Christ The King Parish
Serving Parishioners of the Comox Valley

CTK Church Guide

While the three Valley parishes of St. John the Baptist (Comox), St. John the Evangelist (Cumberland), and Canadian Martyrs (Courtenay), were amalgamated in 1985 under the new name of Christ the King Parish, construction on the new Church complex only began in June of 1991. One year later, on June 6,1992, the Church was consecrated by Most Rev. Remi De Roo, Bishop of Victoria. Holy Cross Church on Hornby Island is also a part of our Parish community and remains a Mission of the parish.

The architect, Natalie C. Smith of Victoria, states: “The cruciform shape, projecting beam, pilasters, parapets and steeply sloping tiered roofs visibly anchor the Church to the earth and the sky, giving it a traditional form which symbolizes the longevity of the message of the Church. The contemporary treatment of the facades, exterior materials and window configuration symbolize that the message is continually progressing with the development of society to remain understandable and accessible to the people.

The sweeping form of the processional stairway represents the open arms with which the Church welcomes all with the stairs symbolizing the many steps to salvation and that the path to salvation is not effortless.

The series of doors that lead toward the sanctuary remind us of the reward of salvation. Each threshold crossed reveals a higher, wider space bathed in light from the clerestory windows above representative of enlightenment.

The Crucifix which is hung over a larger cross behind the sanctuary reminds us of Christ’s sacrifice and Ascension into heaven and the promise of resurrection for all. It is also the symbol of Christ the King.

The imagery of this Cross was used subtly throughout the design to show that Christ the King is omni present and can be found in everything if an effort is made to see. It is in the paneling of the doors, the iron work of the balustrade, the lines defined by the paint colours inside and defined in the control joints of the exterior facades.

The exterior colours of the Church mirror God’s creation of the Comox Glacier as Christians must mirror Christ. The interior colours are shades of earth and sky, earthy colour getting lighter as the planes towards the ceiling rise, sky colour getting darker as the planes towards the ceiling rise.”

The Church itself seats 535 in the nave with approximately 35 seats available in the Choir area. Extra chairs can bring the total seating capacity to 635. The pews were manufactured in Ontario.

The reconciliation room is on the far left at the back of the Church. The penitent has a choice of facing the confessor or of kneeling behind the screen.
The chapel contains a banner made by Sonia Kordewiner and a modem print entitled “Forgiven” which is on loan from our Pastor’s collection. It also contains a picture of the “Good Shepherd” which is on loan from our Archives.

The Baptistry is located in the far right back comer. Water flows from the rock symbolizing the everpresent life of Christ available to those who seek. It also brings to mind the scriptural text of the Old Testament when Moses struck the rock with his staff and brought forth water. The water in the font is blessed and may be taken home for personal use. However, it is treated chemically and therefore is not potable. An oak railing encloses the arm The Paschal Candle and Ambry (containing the Oils for the Sick, Catechumens and Holy Chrism) are in this area.

We have brought several reminders from our three Churches with us the Crucifix adorning the cross behind the sanctuary is from the Courtenay Church as are the statues of Mary, Joseph, the Infant of Prague and, of course, the picture of the Canadian Martyrs. The statue of St. John the Evangelist (beside the reconciliation room) is from Cumberland as are the Stations of the Cross. The painting of St. John the Baptist and the statue of the Sacred Heart are from the Comox Church.

The Icon Cross of San Damiano is a representation of the one before which St. Francis of Assisi prayed when he heard a voice saying to him, “Go, rebuild my Church.” This copy has been hand-crafted by Tom Doylend in birch and pine and painted by Linda Doylend with supportive artwork by Trevor Doylend. A complete explanation of the Cross may be found in the handout located in the foyer.

The image of Divine Mercy which hangs opposite the Cross of San Damiano is a reminder that we are to trust in Jesus at all times. “For God so loved the world that he sent his only Son...” (John 3:16).

The Altar of Repose, located in the Eucharistic Chapel, is the handiwork of Tom Doylend. The crucifix behind the tabernacle was purchased in Assisi. The Tabernacle is from the former Canadian Martyrs Church. As with all Catholic Churches the tabernacle contains the Reserved Sacrament as indicated by the tabernacle veil and the hanging Vigil Lamp. For those who are not Catholic, we invite you to a deeper understanding of your Catholic brothers and sisters. Here there is no superstition, but an acute attention to the love of Christ, a silent worshipping of his perpetual presence among us, a constant meditation on what the Scripture reveals about him. Join with us in praying the Lord’s prayer. If you are not a Christian, you may find here an answer to the problems which necessarily arise in your life—your self esteem, your relationships with others, the value of your work. You might wish to say: “0 God, whom they call Love, if you exist, enlighten me.” If you are a Catholic, practicing or resting, listen to the call of Christ and know that he is present to you.

