Courtesies of the House were extended to Canon R.M. Turpin, who presented the report.
"That this General Synod reaffirm the obligation of Anglicans to do everything possible to further French-English relationships and request the National Executive Council to monitor the continuing work of the French-English project and to report to the 1986 General Synod." CARRIED Act 80
[Text of report, in English and French, as published in 1983 General Synod Journal of Proceedings]
PROJECT IN FRENCH/ENGLISH RELATIONS
To the Members of General Synod
From its beginning in 1977, the French/English Relations Project always assumed that the nature of the Canadian nation and of the total Canadian Church required Anglicans to see the "French Fact" as something much bigger and more complex than being solely a Quebec phenomenon. However, the initial small part time measure of the Project and the dynamics of events in Quebec dictated that most of the Project's early efforts should be centred there. In brief, the first objective was to support the Quebec dioceses in becoming better equipped to function effectively in the changing Quebec milieu.
In these past years, like many other groups, usually identified with the overall English minority in Quebec, the Anglican Church has accepted and supported the need of the majority to take initiatives to ensure a French future in North America. Such initiatives are often referred to as the "francization process" in Quebec society. It is a continuing process and it has not proved any easier for Anglicans than for others. While some extreme policies and regulations are opposed, the main thrust of the minority generally has been to adjust, to find common goals, and to work out a viable relationship between French and English.
The Anglican Church has made steady progress in coping with these changes, yet much remains to be done. There are now many more bilingual clergy. There is much more frequent and closer co-operation with French neighbours in Church and society. Signs of the Anglican Church's involvement in issues or in activities which cut across old English-French divisions are the Brief submitted by the Quebec Anglican Bishops concerning the Government's drastic proposal to restructure the Quebec school system; the participation of Anglican representatives in a new province-wide bilingual ecumenical association; co-operation with French Protestant groups; the annual meetings of Anglican/Roman Catholic bishops; some radio and T.V. broadcasts, such as the service in French at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Quebec City during the 1983 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. One disappointment has been the slow pace in developing a fully French ministry across the province, a goal to which all the dioceses are committed but for which, as yet, there is no common agreement in how best this should be led and organized. A number of the dioceses have included in their Anglicans in Mission objectives resources for expanded "French work".
Since the 1980 General Synod at Peterborough, with the approval of the National Executive Council, the Project has been enlarged to allow for more activity outside Quebec, emphasizing the national nature of the English/French relationship. On the political front, this period coincided with the whole Canadian constitutional debate and the repatriation process that aroused a mixed reception in Quebec and among French minorities. This has been a time, also, when bilingualism has grown in Canada, and when some provinces, such as Ontario, have increased the rights and services provided for their French minorities, even though falling far short of French aspirations. Moreover, the increased focus of the Project was developing at a time of mounting interest in bilateral and multilateral discussions among different Churches, such as that between the Anglicans and the Roman Catholics. These various Project initiatives have been mainly of an educational kind, in providing information, and in developing sensitivity. Activity was largely concentrated with the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario, particularly in the Dioceses of Moosonee, Algoma, and Ottawa, where English and French live side by side, through visits, dialogue, and research. Arising from this background and experience, a small manual has been produced as a possible resource item for general use. It is entitled "A Primer to Encourage and Equip Anglicans Outside Quebec for Encounters of the French-English Kind". These efforts were supported indirectly through contacts made with representatives of such diverse groups as the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, la Federation Des Francophones Hors Quebec, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, and The United Church of Canada. More routine features of the Project include preparing data for the Primate and other Anglican leaders; the promotion of bilingualism at various conferences, the obtaining of French resources for Anglican inquirers; and serving as a "resource person" at seminars.
While the achievements have been relatively modest, the Project has helped to sharpen awareness within the Anglican Church concerning both the English-French partnership of the country and the bilingual character of the Christian family of churches. It visibly conveys to the latter a sense that the Anglican Church, so strongly English, has some appreciation of the French dimension and is actively engaged in the ongoing struggle to bring about greater understanding and community between English and French people everywhere.
Reginald M. Turpin, Project Officer.
[French language report]
PROJET de RELATIONS FRANCOPHONES-ANGLOPHONES
Au très réverènd le Primat et aux membres du Synode général:
Dès le début en 1977, le Projet de relations francophones-anglophones a toujours admis que la nature de la national canadienne et de l'église épiscopale en son entier exigent des épiscopaliens qu'ils voient dans le "fait francais" quelque chose de bien plus grande portee et complexité qu'un simple phénomène quebécois. Par ailleurs, le peu de temps qu'on pouvait consacrer à ce Projet au départ, et la poussée des événements au Québec commandaient que les premiers effort soient centrés en cet endroit. Bref, l'objectif primordial fut d'aider les diocèses du Quebec à se mieux pourvoir afin de fonctionner efficacement dans le milieu francophone en évolution.