Bishop William Anderson moves to ANiC

Received via email:

Bishop Charlie Masters has just welcomed Bishop Wm. Anderson and his wife Margaret into the Anglican Network in Canada.

They continue to reside in Terrace, in Northern British Columbia. Bishop Bill has recently retired as Bishop of Caledonia. He has relinquished the exercise of ministry in the Anglican Church of Canada as of November 16, 2017.

As a retired bishop in ANiC, he will be given a General Permission from Bishop Charlie to exercise all the priestly functions such as preaching, teaching, and celebrating communion.

Bishop Charlie stated, “We are delighted to welcome such a godly orthodox bishop into our midst. His partnership in the Gospel, his supportive friendship, and his many years of experience in Christian service, will be a blessing to the future of the Anglican Network.”

This is excellent news for both ANiC and bishop Anderson.

I interviewed the bishop in 2010 and in that interview, he was still a little optimistic for the ACoC’s future:

At the same time, God has raised up some Godly new bishops in the church – and I don’t use that phrase lightly. They are really trying to be faithful and to do the right thing. What will happen? I don’t know.

I don’t know whether the shabby treatment that Rev. Jake Worley received at the hands of Anglican adherents of dogmatic liberal tolerance has evaporated that optimism but, considering this letter from bishop Anderson to archbishop Privett, the person who fired Worley, it seems likely. Another fine example of the all-inclusive Anglican Church of Canada hard at work driving out the last few real Christians from its midst:

Dear John;

I am writing to you further to the matter of the PHOB’s consideration of whether to confirm the Rev. Jake Worley as Bishop of Caledonia and the subsequent decision to withhold consent of his election.

As I reviewed the letter to Jake and the subsequent press release that you issued, I could not help but be so deeply disappointed in both the process and the way this matter came to a close.

Following a process in which Jake was subjected to a series of questions crafted by two chancellors of the church working behind the scenes, and in which the bishops made little direct contribution to the conversation, it became clear that both the questions and Jake’s responses were being analysed by the chancellors, and the national chancellor in particular. At no point was it suggested that Jake might avail himself of legal counsel.

The fact that the PHOB met and voted on May 12th, and waited until Monday the 15th to advise Jake by mail and a press release is shameful beyond words. It speaks to a process that was clearly politicized and crafted to place both he and the diocese at a disadvantage.

The reasoning outlined in the press release was dishonest, and deceitful for it alleged a position of which Jake was not directly and specifically asked. It also mischaracterized his affirmation of the oaths of our Church which he not only took, but clearly articulated his intention to honour.

As I noted in my previous letter to you, I am astounded at the line of reasoning that Chancellors McAdams and Jones set forth citing Resolution 72 of Lambeth 1988 as outlining the general teaching of the Church, in support of withholding consent of Jake as Bishop. By that standard most of the current bishops of the PHOB should not have been confirmed because of their public positions contrary to Lambeth 1:10. And as you know, notwithstanding that I personally registered my non-consent in those cases, not once were my objections given any due consideration, let alone the type of court on enquiry that Jake has been made to endure.

John, when I met with you a year ago to discuss my plans for retirement, I was given to understand that you would honour the canons of the Church and would ensure that the diocese would be able to elect their next bishop without political interference. My trust continued in spite of when the attempt to elect a coadjutor bishop went astray, in spite of my having cleared the process and the wording of the canon with you and the provincial chancellor. I expected that, given the care that was taken in convening the electoral synod, by having nominees provide detailed CV’s a month in advance, and in following the common practice in our province of having those details shared with the bishops, that the mind of the synod would be honoured and respected.

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard bishops say, particularly when they faced motions from within their synods to act contrary to Lambeth 1:10, that they had to concur because of the sanctity in which we hold a synod’s decisions.

And yet in this instance, no effort has been made to do anything other than to ignore the electoral synod, and to mischaracterize events around Jake’s ministry. I appreciate that the House must exercise due diligence. But as I said last week, it deeply troubles me that such straining at gnats with Jake whilst ignoring the broader damage and the blatant disregard of the canons and discipline of our Church by many of our episcopal colleagues is, to say the least, something I doubt Our Lord would look on with approval.

I am saddened beyond words, and my trust in the honour and spiritual integrity of the PHOB is irrevocably broken.