Carved glass windows, designed & produced by Deborah Weisbeck of Kelowna, separate the chapel from the main body of the Church. From left to right we have: The lamb symbolizing Christ who carries the sign of the resurrection. Beneath we have the Roses growing out the Crown of Thorns which represents Resurrection from the Passion and joy from sorrow. The three letters (IHE) are Greek and are the first three letters of the name of Jesus. The Latin phrase says “Behold the Lamb of God.” The writing is in Latin and Greek to symbolize the universality of the Church. The wheat and grapes of the second window are self evident as signs of the Eucharist. The fish is another sign for Jesus and in early Church history was often used as a profession of faith in “Jesus, Son of God, Saviour.” For us here it further highlights the fishing industry of the valley. The third window shows the Holy Spirit with the fire of Gods love. All three windows have a unifying theme with the circle which represents the Trinity.

Also within the Eucharistic Chapel you will find the Book of Life which contains the names of all parishioners who have been buried from this parish church (the present Church and the three former valley churches as well as the mission church on Hornby.) Please take a moment to pray for our brothers and sisters awaiting the Resurrection. The candle stands offer an opportunity to continue your prayer in a visible way.

The altar and lectern were created by Jamie Boutell and are made from cherry wood. The altar design represents the New Testament (Eucharist) resting on the Old Testament (Ten Commandments). The lectern is made to match the altar. The Credence table was made by Tom Doylend from cherrywood.

There are also some stained glass windows in the Church. Above the altar are windows portraying Mary under her title of “Sorrowful Mother” and St. John the Evangelist at the foot of the Cross. The symbol for John is the Eagle as his Gospel soars to theological heights. John wrote his Gospel in Greek and therefore in his right hand he holds a scroll with the first three words of his Gospel (In the beginning ... ). In his left hand he holds a chalice with a serpent which brings to mind three images: Jesus asking if John can drink the cup that Jesus will drink (Mt. 20); that Christians will drink poison and hold serpents and not be harmed (Mk. 16); and the legend that once when John was given a poisoned cup to drink the poison came out as a serpent. Above the cross God the Father and God the Holy Spirit look down upon Jesus, the second person of the Trinity.

Around the West Exit Doors we have Abraham about to sacrifice his son Isaac, restrained by an angel and Moses with the commandments and the Burning Bush.

Around the East Exit Doors the windows portray St. Peter and St. Paul. Peter is represented with keys and the Iamb (Jesus is the lamb and Peter was instructed to feed the lambs) while Paul holds his sword and book and we see tents indicating he was a tentmaker. The tents also number twelve for the tribes of Israel and the chosen apostles. The two apostles are linked by the crown of thorns indicating their martyrdom.

The other windows on the Lower Level portray various saints in our Church tradition The front wall of the Church reveals various Canadian Saints while the back wall depicts Doctors of the Church (those esteemed for their learning). On the second level the small windows represent the traditional seven Sacraments with the eighth sacrament of the Church symbolized by a boat upon the waters. On the third level the square windows represent the Virtues while an eighth window represents the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The windows in the Church are the work of three different artists. The picture windows on the lower level which use slab glass are the work of Deborah Weisbeck of Glass Arts Studio in Kelowna, B.C. The abstract art windows are either the work of Deborah Weisbeck or Jan’s Glass Expressions in Comox. The back window on the highest level is also the work of Jan’s Glass Expressions. All other windows are the work of Vetrate Artistiche Toscane from Siena, Italy. All the stained glass windows have been donated by various parishioners or organizations.

Photographs, with explanatory comments, for each of the stained glass windows in the church can be found on the photographer's personal website at the following URL address - .

The foyer was designed as a “gathering place” so that the Church itself could remain a place of quiet prayer. In order to make this a place where people will linger and share the furniture deliberately attempts to convey a friendly atmosphere. The narthex can hold another 150-200 overflow seats.

The sound system continues throughout the foyer and the four Church doors open to allow good viewing of the sanctuary. Within the foyer area can be found two tapestries which highlight Mary as the first disciple of Jesus and the reverence which all Catholics have for her. The Canadian and Vatican Flags which hang above you are the gift of the Knights of Columbus. On Festive occasions the foyer is further decorated with seasonal banners and, at Christmas, with the Creche scene. Also present within the foyer you will find photos of “Pastors” of the Valley Churches; a framed print of “Mother Teresa” which was donated to the community in 1994; photos of our earlier Church buildings: a Papal Blessing on the occasion of the Church’s dedication and a framed print of the “Virgin in Prayer” by Sosseferato from our Pastor’s collection.

The Library/Crying Room on the left of the foyer contains a book and video library which is open to all parishioners during office hours. This room is used during Church services as a Crying Room and has been soundproofed for that reason. The room can also be used for small meetings.

The Sacristy (directly across the narthex from the Library) contains lots of storage space for vestments, line
ns and vessels, the sound system, and the lighting panel for the Church. The far wall has a work area and a deep sink for those who arrange the flowers and clean vessels.

The Church has a Schulmerich Carillon with speakers located on the roof. It may be heard before Mass calling parishioners to prayer or perhaps you will hear them ringing the Angelus three times throughout the day, or on other festive occasions you will hear various hymns.

Check weekly bulletin for details.


Date last updated: 29 May 2008

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