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Submitted by Carol Cook on behalf of the 135th Anniversary committee. 

In the early days of establishing the province of BC, the Anglican Church established the Diocese of New Westminster in 1879. Following the Fraser River gold rush, this city was an early leader in planned settlement, river and rail connections to the interior, with a developed downtown, and local services. The Diocese established its administration centre at Holy Trinity Cathedral in New Westminster (1892).

Times were changing --on the eve of the great depression Vancouver was developing rapidly—the CPR railroad ending Its Western terminus in Burrard Inlet had a tremendous impact on trade. The downtown commercial centre and population gave evidence of considerable growth. Archbishop Adam De Pencier had always wanted to have a Cathedral in Vancouver, even
persuading the Canadian Pacific Railway to set aside land in their Shaughnessy Heights development.

Attractive as that possibly was, this site was only surrounded by large houses on all slides. The St. John’s parish/ Diocese concept is still there today. Eventuality he realized the Cathedral should be downtown in the heart of the city and selected the Christ Church Parish, already a vibrant presence seating 1,000, under Dean Dr. Robert John Renison. Bishop De Pencier insisted on 3 conditions for this to happen -- that Christ Church place a cross on the Altar, Holy Communion would be celebrated in the morning not the evening, and the priest would stand before the altar rather than on the side. The church committee approved the first two conditions and negotiated for flexibility on the third.

His surprise decision to change location was simply to move the Bishop’s Throne to Christ Church, leaving Holy Trinity as a Cathedral only as a courtesy. Dean Renison was known for the quality of his preaching and soon his “preaching church” was renowned for its radio broadcasts—thus secular media further expanded their parish presence in the city.

The tradition continues with Christ Church continuing to reach out to the metropolitan community providing leadership to the downtown city and to its fellow parishes.