+William

The Rt. Rev. Wm. Anderson

(Retired)

Conservative reaction to marriage canon vote

From ANiC bishops:

14 July 2016

We the Bishops of the Anglican Network in Canada are truly saddened by the decision made by the Anglican Church in Canada at their 41st General Synod to change the Canon (and definition) of Marriage. This action is clearly in contrast to the scriptural teaching of marriage and moves the Anglican Church of Canada apart from the Anglican Communion worldwide.

To knowingly vote to change the Canon of Marriage only months after the Archbishops of the Anglican Communion have voted to impose sanctions on the United States’ Episcopal Church for making the same decision is clearly in defiance of biblically faithful Anglicans worldwide – to say nothing of the evident disdain for the authority of God’s Written Word.

Having lived through this tearing of the Anglican fabric, our hearts go out to all biblically faithful Anglicans in Canada.

Bishop Charlie Masters
Bishop Stephen Leung
Bishop Trevor Walters

From conservative bishops still within the ACoC (who really really should think hard about moving to ANiC):

To all the faithful in the Anglican Church of Canada and the Anglican Communion

At its recent General Synod the Anglican Church of Canada took the first step in changing its Marriage Canon to allow for the solemnization of same sex marriages by its clergy.  The entire process, beginning with the hasty vote in 2013 and concluding with the vote and miscount this past week, has been flawed and has inflicted terrible hurt and damage on all involved.  We absolutely condemn homophobic prejudice and violence wherever it occurs, offer pastoral care and loving service to all irrespective of sexual orientation, and reject criminal sanctions against same-sex attracted people.

Though the change to the Marriage Canon would require a second vote in 2019 in order to come into effect, some bishops have vowed to proceed with same sex marriages immediately, contrary to the explicit doctrine and discipline set out in our constitution, canons and liturgies.

In passing resolution A051 R2 the General Synod has taken a further step in ordaining something contrary to God’s Word written and imperils our full communion within the Anglican Church of Canada and with Anglicans throughout the world. We believe that our General Synod has erred grievously and we publicly dissent from this decision.  Resolution A051 R2 represents a change to the sacrament of marriage inconsistent with the Scriptures and Apostolic Tradition of the Church Catholic and the Book of Common Prayer.  This would be a fundamental departure from the faith and teaching held by the majority of the Anglican Communion on the doctrine of marriage. Sadly, this complicates relationships within the Anglican Church of Canada and as a Province with the Anglican Communion.

We unambiguously reaffirm our commitment to
Jesus Christ, the Saviour of all,
his body, the Church Catholic,
the Anglican Church of Canada,
the Anglican Communion,
the scriptural, traditional and catholic definition of marriage as the lifelong union of one man and one woman as set out in both the Book of Common Prayer and the Book of Alternative Services, and the pastoral care of all within our jurisdictions and the communion.

The Resolution as carried does not provide adequate protection for the consciences of dioceses, clergy and congregations.  We are concerned for all those of a traditional conscience on marriage within the Anglican Church of Canada.

We call on our Primate and the Archbishop of Canterbury to seek ways to guarantee our place within the Anglican Church of Canada and the Anglican Communion.

We ask for your prayers.

+Stephen, Bishop of Algoma
+David, Bishop of The Arctic

+Darren, Suffragan Bishop of the Arctic
+Fraser, Bishop of Athabasca

+William, Bishop of Caledonia
+Michael, Bishop of Saskatchewan

+Larry, Bishop of Yukon

And from the Anglican Communion Alliance (used to be Anglican Essentials):

Events of the afternoon of Tuesday, July 12, have produced a different result from what we posted last evening. It was discovered that The Ven. Dr. Michael Thompson, General Secretary of the Anglican Church of Canada, was incorrectly categorized with the laity when, in fact, he is a clergy person. This additional one vote from the clergy produced the two-thirds majority necessary to pass A051-R2, the resolution to change the marriage canon to include gay and lesbian couples.
How will the one-third clergy who voted against amending the canon respond? It is early days and this new doctrinal transformation needs time to sink in. We invite you to continue in earnest prayer for the bishops, clergy, and laity of our Anglican church.

