Our History

Our History

The Parish of St. Matthew's first church building opened on October 28, 1900.  After support from the Diocese for many years, St. Matthew became a self-sustaining part of the Diocese on Monday, January 30, 1961.  

The "Old St. Matthew" article attached to this page has pictures of the first St. Matthew in Abbotsford.  Created by Linda Burton, the article gives just a little taste of what one can find through The Reach, Abbotsford. 

http://www.thereach.ca/photos

On April 2, 1977, the cornerstone of a new St. Matthew church was laid at its current location at the corner of Marshall Road and Guilford Drive.  The new building on the site was dedicated on October 9, 1977.  In the 1980's the church building was added onto, resulting in the original nave and sanctuary becoming what is now our church hall. 

Many of the items from the first church are still in use.  Even in the face of our historically most-recent dissensions and divisions, much has managed to stay the same in the 21st century.  

With the lawsuits in the early part of this century successfully defended, the history of our parish, our diocese and the Anglican Church of Canada in the 21st century is open for today's congregation to help both forge and maintain, as Anglicanism has been for all those who have gone before.  

The following link is to the most recent Diocesan Policy Manual.  For example, the policy on marriage and same-sex blessings (pages thirty-six to thirty-eight) is therein stated. 

Link to Diocesan Policy Manual

Changes to the Anglican Church of Canada marriage canon approved by General Synod in July 2016 will need to be approved again at the next General Synod in Vancouver in 2019.  

How might we today at St. Matthew appear to those here forty-four years from now?  What do we see when we look back forty-four years ourselves?

I quote from page 70 of St. Matthew's Anglican Church 1900-2000, A People's History:  "The times, indeed, they were a changing and the changes that were about to face St. Matthew's parish after 1972 disturbed and offended many.  The small tight-knit family that once existed was fraying, ideas about worship and liturgy were being challenged, the old building (with its many weaknesses yet simple beauty) seemed to be a thing of the departing past, new notions of what it meant to be an Anglican (and this came from many directions) were very much up for debate and discussion.  The isolation and insulation of 52-72 was coming to an end as both Abbotsford and the Anglican Church of Canada had to come to grips with what it meant to live in a more tolerant, more open, more liberal, more changing, more pluralist and multicultural world."  


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