Vancouver BC Saint John of Shanghai Orthodox Church 2005

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Saint John of Shanghai Vancouver.jpg

Vancouver, BC, Church of Saint John of Shanghai and Saint Nina of Georgia, 2005


The Orthodox Church in the name of Saint John of Shanghai in Vancouver, British Columbia, is an English-language Orthodox parish of the Archdiocese of Canada in the The Orthodox Church in America. It is, in fact, the only wholly English-language Orthodox Church in the city of Vancouver.

This parish began as a mission on 15 August, 2005, as a “daughter parish” and “church-plant” of Saint Herman of Alaska Orthodox Church in Langley, British Columbia. Saint Herman's Church was, for many years, the only canonical English-language Orthodox Church in the whole of the Lower Mainland of the province.

Establishment of missions ; merger ; establishment of the mission, 2006

In the summer of 2006, there was a merger of Saint John's with the Saint Nina of Georgia Orthodox Mission – another English-language Orthodox mission in Vancouver whose priest had moved to Ontario. Therefore, the mission’s full name is actually Saint John of Shanghai and Saint Nina of Georgia Orthodox Church, a rather large name for what is still a rather small (although growing) mission. The parish considers itself to be a long-term mission to the City of Vancouver in order to make more available access to the Orthodox Christian Faith for the English-speakers of the city and region.

First chapel, 2006

The community of Saint John is currently meeting in the chapel of what used to be a Franciscan convent, an historic building located in East Vancouver, on the corner of Napier Street and Semlin Drive, directly across the street from Saint Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church. Many parishioners (including the priest and deacon) are converts to Orthodox Christianity, which makes Saint John’s a particularly great place to encounter the riches of the Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition for the first time. As the Apostle Philip said to Nathaniel, “Come and see” (Saint John 1:46).

Saint John of Shanghai Parish Vancouver.jpg Parishioners

On Saturday, 5 January, 2013, the Saint John of Shanghai and Saint Nina of Georgia Orthodox Mission was greatly blessed to begin the year with a visit from Archbishop Irénée (Rochon), on the Eve of the great feast of Theophany. After Great Vespers, Vladyka Irénée celebrated the Great Blessing of the Waters. He then blessed everyone present and the building itself. This included the blessing of the new iconostas (built by the vice-president of the parish council, Jeremy Eisenhauer, with help from the parish president, Aaron Huizenga). Following the service, a time for tea and a period of questions-and-answers with Vladyka Irénée was held in the church fellowship hall. The visit was a great blessing to all who were able to attend.

New iconostas S.jpg New iconostas

Blessing water S.jpg Blessing water

Saint John parishioners S.jpg Saint John parishioners with Vladyka Irénée

On Saturday, 12 October, 2013, this mission parish was blessed to have Archbishop Irénée (Rochon) presiding "from the throne" (as it were) at the regular Great Vespers service. The service was followed by a communal meal and a lively question-and-answer session with Vladyka Irénée. During this time, a wide variety of topics were raised and discussed. They ranged from the health of the archdiocese to parish life, and to outreach to First Nations. All those who were able to make it to this Thanksgiving weekend service were very thankful to have had the opportunity to pray and to chat with Vladyka Irénée, and with the hard-working Protodeacon Nazari Polataiko.

Vladyka Irenee at St John S.jpg Vladyka Irénée (Rochon) at Vespers

Choir and parishioners at Vespers S.jpg Choir and parishioners at Vespers

Saint Johns q and a S.jpg Questions and answers with Vladyka Irénée

Parish organisations :

Holy Wisdom Bookstore

The bookstore which is operated by the parish offers an assortment of useful books for the formation and the information of Orthodox Christians and potential Orthodox Christians. The books, booklets, and periodicals that are offered for sale feature authors from Russia, Romania, Greece, the Holy Land, the Americas and more. The bookstore also has available oil lamps, prayer ropes, mounted icons, buttons, and crosses.

This parish is part of the Deanery of British Columbia & Yukon of the Archdiocese of Canada, of The Orthodox Church in America. The dean is the Mitred Archpriest Michael Fourik. The bishop is Archbishop Irénée (Rochon).

The parish follows the New (Revised Julian) Calendar.

The Altar Feast-day of this parish is the Feast of Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco, 2 July. The secondary Feast-day is the Feast of Saint Nino of Georgia, 14 January.

In 2018, the pastor of the parish is the Priest Justin E Hewlett. The deacon of the parish is Deacon Dr. Peter Choi.

Address :

Saint John of Shanghai Orthodox Church

1967, Napier Street

Vancouver, British Columbia

V5L 2N6

Telephone : 604-541-7343

Web-site :


Directions :

By car :

The Temple is found in East Vancouver on the corner of Napier Street and Semlin Drive, and across the street from Saint Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church.

It is 1 block east of Victoria Drive, and 4 blocks west of Nanaimo Street.

From Highway 1, exit at Broadway East or Hastings East, and drive west to Victoria Drive. Turn left from Hastings, or right from Broadway onto Victoria Drive.

Napier is north of 1st Avenue East.

From the western part of the city, approach either by Hastings or Broadway. Turn right onto Victoria Drive from Hastings, or left onto Victoria Drive from Broadway.

By bus :

Vancouver Transit offers bus service on Victoria Drive and on Nanaimo Street.

By rail :

Vancouver has passenger rail service from Eastern Canada provided by VIARail Canada. There is also passenger service from Seattle, Washington, USA and other connecting sites provided by AMTRAK.

Priest Justin Edward Hewlett

2959, 168 Street

Surrey, British Columbia

V3S 0A7

Telephone : 604-541-7343

Mobile : 778-737-5646

E-mail :

Reference :

Archdiocese listing

Additional information :

Parish web-site

OCA listing

Orthodox World listing

Archbishop Irénée (Rochon)

Archdiocese of Canada

Saint John (Maximovitch)

Saint Nino of Georgia

”St. John of Shanghai Orthodox Mission Vancouver BC – Vigil with Vladyka Irénée” [Jan 5, 2013]

”Bishop Irénée visited St. John of Shanghai Orthodox Mission, Vancouver, BC” [October 12, 2013]