Four hundred years ago this month a motley crew of English adventurers came ashore on what is now Baffin Island in the midst of their explorations for a northwest passage to the riches of the Orient. Their purpose? Of all things -- to hold a Church service !
It was the third expedition of Martin Frobisher, and, since one of its purposes was to establish a colony of 100 persons if possible, Frobisher had been instructed,
"That a minister or twoo do go in this jorney to use ministration of devyne service and sacraments, according to ye churche of England."
Therefore, Master Wolfal of the Diocese of Bath and Wells, scholar of King's College, ordained by the Bishop of London in April 1569 got the job -- and found himself on the barren northern shores of our country about to make history by celebrating the first Anglican Holy Eucharist in the New World.
He appears to have done well. Here is what the records tell us,
"Maister Wolfall on Winters Fornace (Baffin Island) preached a godly Sermon, whiche being ended, he celebrated also a Communion vpon the lande, at the partaking whereof, was the Captaine of the Anne Fraunces (Best himself) and manye other Gentlemen & Soldiers, Marrinters & Miners wyth hym. The celebration of diune mistery was ye first signe, seale & confirmation of Christes names death & passion euer knowen in all these quarters."
The service itself would have been taken from the Prayer Book of Queen Elizabeth I which had been issued in 1559.
To commemorate this historic event the Anglican Diocese of the Arctic will hold its Diocesan Synod at Frobisher Bay the last week in August this year . During the Synod a special Commemorative Holy Eucharist will be celebrated with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Donald Coggan, as Preacher.
The Chief Celebrant at the Eucharist in St. Jude's Cathedral on Wednesday evening, August 30, will be the Rt. Rev. J.R. Sperry, Bishop of the Arctic. In addition to Dr. Coggan, other Church dignitaries attending will be, the Most Rev. E.W. Scott, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada; the Most Rev. F.H.W. Crabb, Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Rupert's Land; the Rt. Rev. G.F.C. Jackson, Bishop Ordinary of the Armed Forces; the Rev. Jens C. Chemnitz, Lutheran Bishop of Greenland and the Rev. Jean Dufour O.M.I., representing Roman Catholic Bishop O. Robidoux.
The Commissioner of the North West Territories, Commission S.M. Hodgson and the Federal Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Hugh J. Faulkner, will represent the two levels of Government in the North at the Service.
The Holy Eucharist this time, unlike its counterpart four centuries ago, will be largely in the Eskimo language and all English parts will be simultaneously translated.
- 30 -
If you require any further information, please contact:
Bishop Peters shared with members of the National Executive Council arrangements for the bicentenary observance to be held in Halifax in October of this year.
The members of the National Executive Council were told that if they are able to arrive in Halifax on the Saturday they were invited to a Provincial Banquet. There will be a National Service of Thanksgiving on Sunday afternoon at which the Primate will be the celebrant and the Presiding Bishop of ECUSA will deliver the sermon. Each diocese is asked to bring its banner. The Service will be televised.
That this National Executive Council concur in the request of the Committee on the Bicentenary of the Anglican Episcopacy in Canada that financial assistance be granted in the amount of $20,000 toward the cost of the National Service of Commemoration to be held on October 18, 1987, and that these funds be an unbudgeted charge against the Assessment Budget of General Synod. CARRIED #36-05-87
That this National Executive Council request that the Primate write to the Prime Minister of Canada expressing our dismay that Canada Post Corporation has not seen fit to issue a postage stamp during 1987 to commemorate the bicentenary of the Anglican episcopacy in Canada, an event that has been acknowledged as being of importance to members of the Anglican Church of Canada across this country, and which will be acknowledged by Anglicans from all provinces and territories of Canada through a national celebration in October 1987. CARRIED #77-11-86
Letters have been written to Canada Post requesting a special stamp to commemorate the bi-centenary. Mr. Fisher reported that this is still being pursued but expressed the hope that support will be given by national bodies. Anglican representatives in the Government are continuing to be contacted.
That a letter be written to Canada Post to support the request for a special stamp to commemorate the bi-centenary of the consecration of the first bishop in Canada. CARRIED
That the members of this House participate in the procession in Halifax when the Cross is moved from the Cathedral to St. Paul's Church during the October meeting of the House in Halifax. CARRIED
It was suggested that the period of time immediately before the state banquet which is to be held Saturday evening be free, and that the Sunday free time be spent with families in the parishes. The families will be responsible for transporting the bishops to the Metro Centre for the Service at 4:00 pm. Bishops are to vest in rochet and chimere for the service.
Moved by: Archbishop Bothwell
Seconded by: Bishop Wood
That this House agrees with these suggestions. CARRIED
That this National Executive Council direct the Officers of the General Synod as soon as possible to make definite plans for the celebration of the centenary of the formation of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, to be observed at the 1992 General Synod. CARRIED #29-11-88
A centennial service marking the first General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada was held at St. Alban-the-Martyr Church in Toronto on 12 September 1993.
The audio part of the service was broadcast across the country using telephone-to-satellite technology. The broadcast enabled people at 27 sites in 25 dioceses to listen to and participate in the service.
Article includes opinions from across the country as to how effective the attempt was.
Halifax, October 21 -- The Anglican Church of Canada has directed its national staff to begin developing a coordinated response to AIDS, including educational, ethical and medical concerns. The Church's National Executive Council, meeting in Halifax, asked its staff to examine the church's response to AIDS in relations to "educational material which builds awareness and equips clergy and laity in ministering to the victims and families with AIDS."
The Church will also seek to address the AIDS crisis globally through working with its partner churches around the world.
Earlier this year, the bishops of Toronto had received a study document on AIDS which noted that the relationship between AIDS and homosexuality poses a special challenge to the church: "Homophobia ia a more widespread disease than AIDS but possibly more deadly spiritually," it notes.
"Fear cuts both ways. Church people don't want to accept gays, and gays and thus people with AIDS are afraid to tell the church they have AIDS (or that they are gay). This combines to help keep the situation hidden in the church context." The study document was prepared by the Downtown Churchworkers' Association, an organization concerned with issues of urban ministry. The bishops of Toronto forwarded the study document to the National Executive Council of the church for its information.
Although many voices within the Anglican Church have called for greater pastoral care to AIDS victims and their families, the issue became more personal recently when a young man who had been very active in the Anglican Youth Movement died of AIDS.
MEECH LAKE OPPOSED
In other business, the Council opposed the Meech Lake Accord on the grounds that it limits or infringes the rights of native people, women, and Canadians living in the northern Territories.
The Council adopted a resolution which says the Accord denies the rights of the Northwest Territories and Yukon to participate fully in Canadian political and public life.
The National Executive Council concludes its three-day meeting here today. The meeting was held in Halifax to coincide with a celebration of the bicentennial of the first Anglican bishop in Canada, Charles Inglis. A worship service Sunday in Halifax's Metro Center attracted more than 8,000 people. --30--
For further information, contact: David Woeller, General Secretary, or Clarke Raymond, Executive Director of Program, The Anglican Church of Canada 600 Jarvis Street Toronto, ON M4Y 2J6 (416) 924-9192