Bishop Charlie Masters’ thoughts on the Canterbury meeting, 2 weeks on

From here:

Ever since I returned from Canterbury, arriving home Monday, January 18, I have been praying about and wanting to share with all of you in the Diocese a bit more information and some further reflections.

My main goal is to thank all of you for your incredible prayer for the Primates, their families and the Provinces they each represented, and for all of us who were involved in these historic meetings. It was obvious to all that there was an incredible blanket of prayer covering all aspects of our time. Having that certainty in the midst of the times of tension and worry provided the rock solid conviction that the Lord Jesus was in charge, that he was hearing prayer, and that he was working to build his church.

It was quite a week. Thank you for praying!

The first thing that I want to say is that the week, January 11 to 16, was truly an extraordinary time. Expectations for this meeting hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury at the Canterbury Cathedral, where all the primates stayed at the Canterbury Lodge, were through the roof.

Before heading to Canterbury, a friend and fellow bishop who loves history suggested that these meetings might be the most significant since the Council of Whitby – which was quite a while ago (664 AD). The future of the Anglican Communion, if there is to be one, seemed in everyone’s mind to be at stake. Would all the primates remain throughout the week? Would some walk? And if so who? And then for us in the ACNA there was the added excitement and anticipation that our own Primate, Archbishop Foley Beach, was a member of this gathering and we wondered what that would mean for him and for our future.

I was fortunate to be invited to be part of a small advisory team that traveled to Canterbury and stayed there throughout the meetings. We were available to pray, to serve in any way needed, to provide research and background information, and, later, to be available to the media.

In summary, I would say that the week was as spiritually challenging and charged and as much of an emotional roller coaster as any I can remember. For this reason I cannot thank you enough for all your prayer.

Was it a success? Yes! Because God is faithful.

People ask me, bottom line, was it a success or not? Does the fact that Canada was not mentioned in the one action of discipline mean it was a failure for us in Canada?

I don’t think anyone knew what to expect going in, but it is clear that what happened and how it unfolded was completely different from what anyone would have predicted.

It was the GAFCON Primates’ goal and prayer that this meeting would focus on restoring good order and reviving the Anglican Communion in line with the clear teaching of the Bible. Evidence that order was being restored would require suspension of the US Episcopal Church (TEC) and the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) at least until there was repentance and evidence of a change.

What did happen was that the gathering addressed the very narrow issue of TEC and its change of liturgies and the marriage Canon at its most recent General Convention last summer. The decision to discipline TEC finally came to a vote on Thursday. Archbishop Foley has made it clear that, while he chose not to participate in that vote, it was passed by a very large majority. After that, with TEC and the ACoC Primates still fully participating, he and some of the GAFCON Primates absented themselves from the remaining day of the meeting. They felt they could only continue if there was evidence that the Communion was being brought back into Biblical order. The fact that the ACoC was undisciplined and TEC was disciplined in a minor way but was still at the table made it necessary for the GAFCON Primates to leave.

Was this gathering a success? By faith, I say “yes”; in the purposes of God they were a success and, in years to come, will be seen to be significant. I can say this because I believe that God answers prayer and I’m confident that our own Archbishop Foley along with our partners in the Gospel, the other GAFCON and Global South Primates, were walking in obedience to God. But the proof of that success, the outcome of what has begun to unfold, is yet to be seen and needs to be prayed into reality.

What I want to share now are some reasons why I think we can thank God for what he has done and is doing, and ask you to commit yourself to pray these beginnings into being, fully expressed for the purposes and glory of God.

Tip of the Tip of the Iceberg

Those of us who have been living through what’s known as the realignment of Anglicanism – which incidentally began June 15, 2002 in Vancouver – are familiar with the image of the iceberg. What you see above the waterline though it may be immense is actually less than 1/8 of the complete iceberg; 7/8 of the iceberg looms below the surface. It is a big mistake to assume that the visible ice is all there is.

As Archbishop Foley said in his statement what happened at these meetings was only a beginning.  But it IS a beginning, for which we can thank God.

