In the fall of 2018, two separated United churches began conversations to once again join together and become one church. After many months of conversation and planning, the separate St. Andrew's and IOCO congregations became one again, using the temporary hyphenated name of St. Andrew's-IOCO United Church. Both ministers were kept and resources were pooled. As of September 15th, 2019 a new name was adopted, and the congregation became known as Inlet United Church, both to honour the Burrard Inlet between the two church sites and also because the word "inlet" means a way in...a means of entry...and this speaks to the vision of the newly amalgamated congregation as they continue to serve Port Moody and surrounding areas.
The Rev. Ebenezer Robson of the Methodist Church traveled on horseback in the 1880’s to conduct services in Port Moody, on ships in the harbour and at Nelson’s Boarding House. In 1886 the Rev. T.C. Thompson of the Presbyterian Church began work at Eburne and Granville. His mission comprised of Moodyville (North Vancouver), Hastings Mills and probably Port Moody. Minutes of the Presbyterian General Assembly of 1898 show Fairview, Central Park and Port Moody constituted a Pastoral Charge. For purposes of supervision, Port Moody was attached to Sapperton.
A congregation was organized in 1899. The first name recorded on the Communion Roll was Mrs. P.D. Roe, whose husband later became the first mayor in 1913 when the city of Port Moody was incorporated. The first name on the Baptismal Roll was Robert Douglas Roe who later became Canada’s Lumber Trade Commissioner in London, England.
Regular church services were held by a student minister in a small building on Clarke Street. A church was built in 1900 opposite (beside ?) the present church building. About 1912 the church building was moved across the street and a basement was added. The old site was turned into a tennis court by Mr. Abernathy.
In 1914, the Imperial Oil Company (IOCo) set up an oil refinery in Port Moody. Interdenominational services were held in various places around the refinery in Port Moody, serving the families and community of the refinery workers. In 1923, the building of a Presbyterian church at the corner of 1st Avenue and Ioco Road commenced, and was completed and dedicated in December 1924. It was part of a two-point pastoral charge (Port Moody and Ioco) under the name St. Andrew’s and legend has it that the one minister used to conduct a service at one of the churches and then row a boat across the Inlet to lead a second service at the other church!
In 1925, the pastoral charge joined The United Church of Canada and became St. Andrew's United Church...one church with two buildings and a shared minister.
During the ministry of the Rev. W. Murray Cameron on November 12, 1955 a fire left the Port Moody/St. Andrew’s church building in ruins. The last service held there was the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. John and Valerie Julian. Services were transferred to the Recreation Hall until the downstairs auditorium of the new church was available in 1956. On December 5, 1957 the Rev. Peter Kelly dedicated the church building at 2318 St. Johns Street. An extension was added in 1982 to accommodate a large Sunday school. The 2318 St. Johns Street sanctuary was renovated in 1999 to update the building for wheelchair accessibility.
In 1991, the two churches separated and each became their own pastoral charge. The Ioco Church became a separate congregation with its own minister and its own name, Ioco United Church.
In 2019, we have come full circle and become one congregation again, with 2 buildings.
We began worship in person and on zoom in our beautiful new space at The Springs in March of 2022. As Covid restrictions lightened and people began to drift back to church in person, we realized we are doing a new thing.
Inlet United Church is energized, ready and willing to move into this new iteration of what it means to be "church" in a new reality, a new space and with fresh vision for this community.
Will you join us in continuing the story?