That the Report of the Committee on Statistics and the State of the Church be studied by the Committee in the light of its implications with a view to practical action in the life of the Church. CARRIED in both Houses.
Excerpt from Report of Committee on Statistics and the State of the Church from pp. 192-202. Section (4) on page 194:
"(4) Your Committee wholeheartedly believes that with the co-operation of the Diocesan Authorities, and by their securing revision of patently impossible figures in parochial returns, a report of value to the Church can be compiled. No government or commercial company could hope to function effectively, unless it becomes aware of the ebb and flow of its constituent departments, and this can only be gauged from within the statistical returns regularly made. As in all other phases of our Church life, the local Incumbent is the key man of the situation. It is a rational supplement to his quiet, consistent, day-in-and-day-out pastoral work to ask him to furnish a simple and careful record of the number of persons with whom he has contact, the ministries he supplies, and the monies contributed for the maintenance of the work. Your Committee has good ground for making such an appeal. Our Lord Himself felt it good that the Apostles should themselves be fully aware of the number of the loaves which He would use".
This report was presented by the Archbishop of Kootenay. Considerable discussion arose out of the report which was, on motion of the Archbishop of Kootenay, seconded by Mr. R.W. Allin, carried in both Houses.
Your Committee regrets that it cannot submit any report either on the "state" of the Church or on statistical returns. The information supplied is insufficient in both cases. Only nine bishops have replied to a request for a Church report of conditions in their areas; for the year 1944 statistical returns were not received until this year, and the figures of two important dioceses are still unavailable; less than half the returns for 1945 have been received.
Your Committee requests that it be relieved of its duties unless fuller cooperation is forthcoming and needful information supplied. It would however stress the great loss which the Church would suffer, if information as to the ebb and flow of Church life in various parts of the Dominion is not available. It may point out that the proportion of active to missing Anglicans would never have been known if statistics had not been collected and synthesized.
That this Synod requests the Committee on Statistics and State of the Church to continue its labours and calls upon all Dioceses to extend to the Committee the fullest co-operation so that all needful information may be supplied. CARRIED in both Houses.
Resolved, That as the value of the statistical returns from the whole Church depends upon the accuracy of all the returns submitted, the General Synod reminds the Diocesan officials who have this matter in charge, that the serious imperfection of the statistics of any one Diocese may render the whole returns misleading instead of useful; and urgently requests that a real effort be made the have the figures as nearly perfect as possible, so that the Committee on the State of the Church may have trustworthy data to consider in the preparation of its report. CARRIED in both Houses.
The Archbishop of Huron presented the Report of the Executive Council which was considered section by section.
The adoption of each section was moved by the Archbishop of Huron and seconded by Chancellor Gisborne.
(1) "World's Alliance," adopted by both Houses. [See page 145]
(2) "Insurance on Church property," adopted by both Houses with the exception of the notes at the end of the Section. [See pages 145-148]
(3) "Organization of the Church." (Deferred). [See pages 148-149]
(4) "Sir Edmond Osler Trust," adopted by both Houses. [See page 149]
(5) "W.C.T.U. and Militarism," adopted by both Houses. [See pages 149-150]
(6) "A Revision of Statistical Form." The Bishop of Quebec, Chairman of the Statistical Committee, having read the following report, Section (6) was adopted by both Houses.
REPORT OF THE SUB-COMMITTEE ON STATISTICS
In September, 1926, the G.B.R.E. petitioned the Executive Council of the General Synod to have certain questions connected with Sunday Schools added to the Statistical Form which is issued to all the Dioceses.
The Executive Council having discussed the matter referred it to the Committee on Statistics and the State of the Church. This Committee was summoned to meet in Montreal to consider the matter, but unfortunately no one was able to attend except the Convener.
Another meeting of the Committee was held in Toronto last week. Two attended, but the opinion of those present was that it was not advisable to add more questions in connection with the G.B.R.E. work to the Statistical Form.
