Sunday, April 24, 2011


St. Peter's Basilica
The Vatican, Italy

"The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter (Latin: Basilica Sancti Petri), officially known in Italian as the Basilica Papale di San Pietro in Vaticano and commonly known as St. Peter's Basilica, is a Late Renaissance church located within the Vatican City. St. Peter's Basilica has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world, holding 60,000 people.[1] It is regarded as one of the holiest Christian sites. It has been described as "holding a unique position in the Christian world"[2] and as "the greatest of all churches of Christendom".[3] In Catholic tradition, it is the burial site of its namesake Saint Peter, who was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and, according to tradition, first Bishop of Rome and therefore first in the line of the papal succession.

                                          Bernini's "Cathedra Petri" and "Gloria"

"Tradition and some historical evidence hold that Saint Peter's tomb is directly below the altar of the basilica. For this reason, many Popes have been interred at St Peter's since the Early Christian period. There has been a church on this site since the 4th century. Construction of the present basilica, over the old Constantinian basilica, began on April 18, 1506 and was completed on November 18, 1626.[4]

                                                                         St. Peter

"St. Peter's is famous as a place of pilgrimage, for its liturgical functions and for its historical associations. It is associated with the papacy, with the Counter-reformation and with numerous artists, most significantly Michelangelo. As a work of architecture, it is regarded as the greatest building of its age.[5] Contrary to popular misconception, Saint Peter's is not a cathedral, as it is not the seat of a bishop. It is properly termed a papal basilica" (Wikipedia, Link 1).

The obelisk in the right of the photo above is 90 feet of solid granite and weighs more than 300 tons.  It was originally erected in Egypt more than 2,000 years ago.  Emperor Caligula moved it to imperial Rome. (Rick Steve's "Rome".)  Saints parade along the top of the colonnade of pillars encompassing St. Peter's Square.

                                                          Colonnade of Saints

If you want your choir to sing as part of one of the services it can be arranged through a tour agency such as Ambassador Tours, Link 2. A Connecticut choir performed there this April. And although the planning is a bit complicated, you can even have your wedding in St. Peter's wedding chapel. The Santa Susanna web site can help that happen, (Link 3).

                                                                   Vatican Guard

Tips from Rick Steves' book Rome-Miss the long line ups to tour the Basilica by going at 5 pm.  At this time the crowd that waits in the line ringing St. Peter's Square is gone and you can "go right in".  To miss the three block long line ups that hug the walls of the Vatican waiting to go into the Vatican Museum buy your tickets at the Information Office next to the Basilica.  Pay the extra 4 euros for express tickets and then you can "go right in" at the Museum as well. You don't have to wait until 5 pm to take advantage of this time saver.

Note: Suzanne and Alan Wilson were part of the throng of worshipers, under a sea of umbrellas,  in St. Peter's Square on Easter Sunday, 2010. 
Link 1:
Link 2:
Link 3:
Photos: Taken in Rome, Italy April 2010 by SW.



Sunday, April 17, 2011

                                                                                                                        April 17, 2011

Palm Desert Community Presbyterian Church
featuring Sanctuary window
Palm Desert Community Presbyterian Church
Palm Desert, California

Palm Desert Community Presbyterian Church was built in 1968 by  Berton Lamb and the Architects were Powell, Morgridge, Richards  Coghlan.   It is a modern cement building in southern Palm Desert at 47321 California State Highway 74 near El Paseo and at the base of Shadow Mountain. "President Eisenhower was the honorary building chairman as he attended and was a member for many years up until his death...

Eisenhower bust and side of Palm Desert Community Presbyterian Church

Bust of President Eisenhower on path in front of Palm Desert Community Presbyterian Church

There is a pew in the sanctuary dedicated to he (President Eisenhower) and his wife ...the stained glass window was placed there because of security concerns when he was in his pew...

