At various times throughout the year, you will see the Tree of Life banner hanging in the chancel.

The banner was created by Sheila Niles and was donated to St. John's by Marcia Williams, a long-time parishioner of St. John's. 


About the Work

The banner is made between two layers of net and portrays the Tree of Life in and through the journeys of all people.

At the base may be seen the roots of the tree and the beginning of the trunk. To the right stands the Totem of the Four Evangelists. On the other side of the truck progressing upward is Jacob's ladder of steep cliffs.

The trunk of the tree becomes subsumed in the lives of the Men and Women on earth. Demonstrated by the city, the Saanich Peninsula, the ocean and the mountains. As the gaze moved upward into the brightening Light, the head of the Cross emerges, round which swirls a nimbus of light surrounded by a scroll in Greek and English saying "In him was life and the Life of the Light of men."

The flames of the Spirit pour down from above.


When the banner was hanging in the chancel through the Advent, Christmas and Epiphany seasons in December 2021 - January 2022, we made use of our new video equipment to allow an up-close look at the banner. 

For best viewing, we recommend using full-screen mode.


About the Artist

Sheila Niles (1928-2017) was born in Seattle, Washington, and moved as a teen with her family to her grandfather’s farm east of Lethbridge. She graduated from Trinity College, University of Toronto

Her work has been show internationally and several of her banners hang in churches of the Mid-West. Much of her work is in private collections. Alongside her own creative work, Sheila gave workshops in Canada and the United States.

Sheila also served as President of the Canadian Guild of Needlework