As to the issue of discipline, although one could argue that the scope was far too narrow and the discipline far too weak and that others, including the ACoC should have been included, nevertheless this small step of discipline WAS taken. What was done was a good beginning.  (While the ACoC, as a whole, has not yet officially changed its liturgy and marriage canon, 11 ACoC dioceses allow the blessing of same-sex unions and this summer its General Synod will consider same-sex marriage.)
Yes, it’s the tip of the tip of the iceberg but it does say that no Province can simply make up its own mind on doctrine and practice when it is in conflict with the Bible and clear Anglican doctrine and continue in the Communion without being disciplined. This small step of discipline is immense in its implications as a beginning, but it is just the tip of the tip of the iceberg.

It only takes a spark to get a fire going

Perhaps some of our older members might recognize the above line from a chorus that some of us sang many years ago. I think it’s pertinent to our discussion here because it’s my belief that the presence of our Primate in those gatherings, welcomed to take his place with fellow primates and participate fully as long as he chose to stay, was a spark which potentially has begun a glorious work of God.

When Archbishop Foley gave his brief report on the Anglican Church in North America, he was speaking as the second Primate of our Province, a Province that has been thriving and growing since 2009. He was not reporting on what we might do or would like to do, but he was reporting on what had already happened. He was speaking as one who could give evidence of life in our Province in all sorts of ways including a thoroughgoing commitment to be truly Biblical and truly Anglican. One small evidence of this life is our new Catechism which Archbishop Foley gave to each Primate at the meeting. This Catechism has already been translated into a number of languages and has been well received throughout the Communion.
Just as Elijah built the altar but it was God who had to send the fire, so I suggest the presence of our Primate at that gathering allowed God to ignite a spark of witness which was profound. We may see the implications for many years to come.

By his presence, Archbishop Foley was a very visible sign of the work of GAFCON, because the Anglican Church in North America came into existence as a result of the first GAFCON gathering in Jerusalem (2008), which called for its formation.
I don’t think I understood before this Primates’ gathering how powerful a witness it would be for Archbishop Foley to be a participant. Remember, more than 50 per cent of the Primates present had never been to a Primates’ meeting before. For them to have Archbishop Foley there so they could observe the man of God he is, the humble way he took his place at the meeting, and the anointing of the Lord on his life, it truly must have been a powerful witness, especially to Primates who were unfamiliar with the history of the crisis in the Communion. I believe he, together with the other GAFCON and Global South Primates, had a strong impact and brought a powerful witness.

I believe the scope, strength and breadth of the GAFCON movement has been strengthened and expanded as a result of these meetings. A spark has been lit.  Let’s pray that it becomes a roaring fire of Biblical Anglicanism seeking to bring the Gospel to a needy world which God loves.

Principled Approach (Living it out in the middle of the battle)

I believe our Primate and our GAFCON friends who were all at these historic meetings operated according to principle. They came because they were invited. Although they might have feared it would be a waste of time or, worse, that they might be trapped into something or maneuvered into appearing to say things they didn’t want to say, nevertheless, with all those risks in mind, they came believing that God wanted them to attend, at least for the beginning.

What was clear was that they all came because they were believing God and praying for the restoration of good order and for revival in the Anglican Communion according to the Bible. If that were to happen, as Anglicans, we rightly would be eager to participate in such a global movement and we would all be strengthened by our participation together.

This all depended however on there being good order, which meant there had to be discipline, or we would have no desire or ability to participate. The concept of the Communion devolving into a loose federation was of no interest to the Anglican Church in North America or the other GAFCON Primates.

I believe the GAFCON Primates stayed in the meeting as long as they did because they recognized that discipline was at least being discussed, and as long as that was on the table it was possible for our Primate and the other GAFCON Primates to remain. (Archbishop Ntagali left the meeting late on Tuesday as his Province had committed to participating in Communion meetings only if the ACoC and TEC were disciplined and no longer present. When his motion to have the ACoC and TEC voluntarily withdraw failed, he felt his duty to his Province required him to leave the meeting.)

Under immense pressure and knowing that every step they took or didn’t take was going to be dissected and analyzed, and at times misconstrued, the GAFCON Primates continued to walk faithfully and to take their place until it was no longer possible according to the principle with which they began these meetings.

Thus Thursday evening our Primate and the GAFCON Primates of the largest Provinces left and so were not present on Friday to vote on the final Communique or the election of the Standing Committee. |

All these steps taken, including the decision of Archbishop Foley to not vote on the discipline motion although he was given a ballot, were taken as faithful applications of wise principle.

