St Columba's Anglican United developed during the early 1970’s in a period when the United and Anglican Churches in Canada were exploring closer ties. The North Island with its relatively small and isolated communities was an ideal fit for shared Anglican-United ministry. In keeping with this ecumenical approach the Port Hardy Ecumenical Society with representatives of the United, Anglican and Roman Catholic churches was established and received a piece of land donated by Utah International (then operator of the Island Copper Mine). The building was originally built during World War II near the airport as a recreation hall and served a variety of purposes until it was purchased by the congregation and moved by truck and barge to its current location
Our first minister under the shared ministry agreement was the Rev. Fred Austin and for twenty years, Anglican and United ministers rotated on fixed four year terms. With a large and growing congregation in the late 1980’s the church was raised and the current configuration of rooms was built. The shared ministry agreement was amended to allow more flexibility in calling ministers but the tradition of alternating between Anglican and United ministers has continued.
With changing times we have seen different configurations of churches in the North Island. St. John in Port Alice is currently a second preaching point in the Port Hardy/Port Alice (SM) Pastoral Charge. We have also shared one minister between Port Hardy/ Port Alice and the shared ministry congregation of St John Gualbert in Port McNeill.