. I've never seen a Jesus sculpture quite like that one. It's very moving. And those windows!

  12. the ceiling ... wow wee ... so cool!! what gorgeous style! happy Friday the 13th! ( ;

  13. Love the statue. How appropriate!

  14. I love that ceiling, William!

  15. You have found some very pretty churches to show us lately.

  16. Beauty and lots of history with this church. It's well maintained.

  17. @DJan: this one has been there for some years.

    @Beth: thank you.

    @Marie: it is!

    @RedPat: it's very distinctive as ceilings go.

    @Sharon: we've got quite a number of historic churches here.

    @Red: it certainly is.

  18. That sculpture is beautiful and my favorite shot ~ Lovely church and stain glass photos too!

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  19. St Andrews is a beautiful church William, lovely to head in and have a peek! The sculpture is incredible!

  20. I like those stained glass windows.

  21. This is a beautiful church, William. I really love the Homeless Jesus statue. I find this one even more poignant than the other.

  22. Hello, pretty church. I like the statue and the stained glass windows. Happy Friday, enjoy your day and weekend!

  23. @Carol: it is quite a work of art.

    @Grace: I figured you'd enjoy it!

    @Marleen: so do I.

    @Jeanie: they both have that tone.

    @Eileen: thank you.

  24. The sculpture is very powerful considering the world as it is today.

  25. A lovely place to tour. The sculpture is a valuable reminder.

  26. I like the statue, and the windows, of course !

  27. The Whatsoever statue, as we call it at St. Andrew’s, was donated to the church in 2005 by the artist, and is the lowest statue in the downtown area: this allows people to touch it, and to show Christ’s humility. The window with the geese, in the North entrance, was designed by Eleanor Milne, who also did windows and sculptures in the Centre Block of Parliament. She also donated to the church, a few years ago, to a huge sculpted wood panel of the Nativity, which is mounted on the wall outside our Minister’s study. We have lots more history, come and see!

  28. That statue is stunning.
    Interesting history.

  29. St Andrews is a beautiful church as so many others have aleeady said. The Christ statue is indeed outstanding as are the stained glass windows.

  30. Beautiful Church. The Homeless Jesus statue is thought-provoking ... (in the extreme for us -- here in Eugene, we live in an urban setting and homelessness is something we see every time we walk through the downtown blocks...

  31. The simplicity of the sculpture is stunning. What a work!

  32. @Bill: true!

    @Kay: I agree.

    @Catalyst: they are.

    @Karl: me too.

    @Anonymous: thanks for the information!

    @Jennifer: thanks!

    @Beatrice: thank you.

    @Sallie: it's something we see here too.

    @Klara: that it is.