A small crowd gathered around music director Sandra Fletcher as she played the 100-year-old Cathedral Church of St. Michael and All Angels’ pipe organ.
As she finished the last note, she turned to discover the crowd—which had grown—applauding her.
Fletcher’s demonstration was one part of the St. Michael’s Cathedral heritage tour, which ran Saturday as part of the Anglican church’s 100th anniversary heritage festival.
“In a small city like Kelowna, I think we have a bit of a jewel,” said The Reverend James Buenting, who led some of Saturday’s tours.
According to the church’s website, the first Anglican service in Kelowna was held above Lequime’s Store on Bernard Avenue May 27, 1894. Limited space quickly became an issue and in 1913 a new building was consecrated at the corner of Sutherland Avenue and Richter Street.
Buenting said the building has undergone a few changes since then. One adjustment that occurred about 20 years ago was moving the alter, initially located against the east wall, closer to the people.
He noted that was done “so the congregation isn’t a spectator, and they feel more a part of the actual worship.”
It’s typical for about 200 people to attend a service at St. Michael’s Cathedral, according to Buenting.
“It’s a mixed congregation—many different people from many walks of life.”
He described the worship service as “dignified, liturgical, historic and, at the same time, of great relevance for people.”
“We’re not caught in the past, but we haven’t discarded it, either.”
The centennial heritage festival also featured live music, artisans at work, buskers and children’s crafts and games.
“We just want people to know the doors of the church are open—we’re not a closed society.”