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

Link to:
Clerics | Photos & Maps | 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

The Reverend F. F. Davis

1885-1890

William John Garton (1856-1937)

1890-1896

The Reverend Henry Watts

1896-1901

The Reverend Edward L. King

1901-1916

The Reverend W. H. Robertson

1916-1926

The Reverend George F. Findlay

1928-1929

The Reverend H. J. Tompkins

1929-1932

The Reverend Canon Arthur E. Minchin

1933-1939

The Reverend Cecil C. Landon

1939-1940

Captain T. J. Kelly

1941-1949

The Reverend Alfred H. Cummings

1949-1952

The Reverend Herbert H. Vines

1952-1958

The Reverend W. H. Gregory

1958-1963

The Reverend Lloyd P. Genge

1963-1969

The Reverend John A. Pilling

1969-1973

The Reverend Donald A. Varcoe

1973-1977

The Reverend George E. House

1978-1985

The Reverend Richard Condo

1985-1988

The Reverend Philip Wadham

1989-1995

The Venerable Grahme Spear

1996-2005

The Venerable Kim Salo

2006-2016

The Venerable Don Bernhardt

2017-present

The Reverend Matt Koovisk

Associate Priests

Period

Associate Priest

2016-present

The Reverend Anna Sproule

Photos & Maps

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

Sources:

St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church, brochure.

We thank Rev. Matt Koovisk for providing information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and George Penner.

Page revised: 5 February 2018

Historic Sites of Manitoba

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

Browse lists of:
Museums/Archives | Buildings | Monuments | Cemeteries | Locations | Other

Please note that inclusion in this collection does not mean that a particular site has special status or protection. Some sites are on private property and permission must be secured from the owner prior to visiting.

Site information is provided by the Manitoba Historical Society as a free public service only for non-commercial purposes.


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