The first Anglican service in Banff took place in 1887, in the log cabin on Bear Street that was the National Park headquarters. By 1889 the first cornerstone of the building in its current location was established, and the parish erected a tent on the site to hold worship as construction began. Clergy in the early years of St. George's also led evening service at the Banff Springs Hotel and the Sanitarium during summer months. Year-round clergy also ministered to Anglicans living in Bankheard, the coal mining town nearby on the side of Cascade Mountain.
The Bishop of Calgary, the Right Reverend William Pinkham consecrated St. George's in June 1920, 31 years after the laying of the first cornerstone. The longest serving priest was Canon Tully Montgomery, who became rector in 1924 and with his wife Ruth served the parish for 30 years. St. George's church played a significant role in the development and shaping of Banff's community. As a place of faith, prayer, a focus for caring and fellowship, St. George-in-the-Pines offers a welcoming retreat and a place of joy and giving.
From the beginning, the heart of St. George's has been about community, formation and mission in Christ. Though it's been a while since those early days, we trust that, as people connect—first to Christ, then to one another—they will experience the freedom to become fully who God created them to be.
At St. George's we embrace a faith that is historic. We understand basic Christian theology to be sufficiently summarized by the ecumenical councils of the early Church. These councils produced Creeds, including the Apostles and the Nicene, that the Church has embraced as the standard for orthodoxy for over 1500 years. Beyond that, St. George's is an Anglican Church. Anglicanism has its roots in the English Reformation, which was a movement that returned the church to a foundation of the Scriptures and the good news that sinners could be justified by grace through faith in Christ. Anglican theology is clearly laid out in the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion. Anglicans are the third largest group of Christians on the planet and our distinct culture can be understood in the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral.