The Diocese of Niagara’s financial haemorrhage

The Diocese of Niagara had a surplus of around $1.7M in 2013 thanks, in part, to selling St. Hilda’s church building and rectory for around $2.6M (other property sales brought this to around $3.3M):

actual2By 2016, the diocese has estimated that not only will all that money have evaporated, but there will be a $62,591 deficit:


It looks to me as if the diocese is on the road to extinction.

Diocese of Niagara starts demolishing church, forgets to tell anyone

St._PaulsFrom here:

Some Port Robinson residents are hoping they’ll be able to save historic St. Paul’s Anglican Church, but the clock is ticking with the 170-year-old icon slated for demolition.

Some residents came to city council on Sept. 16, saying they were stunned to learn the white church, surrounded by an old cemetery, was scheduled to be knocked down.

“Most of us didn’t even know until it started to be dismantled,” said resident Kyrsten McDonald. “We’re wondering what we (can) do and how we can stop this.

“This is one of our last historical buildings that’s in great condition, and it’s being torn down.”


“It was never the desire of the Diocese to take down St. Paul’s as it has played a part in the history of the Diocese,” he said. “However, as a business decision, it was felt that we were left with no other choice.
“If the community had actually supported this parish over these many years, perhaps we would not have had to come to this unfortunate decision.”

As we can see, the problem lies with the community for not supporting the church: the diocese was forced into a Prophetic Social Justice Making ……. business decision. Perhaps the church would have garnered more support over the years if there had been more Gospel preached and less “more tea vicar? social club cliquishness punctuated by spasms of leftist propaganda.

R.I.P. Bishop John Bothwell

From here:

Bishop John Charles Bothwell, whose long career had major impact in the Anglican Church of Canada, has died at the age of 87.

Bothwell – who was the eighth bishop of Niagara – ordained the first female priests in the Anglican diocese of Niagara in 1976 and also co-consecrated at the ordination of Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa.

“It is hard to encapsulate [Bothwell’s] impact upon the life of the parishes he served, the diocese of Niagara, the Anglican Church of Canada, and the Anglican Communion,” Michael Bird, the diocesan bishop of Niagara, said in a statement. “He was one of the great leaders of our time,”

As Michael Bird perceptively notes, John Bothwell was “one of the great leaders of our time”: after all, he set the course for the Diocese of Niagara to become one of the most theologically liberal dioceses in Canada. The apotheosis of his influence probably occurred in February 2012 when the diocese’s lady priests (Bothwell ordained the first in 1976) performed the Vagina Monologues in Christ Church Cathedral.

John Bothwell made a number of appearances at St. Hilda’s but, I admit, not much of what he said sticks in my mind. The only thing I remember, probably because of my occupation, was his railing against the frivolity of fibre optic cables; their only use, he declared, was as decoration in ornamental lamps. Vanity of vanities. He did subsequently soften his view of the fibre optic industry a little when someone pointed out he would not have a telephone without it.

In God’s house there are many mansions, perhaps even a Luddite liberal one for John Bothwell.

Pete Seeger died recently, too. I didn’t care for his music, even in the 60’s and his politics have always seemed repugnant.

I rather like this tribute I came across a few days ago:

 So farewell, then, Pete
Too eager
To believe the best
Of the worst.
Where have all the
Flowers gone? You should know
You’re pushing them

© E. J. Throbb, aged 17¾

Diocese of Niagara sells rectory to owner of PinkCherry Sex Toys

As part of a negotiated settlement between St. Hilda’s congregation and the Diocese of Niagara, the diocese took possession of St. Hilda’s rectory in 2012 and sold it in December for $650,000.

As is common in this area of Oakville, the new owner of the house tore down the rectory to build a new, much larger house.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe new resident of what used to be St. Hilda’s rectory is Daniel Freedman, owner of PinkCherry Sex Toys, Canada’s largest vendor of…. well, all sorts of interesting items.

Not that the diocese is interested in such things.

St. Hilda’s: the demolition aftermath

St. Hilda’s building, acquired by the Diocese of Niagara for $0 and sold by the diocese for $1.9M is now an empty space.

Curiously, the only part left standing is the sign that used to display the rector’s name and the worship times – now expunged:

Dec. 27 015 In what I am convinced must a divinely appointed metaphor for this tawdry episode in the continuing moral decomposition of the Anglican Church of Canada, a Diocese of Niagara Oakville church has attached to the remnant an advertisement for that most vacuous of Anglican rituals: The Christmas Bazaar:

Dec. 27 018

Diocese of Niagara has AIDS vigil

There will be an AIDS vigil at Christ Church Cathedral tomorrow. The reason appears to be not so much to encourage the prevention of AIDS but to “honour those living with HIV and those we have lost to AIDS – Honour. Celebrate. Be with us.” All that remains is the instituting of the Order of Niagara, HIV edition.

Actually helping to prevent AIDS rather than treating it once it has taken hold seems to me to be a better strategy. Regrettably, since AIDS is spreading predominantly through men having sex with one another and the concept of restraint is one that will be entirely foreign to those participating, this will probably be the only taboo topic at the vigil.

In 2010, MSM [men having sex with men] accounted for 63% of estimated new HIV infections in the United States and 78% of infections among all newly infected men. From 2008 to 2010, new HIV infections increased 22% among young (aged 13-24) MSM and 12% among MSM overall.

To lighten the mood, the Hamilton Gay Men’s Chorus will be on hand for musical entertainment. 01-12-2013 6-53-13 PM

Diocese of Niagara emphasising community over truth

An Oakville church has been distributing flyers designed to entice the unwary into its sanctuary. The main selling point is that you can make new friends and join a community without having to believe anything in particular. I doubt that this strategy will work since it faces strong competition from the Oakville Lawn Bowling Club: you can make new friends there, too, get more exercise when bowling and – there is “No Need to Believe!”

The flyer points out: “If you come away believing…. hey, that’s a bonus!” As in lawn bowling, it doesn’t matter what you come away believing because it’s the community that is important, not boring doctrinal trivia.


The sale of St. Hilda’s

The Diocese of Niagara is reporting selling St. Hilda’s for $1,900,000:

The Anglican Diocese of Niagara sold the former St. Hilda’s Church property to the Region of Halton on August 14, 2013 for $1,900,000.

A response from the Town of Oakville to my email inquiry on their buying price yielded:

Hi David;
The amount was $2,250,000.00 to purchase the 1258 Rebecca Street property.

It appears that the Town has the purchase price wrong:

St. Hilda's SaleAs you can see, the property has been sold twice, once in 1957 for $2 when it was effectively donated by a parishioner; the parishioner was still attending St. Hilda’s when the vote was taken to leave the Diocese of Niagara in 2008. The second sale was by the Diocese of Niagara in 2013 for a slightly larger sum.