Wayside Prayer Chapel

Wayside Prayer Chapel

At the parking lot entrance to the church is a Wayside Prayer Chapel which is a mini version of the sanctuary and at that location  where the President's limos parked when he was here." (e mail Floyd Vail)

Front entrance of Palm Desert Community Presbyterian Church
There seem to be many architectural references to skiing in the design of the building. The church itself seems shaped like a  giant cement  ski jump.  The photo above is of the back of the church with the center sanctuary window and framed by towering palm trees. At the  Wayside prayer chapel a large cross is featured on the side opposite the front entrance to the church. The chapel like the rear of the church is framed in tall palm trees. Between the chapel and the church entrance is a walk flanked with date palms. The roof from the entrance to the the rear of the sanctuary  is an extreme curved slope again reminiscence of that on a ski jump. Inside the large modern sanctuary the roof shape also reminds one of skiing.  This time it is the slope and bottom curve of each side of the ceiling which as it meets the side walls. Each side  is curved up like the tip of a ski. 
Sanctuary of Palm Desert Community Presbyterian Church

Traditional Sanctuary Services are held every Sunday at 8:30 and 10:15 am.

Thank you: To Floyd J. Vail for his e mail with information about the church.
Photos: Taken in February 2011 by SW.


God, be with the persecuted Christians through out the world. Amen (SW.)

Sunday, April 10, 2011


1890 Deep Cove Road

Deep Cove United Church
Deep Cove, North Vancouver, B.C. Canada

The history of Deep Cove United Church was reported in the August 16, 1987 North Shore News,  "Church in Transition" and the Deep Cove Heritage Society pamphlet,  "Deep Cove United Church 1937-1976".

"The United Church began in Deep Cove in 1937 when a young bride by the name of Doris Smith and her husband moved to Deep Cove. She started a Sunday School on Main Street ( the Dance Pavilion...) and a student minister, R. M. Warne, held church services.

"After a period of time, the school and services moved to the Legion Hall ( the corner of Caledonia and Gallant)...Both the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches also held services at the community hall during the same period.

"In 1943 services were moved to the fire hall, which later became the community hall. The Rev. Cameron served as the first full-time minister from 1942 to 1947. Eighteen ministers in all have served the church over its first 50 year period.  The little white church at 1890 Deep Cove Road has been home to a church community of approximately 150 families since a dedication of the church was conducted by Rev. H. Vessey, May 25, 1952.

                     The original corner stone of the Deep Cove United Church

"...the church congregation closed the last day of service July 26 (1987) with a celebration and re-dedication.  The congregation has moved to a temporary location at 971 Berkley Rd.  Plans are underway to construct a new church at the ecumenical centre planned, by the District of North Vancouver in conjunction with the Parkgate Centre, for the corner of Mount Seymour Parkway and Indian River Road."

The church actually moved to 1200 Parkgate Ave. and became Mount Seymour United Church.  It opened its doors April 30, 1989. 

North facing original window

Beamed ceiling of original sanctuary

Original sanctuary pew
(Made by  congregation member Gustave Muri, 
as told to SW by his daughter 4/2015.)

Today the original church building on Deep Cove Road is "My Little School" Montessori School offering full time daycare and out of school care.  Some of the features of the original United Church can still be seen: the original corner stone, the large north facing window, the beamed ceiling of the sanctuary, and two of the original pews.

The original wooden cross from the  was refinished by James Fulton and put up for a Lenten service in 2005 in the Sanctuary at Mount Seymour United Church. (See Blog Post 8/17/14.)   As the story goes, after Lent Dermott McInnes said, "It looks good" and so it stayed."(REFS. d.)

Note: For more information on Deep Cove see April 3, 2011 Blog Post.
Photos: Taken at My Little School in March 2011 by Suzanne Wilson.
Reference 1: North Shore News, August 16, 1987, "Church in Transition".
Reference 2: Deep Cover Heritage Society pamphlet, "Deep Cove United Church
References: Received from Mount Seymour United Church files:
                                   a."Seymour Heights United Church-Service of Dedication- 
                                                         Sunday, September 13th, 1959."
                                    b."History of Seymour Heights/Mount Seymour 
                                                         United Church"
                                    c."Mount Seymour United Church, North Vancouver, B.C. 
                                                         10th Anniversary Sunday, April 18, 1999"
                                    d."Mount Seymour United Church 25th Anniversary
                                                         Celebration May 4, 2014 From 1989: To 2014
(Note: These references are on file at the North Vancouver Archives.)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

1384 Deep Cove Road
St. Clare-in-the-Cove/St. Simon's Anglican Church
Deep Cove, North Vancouver, B.C. Canada

"Deep Cove refers to both the community in the eastern most part of the District of North Vancouver, in British Columbia, Canada, and also the geographic name of the small bay beside the town. It is affectionately referred to as "The Cove" by local residents. Located at the foot of Mount Seymour, Deep Cove faces due east, fronting onto Indian Arm, a branch of the Burrard Inlet.