Pray and press on

I truly believe that the outcome of these meetings does have an impact on the life of those of us “on the ground” and therefore it was right and proper for us to be intensely engaged in praying through every part of these meetings.

But having said that, we must remember that what was at stake at those meetings was NOT whether the Gospel is true, whether it’s the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, whether the Bible is the true and authoritative word of God, and whether Jesus is the only way to God. These things remain established Anglican doctrine regardless of what happens in a series of meetings.

What may be at stake however is whether the Anglican Communion, as a movement, will be strengthened to be a growing force for the Gospel in the days ahead.

It reminds me of Mordecai’s words to Esther when he was challenging her to intervene on behalf of the people of God. He made it clear that what was at stake was not IF God would raise up a protector for His people, but whether or not Esther would play a part in God’s plan or whether He would achieve His purposes another way.

Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:13-14

It may be that, for such a time as this, in the purposes of God, he would want to use the Anglican Communion in an ever increasing and more powerful way for the cause of the Gospel. Meetings like the one that just happened in Canterbury, and the outcome of those meetings, will perhaps determine whether or not this is the case.

And so friends in the Anglican Network in Canada this is a renewed call to prayer. Pray that this will be a beginning; that God will do a great work of restoring and reviving and then using for his purposes this thing called the Anglican Communion. Pray too that God will renew, restore and revive us in ANiC. And as we pray, let us recognize the importance of the task which God has given us to “build Biblically faithful, gospel-sharing Anglican churches” and zealously focus on the five priorities which we are praying will become a transformational reality in every ANiC congregation, more and more.

So dear friends, thank you for your prayers.

Now let’s turn our hearts to even more prayer and “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,” let us “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”. (Philippians 3:13b – 14)

Every Blessing!

+Charlie

The Rt Rev Charles F Masters
Diocesan Bishop
Anglican Network in Canada
Box 1013, Burlington, ON  L7R 4L8

Michael Coren can’t count

This shouldn’t come as a complete surprise, since most of his other reasoning faculties abandoned him, too, when he converted to liberalism. In this predictably tendentious article about the Canterbury Primates’ gathering, he calls ACNA “a small group of Anglicans”.

ACNA presently has over 100,000 members and an average Sunday attendance of over 80,000, numbers that approach, if not exceed (who knows, the ACoC is too shy to publish statistics) those of the entire Anglican Church of Canada – to which Coren has just joined himself.

Up to now small groups of Anglicans, including a fringe in Canada, have left the communion over more progressive positions around sexuality, and while there has never been a central authority or leadership resembling that of Roman Catholicism, there is now a severe risk of a formal break between the Western churches and many of those in the developing world. What has traditionally been a loose but warm collective could become an absolute separation.

The “fringe in Canada” would be ANiC, the Christian version of Canadian Anglicanism.

New Anglican church in Guelph

The Diocese of Niagara has managed to alienate a significant segment of Guelph’s inhabitants by selling its buildings to property developers rather than other churches. It isn’t often that the Diocese of Niagara stirs up enough passion to convince anyone to parade around with a sign that has “Anglican” on it. In this case, though, “Anglican” is accompanied by another word: “greed”.

After a couple of church closures by the diocese, the Anglican Network in Canada is starting a new church: it’s Anglican and Christian.

From here:

At this season of renewal, Guelph is also experiencing a renewed expression of Anglicanism. Under the leadership of the Reverend Zena Attwood, “St Jude, Guelph” wants to be a spiritual home for seekers and Christians who value ordered worship combined with serious Biblical and theological scholarship.

St Jude belongs to the Anglican Network in Canada, an alternative Anglican jurisdiction that Ms Attwood says embodies the best of Anglicanism’s catholic, reformed, evangelical, and charismatic traditions. She explains that the impetus to form the St Jude community predates the demise of two of Guelph’s four Anglican congregations, but she hopes that St Jude may help to stanch the hemorrhaging of Guelph’s Anglican community.

Huron College professor denounced for being insufficiently anti-homophobic

Gary Badcock is a theology professor at Huron University College; his crime was to state in a keynote address that homosexuality is a first world problem. That seems to me to be a self-evident truism: when civilizations descend into affluent decadence as the West has, sexual mores crumble and homosexual activity increases. Unfortunately for professor Badcock, a lesbian heard his address and is castigating the professor for hate mongering.