This decision was reported to the Executive Council on the 12th inst. The Council, however, decided by a majority vote that the additional questions asked for must be included in the Form, and a small sub-committee was appointed to decide in what way to recommend to General Synod that the questions ought to be inserted, i.e. whether on a separate sheet or otherwise.
The sub-committee was also asked to consider the best method of obtaining uniformity in the method of answering this questionnaire and any other matter which might facilitate the obtaining of accurate statistics.
The sub-committee therefore beg to report that in their opinion:
1. The additional questions asked for by the G.B.R.E. ought to be incorporated in the body of the Form in the place where other matters connected with Sunday Schools are placed.
2. That in order to obtain uniform and accurate information from the Dioceses, specimen copies of the Statistical Form be sent at once to the Synod Office of every Diocese in order that all the information required by the General Synod may be asked for in the form for returns issued to all the parishes in each Diocese.
3. That the present committee on Statistics and the State of the Church is too large and composed of members who are at distance far remote from each other and consequently seldom or ever able to meet together and that it would be far better to appoint a small committee of 4 and 5 who are near enough to each other to meet regularly and attend to the matter thoroughly.
4. That for the purpose of obtaining accurate information it is desirable that the Questionnaire should not be overloaded with minute questions which are not of any special value to the Church as a whole.
On behalf of the Sub-Committee, (Signed) Lennox Quebec, Kingston, 13 Sept., 1927.
(7) "Board of Finance and Legacies," adopted by both Houses. [See page 151]
(8) "Anglican War Service Fund," [adopted by both Houses]. [See page 151-152]
(9) "Ukrainian Prayer Book," adopted by both Houses. [See page 152]
(10) "Annual Meetings of Boards," adopted by both Houses. [See page 152]
(11) "Immigration," adopted by both Houses. [See pages 152-153]
[(11) Immigration: -- [Pages 152-153 of the Report of the Executive Council]
The Council for Social Service having requested the Executive Council to draft a Resolution to send to the Government at Ottawa, the following was drafted and carried:--
"That the Executive Council of the General Synod of the Church of England in Canada would urge upon your government the great importance of settling the land with people from the Mother Country, and would urge a close co-operation between your government and the British government to secure that end and trusts that this question of immigration will have a very prominent place at the forthcoming Imperial Conference."
A Deputation was named to wait upon the Government and present the Resolution.]
(12) "Church Newspaper," adopted by both Houses. [See page 153]
(13) "Episcopal Endowment Fund," adopted by both Houses. [See pages 153-154]
Resolved, That the Report of the Executive Council, with the exception of Section (3), be adopted.
The Report of the Committee on Statistics and the state of the Church was presented by the Bishop of Kootenay.
(The full Report will be found on p. [450-487]).
The Bishop in presenting the Report, drew attention to several clerical errors which he then corrected, and gave a summary of the Report.
Your Committee in presenting this general survey of the State of the Church as well as the actual statistical figures would point out that its task is by no means easy, though it is receiving more sympathetic cooperation from those from whom reports and returns come. There is unfortunately some unnecessary duplication. Some of the Bishops' reports are identical with those published by the M.S.C.C. in its triennial statement. It conceives its function to be to pick out and emphasize the high lights of such reports as are made to Synod and to give a comprehensive view without going into unnecessary and confusing details. This is impossible until the reports of the Synod Boards and other important Committees are to hand; in consequence therefore little time is left to the Committee for its work of survey. It would suggest that advance copies of reports from M.S.C.C., G.B.R.E., C.S.S., Pensions Board, Anglican National Commission, etc., be sent for the use of this committee; and further that the Board of M.S.C.C. in the year that this committee functions do not "require" such special reports as are printed in its triennial statement. For these years it receives full details of moneys received and expended from the Missionary Dioceses and provision is made for special comment on existing special or local needs. Your committee cannot operate without the helpful reports which the Bishops give to it. If this suggested help were given, the irritation felt and sometimes expressed by them at this unnecessary duplication would be removed.
That copies of the Report be sent to the Secretaries of the Boards and Councils mentioned in the opening paragraph drawing attention to the requests therein contained. CARRIED in both Houses.