The Church of the Redeemer was home to Anglicans in the Barriere area from 1963 until early in 2010 when they formally joined with members of the Barriere United Church and Lutherans living in the area to form the Ecumenical Shared Ministry at the Church of St Paul.
The church was built in 1963 by volunteers from the community. Most of the lumber was donated by what is now Gilbert Smith Forest Products. Vicar Jim Salter built the communion table, the communion rail, and the interior cross. The Borthwick family donated the communion ware. The Church of the Redeemer congregation in Kingston, Ontario, whose rector was a good friend and mentor of the first minister of the Barriere congregation, also made a donation. The entire church was built for less than $2,500.
The Church of the Redeemer was dedicated on December 17, 1963 with the Bishop consecrating the building. Reverend James Slater was the first minister. Barnet Black was the first churchwarden, and Mrs. Grace Gainer was church organist.
When the decision to form an Ecumenical Shared Ministry was made, it was also decided that the Barriere United Church would become its home and the Church of the Redeemer would be sold. However, there are reminders of the Church of the Redeemer in the Church of St Paul. Many items, including the pews, communion table, and hangings were moved and are in use each week. As well, the stained glass windows were removed, framed and lit, and hung in the sanctuary of the Church of St Paul.
The secularization (deconsecration) of the Church of the Redeemer took place during a service held on January 24, 2010. Rt. Reverend Barbara Andrews, Bishop of the Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior, presided.
Some of the funds from the sale of the Church of the Redeemer building were used to create a landscaped garden at the front of the Church of St Paul. This garden was dedicated in memory of the Church of the Redeemer on August 5, 2012.
History of the Anglican Presence in the North Thompson Valley
There had been an Anglican presence in the North Thompson valley prior to the building of the Church of the Redeemer. Archives show that, in 1917, Kamloops Mission, which served with St. Paul’s in Kamloops, had its name changed to the Thompson River Mission. At one time, this mission included twenty-five small communities near Kamloops and up the North Thompson valley. In 1927, St. George’s Church was opened in North Kamloops. It and some of the southern points were separated into a separate parish in 1936, and the northern points became known as the North Thompson Mission. From about 1942 to 1956, these two parishes were reunited. In the 1980s, the North Thompson Mission included four congregations: Church of the Redeemer, Barriere; Church of St. John and St. Paul, Birch Island; Cahilty; and St. Stephen’s, Little Fort.