It doesn’t help that Professor Badcock is a member of ANiC, an organisation which is, apparently, ultra conservative, an archetypal infamy against which all other infamies beg to be measured; I am so pleased to be a part of it.

From here:

The principal of a liberal arts college in London, Ontario — which is affiliated with the publicly funded Western University — says that his school does not condone discrimination in any shape or form, as one of the school’s professors denies homophobia allegations.

A Canadian teacher alleges that Gary Badcock, a professor at Huron University College, made homophobic comments while giving a keynote speech on Nov 8 at St Philip’s Theological College in Kongwa, Tanzania.

[…..]

In a letter sent to Huron University College principal Stephen McClatchie, the teacher alleges that Badcock described homophobia as a first-world problem, because people in Tanzania have to have children for economic needs and therefore can’t be gay.

Bishop Don Harvey Passing the Crosier to Bishop Charlie Masters

Bishops Don and Charlie were at St. Hilda’s this morning for Bishop Don’s Transfer of Authority as ANiC Moderator to Bishop Charlie.

More photos here:

Bishop Don’s address:

 

The bishops:
Passing the peace:

More peace:

Bishop Don:

Passing the Crosier:

The Cake Before:

After:

The Professional Cake Cutters:

An interview with Bishop Don Harvey

The whole thing is well worth reading here.

On reforming the ACoC from within; or, as Malcolm Muggeridge used to like saying, playing hymns in the whorehouse:

Then the Essentials Movement itself split, mainly because there were those who wanted to reform the Anglican Church of Canada from within. This was an interesting concept, as I don’t think any one of us would have left if we had thought there was the slightest possibility of reform happening. We saw things getting worse there instead of better.

On ANiC’s growth:

at the start of that first Synod, we were 2 bishops, 2 priests, 2 deacons and 2 parishes. At least we were being very biblical, being “sent out by 2’s!” Five years later, we were 4 active bishops, 2 retired bishops (1 retired and 1 working as a church planter), well over 150 clergy members, 72 parishes, church plants and forming congregations, and an average Sunday attendance over 3900.

On Wycliffe College:

At one time here in Canada we could say Wycliffe College was ideal for them. It is not the case anymore. The college doesn’t like us. Our students are treated as second class students. I know these are explosive words, but I am willing to stand by them, because I have seen the evidence of them. I have been told that our students would be treated like anybody else. Their usual practice was that sometime during the course of the 2 or 3 years that a student was there, they would have their bishop come and spend a day with them, show them around, meet the staff, and what not. Usually that was planned for a day when there was Chapel with a sermon and the bishop would be invited to preach.

“That being the case,” I said, “does that mean that Bishop Charlie or I, one of us, would be given a chance to preach here, to walk in procession at your convocation?” And their reply was …? “No, I’m sorry. You couldn’t.” This from the college supposed to be favourable to us. If that is our friend, spare me from our enemies. Believe me, that is very sad. It’s sad because Wycliffe College was built on the very premises that ANIC exists on.

Wycliffe is in the ACoC’s pocket, a fact that was very apparent when, in 2010, I interviewed George Sumner, Wycliffe’s principal here, here and here. There was a lot of dancing.

On Bishop Malcolm Harding:

Here’s an example of what happened to Bishop Malcolm Harding. Usually when you complete your term as Diocesan Bishop, your picture is hung on the cathedral wall with all your predecessors and the dates underneath. After he came with us, his photograph was taken down from the wall at the Cathedral in Brandon. His name was taken away. It simply said, “The person who held the position of 8th Bishop of Brandon is no longer a member of the church” or something like that.

How could anyone try to rewrite history that way? The fact was that between the year this and the year that, he was the 8th Bishop of Brandon. And his picture should still be there.

On abortion:

I still haven’t heard a definitive stand from the Anglican Church of Canada over abortion. There have been all kinds of words about it, but to come out and say, it is taking another human’s life, they don’t say it. So this phrase ‘wishy-washy’ has been said to me about them many times. We want to know where we stand and where our church stands, and we want be proud of where our church stands. I used to say in the early days, “I’m praying for the time when I can go across this country and say I’m Anglican without having to apologize for it.

