St. John the Divine Anglican Church, built in May 1859, is one of the province’s oldest. (Contributed)

Old Maple Ridge church has big birthday

St. John the Divine now 160 years

St. John the Divine Anglican Church in Maple Ridge is turning 160 years old.

An open house to celebrate the birthday of one of B.C.’s oldest churches takes place on Saturday, May 4, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Displays, tours of the historic church on Laity Street and River Road, and refreshments will be available.

St. John the Divine was built in May 1859 in Fort Langley (Derby) and Rev. William Crickmer held its first service in the building on May 8.

Crickmer designed the church, basing it on his former one in Deptford, London.

But with the naming of New Westminster as the colony’s capital in 1858, the importance of Fort Langley declined.

As a result, the bishop at the time asked to have the church moved to Yale, in the Fraser Canyon. But river conditions didn’t allow that.

In 1882, with the pending arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway and growth of Maple Ridge, the church was floated across the Fraser River to serve those building the railway.

The church was later moved to its present site on River Road in Maple Ridge in 1983.

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