Rev. Edward Cridge arrived in Victoria in 1855 as chaplain to the Hudson Bay company and soon became Dean of Christ Church Cathedral. A doctrinal dispute resulted in the formation of Church of Our Lord in October 29, 1874, affiliated with the Reformed Episcopal Church, and included many of Victoria’s pioneer families. Bishop Cridge, together with his wife Mary, initiated many ministries serving real needs in the community. For example, they took in and cared for orphans. This mission, much expanded, continues today as the Cridge Centre for the Family.
The site on which the church is built was donated by Sir James Douglas, the first Governor of British Columbia. The Carpenter Gothic building was designed by local architect John Teague and opened in January 1876. The interior features a magnificent hammerbeam ceiling, memorial stained glass windows, and the historic Appleton Organ which dates from the 1820s. The church is a designated a National Historic Site. However, the many vibrant activities show it is much more than a beautiful building.
Rev. Dr. Rod Ellis became Rector of Church of Our Lord in September 1997 and immediately embarked on a Restoration Project. The organ,church sanctuary interior and exterior, were carefully restored, and the original hall designed by Maclure and Savage, was transformed into a three story Community Ministry Centre, now a very active home base for many local missions.
Recent history saw an exciting development with the coming together of two congregations. Rev. Ron Corcoran, long time Rector of St. Matthias Church had previously left the Anglican Church of Canada with most of the congregation and formed Christ the King. Meeting in rented facilities was proving difficult. With very similar values and practice, the two Rectors embarked on a process looking at the feasibility of merging the two congregations. On September 23, 2012, a great celebration service formally recognized the renewed Church of Our Lord as part of the Anglican Network in Canada.
For more information see:
The Quiet Reformers by Ian Macdonald and Betty O‘ Keefe, The Bishop and the King by Ron Corcoran, Come Let Us Build by Rod Ellis