"The Anglican Church Women (ACW) of the diocese of New Westminster, in southwest B.C., have provided a gift of $100,000 to assist retired clergy with housing in Council of the North dioceses. The diocese's ACW has given the money to the Anglican Foundation of Canada (AFC) to distribute on its behalf, with emphasis on helping Indigenous and non-stipendiary retired clergy. It has also challenged other ACWs across Canada to donate what they can to increase the fund. Gail Revitt, president of the ACW in the diocese of New Westminster, says the women were inspired to help after reading a December 2020 'Anglican Journal' article on the Rev. Jonas Allooloo, the former dean of St. Jude's Cathedral in Iqaluit, Nunavut who found himself homeless upon retirement" (p. 1, 9). "'Housing in the North is a huge issue', says Council of the North chair David Lehmann, who is also the bishop of the diocese of Caledonia, in northern B.C. .... The northern housing crisis disproportionately affects Indigenous clergy. Many are non-stipendiary or have served their entire career in church housing, says Lehmann, who himself lives in a house owned by the diocese of Caledonia. Non-stipendiary clergy, Revitt says, have 'been the ones keeping the Anglican church going in the North, made it viable, and it's quite amazing that [they've gone] without any help .. As non-stipendiary, too, they will not be getting a pension from the Anglican church'" (p. 9). The basis for the ACW donation comes from the sale of a house purchased by the ACW in the 1950s and sold by them several years ago after it became too expensive to maintain. "The Council of the North will decide how to distribute funds, working with the AFC. Scott Brubacher, executive director of the foundation, says he has had an initial conversation with Revitt and Lehmann about the $100,000 gift and possible ways to structure the fund and disbursements" (p. 9). "Three years ago, the diocese of Huron presented its own $100,000 gift to the Council of the North to help with clergy housing costs. These funds mainly went towards repairing housing and infrastructure that northern dioceses already owned" (p. 9).
2. That the General Synod declare that no man in charge of a parish or mission of five years or more in Holy Orders should receive less than the sum of $1,500 per annum with free house.
Permission of the Synod was asked by the Mover to change the wording of this Section as follows:
After the word "declare" substitute the following: "That no man who has been in Holy Orders for five years or more, and who is in charge of a Parish or Mission should received less than a stipend of $1,500 per annum with a free parsonage."
Permission being given, the Motion was put to the Synod and CARRIED in both Houses.
The Rev. Jonas Allooloo is homeless no more. The former dean of St. Jude's Cathedral in Iqaluit, Nunavut -- who found himself homeless last October , two years after his retirement -- has moved into a small one bedroom apartment in the city with his wife Meena. However, the couple's housing hunt is far from over. Most of their possessions remain in storage, since their new apartment is too small for many items to fit inside" (p. 1). After reading about the plight of Allooloo in the Anglican Journal issues of December 2020 and March 2021, many Anglicans responded. The outreach committee of the Church of the Holy Saviour in Waterloo, Ontario, under its parish council has "set up a fund to help Allooloo find housing. They hope to raise $50,000, based on the cost of rent in Iqaluit" (p. 8). "As this article was being written, the parish had raised $3,400, though the money must still be sent to him. While the parish fund is primarily designed to help support Allooloo, the high cost of housing in the North means that more priests in the future may find themselves homeless upon retirement" (p. 8).
In order to help parishes understand the implications of denying a priest his or her housing deduction, Robert Saffrey used the financial information for two people to determine the additional compensation required.
"Two years ago, the Rev. Jonas Allooloo was dean of St. Jude's Cathedral in Iqaluit, Nunavut, preparing to retire after more than four decades of work in the Anglican Church of Canada that included stints as a member of General Synod, participation in various national communities and work as a translator who helped produce the first Inuktitut Bible. As of October , however, he was effectively homeless -- another casualty of the housing crisis that plagues Canada's North" (p. 1). As of mid-October Bishop Jonas and his wife Meena were still living with their daughter. "'We are looking everywhere in this city of Iqaluit for a house', said Allooloo, who has approached local low-rental housing and spoken to his MLA. ... The Nunavut Housing Corporation in its March 2016 report to the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples described a housing crisis in Nunavut marked by severe shortages and 'rates of overcrowding unparalleled .. anywhere in the country'" (p. 2). "In August , Nunavut MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq undertook a housing tour, travelling to seven communities and visiting more than 100 homes. She strongly criticized the federal government for its lack of action on the housing crisis" (p. 16). "Ordained as a deacon in 1974 and as a priest in 1975, Allooloo lived in mission houses for much of his ministry. He notes that he has a 'very good benefit from the Anglican Church of Canada'. Even a generous pension, however, cannot overcome the lack of affordable housing" (p. 2). Bishop Allooloo "expressed concern that more retiring clergy could find themselves homeless in the future. 'I think I'm one of the first ones to be in this situation', Allooloo said. 'But I think that the people who are after me will retire .. and they will have to be in my situation too .. unless anything happen'" (p. 2).
"While they are grateful for the donations and aid sent by individual dioceses and by the national church, Anglican ministries in northern Canada will struggle to handle any further reduction in budget, Council of General Synod (CoGS) heard Nov. 12 ". David Lehmann, bishop of the diocese of Caledonia and chair of the Council of the North, made a presentation to CoGS in which he said that "the Council of the North faces unique challenges in ministering to a vast and sparsely populated stretch of northern Canada. Its bishops often serve as incumbents for multiple parishes -- as many as nine in one case. That portfolio requires them to spend 12-hour days on the road amid rising fuel costs, travelling from one to the next to meet the spiritual needs of communities struggling with the impact of COVID-19 on top of poverty and high shipping costs". "In 2019, General Synod’s annual grant to the council was reduced five per cent from about $2.6 million to about $2.1 million. At $2.15 million in 2021 and in the 2022 budget, it remains General Synod’s greatest single expense. According to General Synod treasurer Amal Attia, CoGS has been considering a further five per cent reduction in 2024, with church revenue expected to continue declining". Lehmann also noted a $100,000 gift by the Anglican Church Women (ACW) of the diocese of New Westminster to support retired clergy in the Council of the North, set up after the Anglican Journal reported Jonas Allooloo, former dean of St. Jude’s Cathedral in Iqaluit, was homeless for a time following his retirement. The ACW partnered with the Anglican Foundation of Canada to distribute the gift and challenged other branches to donate what they could to bolster the fund. Including the initial gift, ACW branches had raised a total of $260,000, he told CoGS".