Incidentally, there are Anglicans in Canada (including some in the ACoC) standing against abortion; see Anglicans for Life Canada.

St. Hilda’s: the denouement

St. Hilda’s building when it had a flourishing congregation; we have a lot of artists:IMG_2148

St. Hilda’s once the Diocese of Niagara acquired it:
_29U3839

St. Hilda’s once the Diocese of Niagara had sold it for a handsome profit:
_29U4496

St. Hilda’s flattened:
_29U4712The demolition company did leave just one thing behind in addition to the welcoming, inclusive concrete barrier: the church sign!_29U4708It seems that someone has attached a poster advertising where St. Hilda’s went. Fancy that:_29U4703

St. Aidan’s Windsor loses appeal

I just received this via email:

Canon Tom Carman, rector of St Aidan’s, reports:

“In its decision, the Court of Appeal, upheld the conclusions of the trial court judge, Justice Little, on both the matter of St Aidan’s property and the St Aidan’s bequeathment and finance fund.  In addition, the Diocese of Huron was awarded partial costs in the amount of $100,000.

“St Aidan’s had a strong case, based on trust law.  The Diocese of Huron’s Canon 14 states in reference to church property that the diocese “holds it in trust for the benefit of the Parish or congregation.”  This was strengthened by a letter obtained by the people of St Aidan’s from the Chancellor of the Diocese, Lindsey Ellwood, on November 21, 2001 in which he wrote:

“I further reaffirm our discussion wherein I advise that pursuant to Canon 14 the Incorporated Synod of the Diocese of Huron…  has no beneficial or legal entitlement to parish property…”

“Based on these assurances, St Aidan’s proceeded with the appeal and our lawyer, Peter Jervis, was able to build a strong case.  Sadly, the courts accepted the argument of the Diocese that the parish only exists as an entity within the structures of the diocese and that it is impossible for a “parish” to leave the diocese.

“The people of St Aidan’s are understandably disappointed in this decision, however, we believe that the Lord has a plan for us and are trusting in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  

“We are still considering whether to apply for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.  Please keep us in your prayers.”

Sadly, almost every encounter in the courts between the Anglican Church of Canada and the Anglican Network in Canada has gone badly for ANiC – the notable exception being St. Hilda’s first court appearance when the judge ruled that our sharing the building with the diocese of Niagara wouldn’t work. And that ruling was later reversed.

Our prayers should be with St. Aidan’s and Tom Carman. Barring a surprise turnaround from the Supreme Court of Canada, this battle appears to be lost; nevertheless, St. Aidan’s has fought the good fight, one whose true outcome we may not see this side of eternity.

As an aside, I am still flabbergasted that Canadian judges deem it impossible for a parish to leave a diocese in the face of the empirical evidence of around 70 parishes who have done just that – particularly in the light of recent a US ruling where a judge decided that an entire diocese can leave TEC.

In Canada, from a judicial perspective, a “parish” is an abstract entity which doesn’t have to include any people: it is a diocesan owned container into which people may throw their money, talents and energy. When full, the container and the contents belong to the diocese: a health and wealth gospel without the health and you forfeit your wealth. Why would anyone choose to belong to such a church?

Something that makes this ruling even more preposterous is that the Diocese of Huron, when sued over residential school abuse, sought to protect what it regarded as its assets by writing a letter that stated the individual parishes owned their own property, not the diocese.

But Knight said the issue here has other subtleties. Knight said the diocese penned a letter while the Anglican Church was being sued for abuse suffered by Aboriginal children in its residential schools.

Presumably to protect church assets, the letter says the church buildings belong to their individual parishes and the diocese has no claim to them, Knight said.

The diocese might just as well say that it has no claim on the buildings when to have a claim might cause it to lose them and every claim on the buildings when not to have a claim might cause it to lose them.

And now, after this brief sojourn down the rabbit hole with the Mad Hatter, in the spirit of the lucidity of thought that has gone into this judgement,  I’ll let the Dormouse have the last word:

`You might just as well say,’ added the Dormouse, who seemed to be talking in his sleep, `that “I breathe when I sleep” is the same thing as “I sleep when I breathe”!’