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.
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If you require any further information, please contact:
"The Rev. Capt. David Parsons will become Anglican bishop of the diocese of the Arctic in early 2013. Elected co-adjutor bishop during the Arctic synod in Iqaluit, Nunavut Bishop Parsons will succeed Bishop Andrew Atagotaaluk, who is retiring. Parsons was consecrated on June 3  at the opening of St. Jude's Cathedral, newly rebuilt after being destroyed by fire in 2005. Parsons currently serves as regional dean of the Mackenzie Delta and is the incumbent at the Church of the Ascension in Inuvik. The Rev. Darren McCartney was elected suffragan bishop. McCartney spent several years in Pangnirtung, Nunavut, as rector of St. Luke's and speaks fluent Inuktitut. He comes from Knocknamuckley, Ireland". [Text of entire article.]
Letter to the editor describing that bales are still sent to and needed by the Diocese of the Arctic. Last year  the Anglican Church Women of the diocese of Ottawa sent "88 bales (in cardboard boxes measuring five cubic feet and weighing 15 kilograms) ... to the Arctic by mail. Value was approximately $48,000."
That First Reading be given to the amendment of Section 3e) of the Declaration of Principles by adding at the end thereof the following:
Provided also that a member of the Diocese of the Arctic appointed to serve in the diocesan office shall be eligible to be elected and to become and continue as a member of the General Synod while so serving. CARRIED ON FIRST READING Act 149
TORONTO (May 25) -- The Anglican diocese of the Arctic is poised to make Canadian church history next week when it meets in Iqaluit to elect a new suffragan bishop.
To date, three men have been nominated, all of them Inuk. They are Rev. Ben Arreak of Pangnirtung, Canon Abeli Napartuk of Puvirtuq and Rev. Paul Idlout of Cape Dorset. If the diocesan synod, which meets May 27, elects one of them, he will become the first Inuk bishop in the Anglican Church of Canada.
(The Anglican church has two aboriginal bishops: Bishop Charles Arthurson, an assistant bishop in the diocese of Saskatchewan and Bishop Gordon Beardy, an assistant bishop in the diocese of Keewatin. Assistant bishops usually have responsibility for a specific geographic part of their diocese.)
The Arctic election on May 27 is to select a successor to Bishop Terrence Buckle, the previous assistant or suffragan bishop of the Arctic, who was recently elected Bishop of the Yukon.
Bishop Christopher Williams of the Arctic explained that under diocesan law, it is possible for nominations to be made up to 72 hours before the electoral synod begins its meeting.
The new bishop will be consecrated at St. Jude's Cathedral in Iqaluit on Sunday June 2.
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Contact Doug Tindal, Director of Communication 416-924-9199 ext. 286; 905-335-8349 (residence) or Sam Carriere, Media Relations, General Synod, 416-924-9199, ext. 256
The territory of Nunavut which came into being on 1 April 1999 lies within the Anglican diocese of the Arctic. Many of the new territories 27,000 people (of whom 85 % are Inuit) are also active Anglicans. The Very Rev. Roger Briggs, dean of the Arctic, notes that two recently ordained deacons include one, the Rev. Mike Ferris, who is now a deputy minister in the Nunavut government. "Nunavut is the culmination of a dream: an Inuit homeland where self-determination and self-government are now a reality".
" [Esther] Wesley, along with Anglican Church of Canada reconciliation animator Melanie Delva, spent two weeks in December  travelling with Bishop David Parsons, of the diocese of the Arctic, to communities on the Ungava Peninsula, in Nunavik, northern Quebec. In Kangirsuk, an Inuit village in northern Nunavik, community member Zebedee Nungak presented the two women with a jug of water. They soon found out that for Zebedee to collect this gift meant travelling upwards of 17 kilometres. Water in Kangirsuk typically comes from a nearby lake, about five kilometres away, but rising temperatures have caused ice to freeze less deeply and become contaminated by silt. The community has running water, says Zebedee's wife, Jeannie Nungak, but the taste is not as good. 'There are more minerals than there used to be ... the taste is difference for tea or coffee'. This is one of the many daily impacts of climate change on Canada's North. 'It's not a theory up in this part of the world', says Parsons. 'We're the canary in the mine'" (p. 6). "When Delva and Wesley visited in mid-December , Ungava Bay hadn't yet frozen. For communities that fish on this ice, and travel across it to hunting grounds, it's more than an inconvenience. 'People are dying trying to get to the hunting ground', says Delva" (p. 10).
The Anglican Foundation has made a grant to the Diocese of the Arctic to enable the archival preservation, arrangement and description of 75 boxes of material recently transferred to the General Synod Archives. The Diocese of the Arctic synod office is moving from Toronto to a location within the diocese.