Be it resolved that this Synod urges each Diocese to encourage its people to work, through dialogue and planned co-operation, towards a deeper understanding of our French speaking fellow Canadians. CARRIED in both Houses.
That this General Synod call on Anglican Church members in all parts of Canada to become more aware of all that is involved in French/English relationships, and to initiate, and give increasing support to, programs which foster dialogue and understanding among all Canadians. CARRIED ACT 88
[Text of report found on pages 142-143 of the 1980 General Synod Journal of Proceedings]
PROJECT IN FRENCH-ENGLISH RELATIONS
To the Most Reverend, the Primate and Members of General Synod:
This Project began in 1977 with three main objectives, (1) to help the Anglican Church throughout Quebec to adapt to the new "French Look" in the Province and so to become better equipped to develop its own Christian witness among all the people of Quebec: (2) to foster closer relationships with the Francophone Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches in Quebec and with their National and Provincial organizations" and (3) to interpret to the Church across Canada what is happening in Quebec and in the French Canadian Community at large outside Quebec. Canon R.M. Turpin of Montreal was appointed to serve as Project Officer on a part time basis.
Initially, a Support Group was set up to cooperate with the Project Officer, being representatives of the Dioceses of Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa, Moosonee, the Arctic, and of the Parish of Temiscamingue attached to Algoma. In November 1978 the structure was changed, disbanding the Support Group and putting responsibility for production of materials, the promotion of language training, and the encouragement of ministry in French directly in the hands of the Quebec Bishops. Since General Synod 1977, although just a beginning, much has been done in the putting together of pamphlets and liturgies, and in the training of clergy to speak French. Ministry in the Diocese of Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec, and occasional bilingual Services are becoming more common generally. A long term goal is the addition of an indigenous francophone Anglican Church in Quebec led by Quebec francophones. Steps are now being taken to provide some theological education in French for ordinands. Gradually core groups of clergy and laity, all bilingual, are taking the lead in responding constructively to the "francization" process visible throughout Quebec.
In 1978 history was made when the Primate and the Quebec Anglican Bishops met for the first time with Cardinal Roy and a number of French Roman Catholic Bishops. A second meeting was held in 1979 for a discussion of mutual concerns related to Quebec and the mission of the Church generally. The Project Officer also keeps in touch with various individuals and groups associated with French work and ministry in the United and Presbyterian Churches. All the Dioceses report increasing contacts between parish clergy, program officers, and bishops with counterparts in the Quebec Roman Catholic Church. These efforts are supported through the Project Officer's role with the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Quebec Assembly of Roman Catholic Bishops, and with the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism. Related liaison work takes place with and through the Canadian Council of Churches.
Outside Quebec, apart from regular consultation with the National Office, the pressure of time has limited visits to other parts of Canada. Most prominent are those to areas where there are large French minorities, such as the Dioceses of Rupert's Land and Fredericton. Other liaison work has been done by letter and telephone. An important element of the Project Officer's activity relates to research, the obtaining of up to date information, the preparation of data reflecting some of the current developments in the French Church and Community.
Another aspect of the Project is the growing contact with the Francophone parts of the Anglican Communion, such as Haiti, the Dioceses in Zaire, in the Indian Ocean, etc. This was made plainer at the National Partners in Mission Consultation held in Ottawa in 1979. Some of their students now come to Canada for theological training: at the same time, responding to their requests, some of the French materials produced through the Quebec Anglican Church have been sent to them.
At its meeting in November 1979 the National Executive Council expressed an interest in expanding the Project to allow for more work outside Quebec. In March 1980 it approved a proposal to make possible such an expansion by providing for the employment of a full time Officer, to begin either in September 1980 or January 1981. This proposal, adopted by the Council, while affirming the objectives of the original mandate concerning work in Quebec and relations with the French Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches, includes as specific goals for 1980-83 --
- (1) To help Church members in all parts of Canada become more aware of the moral and theological implications of all that is involved in the Quebec-Canada debate.
- (2) To initiate and support programs which will foster dialogue and understanding among French and English people.
Respectfully submitted, Reginald M. Turpin, Project Officer.