                                                       Panorama Park, Deep Cove

"Deep Cove became a popular summer resort for Vancouver residents in the 1910s, with cabins, logging and granite quarrying featuring in the local history. For many years, the focal point of the community included a yacht club, dance hall and general store.

"The population slowly grew in the 1960s and 1970s, when access to the area improved following the completion of the Second Narrows Bridge to Vancouver in 1960. However, Deep Cove held on to its rural feel, and a large, open horse paddock sat adjacent to Gallant Avenue (the main street) in this period. Today, the Cove remains a popular attraction in the District..." (See Link 1.)

"The first group of Anglicans met in 1940 in the back of a grocery store on Gallant Avenue." (Reference.)  This store later became the Bike Shop and most recently Deep Cove Outdoors. The property is now being proposed for development.  "This evening service consisted of 12 people, seven of them belonging to the Rawlings family.  When the community hall was built in 1940, the congregation moved there... Mr. Naughton, a real estate agent in the Cove, donated the property on Deep Cove Rd. (1384) for St. Simon's Anglican Church... The congregation members literally got out and dug the foundations for their building.  This consisted of one floor... But the building was too small, so the congregation once again got busy and dug out a basement so a lower floor could be added." (Reference.) The people of Deep Cove worshiped in this Anglican Church named St. Simon's until the year 2004.

"The parish was formerly named St. Simon’s Deep Cove. Its priest and several members of the congregation left the Anglican Church of Canada in 2004 over the issue of same sex blessings. The next year they turned the building over to diocesan officials and have set up shop in a school outside the Deep Cove neighbourhood. However they kept the name “St. Simon’s,” which caused a great deal of confusion in the local community.

 "St. Clare-in-the-Cove is now the official name of the Anglican Church of Canada parish in the Deep Cove neighbourhood at the eastern end of North Vancouver.

"The Rev. Carla McGhie, priest in charge of St. Clare-in-the-Cove, said her parish explored the possibility of a more descriptive name, and many suggestions were advanced. However none felt right, she said.

                                                     St. Clare-in-the-Cove, Sanctuary

"In consultation with the Diocesan Ministry and Congregational Development Committee, Bishop Michael Ingham approved the name change... The parish is now named after St. Clare of Assisi (1193-1253), who with the assistance of fellow Assisian St. Francis founded an order of nuns which came to be known as the “Poor Clares.

"The 58-year-old parish decided on the name after a retreat in April, and decided to take the name because it valued “Clare’s utter and joyful identification with the poor and needy; her dedication to the contemplative life; her capacities for friendship and relationality as shown in her ardent friendship with St Francis.”

“By selecting a saint’s name we made the clear statement we would like to have a name that links us specifically with our Christian heritage and tradition.”

"The place name, “in-the-Cove” was included to affirm that the church values its location. “It’s such a special and incredibly beautiful setting.

                                                  The Labyrinth (See Link 3.)

"In our own parish visioning we give high priority to living in meaningful community,” said McGhie, “offering service and care to those in need, developing as a strong spiritual center, and being creative and innovative within our time.” (See Link 2.) The Labyrinth reaches out to members of the surrounding community. (See Link 3.)

Note: Suzanne Wilson attended the 11:30 am Sunday Service March 27th, 2011.  The intimate congregation of 20, including 4 children met on the semi circle of chairs at the front of the narthex. Some chair backs were draped with liturgical purple fabric. The cross was draped for the Lenten season. The service led by the Rev. McGhie was reverently casual with joyous hymn singing. Everyone entering in the easy discussion which was part of the sermon based on the day's scripture led by the Rev. McGhie seated as part of the congregation. To receive communion the congregation formed a circle around the altar, joining hands for the final prayer. Thank you to the Rev. McGhie and the congregation of St. Clara-in-the-Cove for this inspiring worship experience.  God bless them all.

Note: For Sale sign observed by SW October 2012.
             As of February 2014 bought by The Bridge (See Blog Post 3/17/13.) for 
             office space at this time.

Photos: Taken of St. Clare-in-the-Cove and Panorama Park taken March 2011 
                 and June 2014. 
                by  Suzanne Wilson
Reference: Echoes Across the Inlet, page 116.

Link 1:,_North_Vancouver
Link 2:
Link 3:


God, be with the persecuted Christians through out the world. Amen (SW.)