St. Luke’s rector’s warden Marlene Mitten checks on the progress of the painting at the historic Saanich church, as Branden Stephens of Absolute Painting applies a fresh coat around a window. (Dan Ebenal/News Staff)

Historic Saanich church gets a fresh coat of paint

Heritage Legacy Fund will cover part of the work at St. Luke’s Anglican Church

More than a century and a half of wear and tear can take a toll on any building. But a grant from the Heritage Legacy Fund will keep St. Luke’s Cedar Hill Anglican Church from getting rough around the edges.

The Heritage B.C. fund will provide $14,500 towards the $33,700 cost to paint the interior and exterior of the historic building that has sat on the corner of Cedar Hill and Cedar Hill Cross Road in Saanich since 1855.

“We’ve been working for quite a while to get this painting done,” said St. Luke’s rector’s warden Marlene Mitten. “Getting painters for this kind of job is tough. Painters are busy and getting them to take on a job of this magnitude is tough.”

Work on the project started Aug. 28 and is scheduled to be complete in early October, with a number of strict guidelines in place to meet Heritage B.C. standards.

“We weren’t allowed to do any painting of anything that wasn’t painted before. You’re not allowed to power-wash, they wanted it painted similar to the way it was before. So the rules are quite stringent as to how it’s cared for,” said Mitten.

St. Luke’s has served as a place of worship as well as a gathering place for the congregation and community at large since 1860, with its grounds encompassing one of the oldest cemeteries in Greater Victoria where many of the area’s pioneers are buried.

“These projects will increase awareness and interpretation of historic places in communities throughout the province,” said Heritage B.C. chair Gord Macdonald. “There is so much great work happening, and these projects will have real impact on the communities and how we tell our story as British Columbians.”

The painting project is the latest in a series of projects that have taken place at the Saanich church.

“With a church of this age it’s constant. There’s constant upkeep, the buildings are old,” said Mitten, adding work was done on the church’s roof and bathrooms last year, with a renovation to the kitchens on the horizon for 2018.

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