The report of the Committee on The Name of the Church was presented by the Bishop of Calgary. Moved by the Bishop of Calgary, and seconded by Mr. W.L. Hammett, "That the report be received". Carried in both Houses.
Report of the Committee on "The Name of the Church"
To the Most Reverend, the Primate, and Members of General Synod:
The present Committee on "The Name of the Church" was appointed by the Primate following the meeting of the Executive Council of 1954, wherein a resolution from the 1954 Synod of the Diocese of Toronto, reaffirming "the opinion given by the Synod of 1950 that the present name of 'The Church of England in Canada' be changed to 'The Anglican Church of Canada'", was considered in connection with a Message from the House of Bishops assembled to discuss the question of 'The Name of the Church', with recommendations." The Executive Council resolved as follows: "That a committee be appointed by the Primate to study the matter and report to the General Synod of 1955".
Membership of the committee is listed herewith, an asterisk benoting attendance of those members present at the meeting in February, 1955:
- Ex officio: *The Primate
- Chairman: *The Bishop of Calgary
- Secretary: *Rev. Canon H.R. Hunt
Ecclesiastical Province of:
- Very Rev. W.W. Davis
- Very Rev. R.L. Seaborn
- *Very Rev. G.H. Dowker
- Ven. A.F. Bate
- The Bishop of Huron
- *The Bishop of Algoma
- *Rev. Canon A,T,F, Holmes
- *Lt. Col. M.L. Douglas
- *Mr. Bert Merson
- Ven. S.F. Tackaberry
- *Rev. F.R. Gartrell
- Mr.G.H. Linney
- *Mr. J.D. Middlemass
- *The Bishop of British Columbia
- Very Rev. P.R. Beattie
- Ven. D.S. Catchpole
In its study, the Committee noted that, whereas in the General Synod of 1949 the Lower House voted 157 to 62 in favour of the name, "The Anglican Church of Canada", the Upper House had voted non-concurrence by a vote of 12 to 8.
Now, in the Fall of 1954, it is the House of Bishops which has requested a fresh study of the question, "with recommendations". The Committee also observed that the decision in 1952 to retain the present name was on the division of 116 to 93.
Members of the Committee present at the meeting, in view of the recent events, especially the Minnesota Congress of 1954, are unanimous in their opinion that the mind of the Church is now moving in favour of a change in name for the Church. The present title is a limiting term and does not, especially to newcomers, adequately describe the Canadian Church.
In this connection, the opinion of the Right Reverend L.S. Hunter, Bishop of Sheffield, as expressed in a public lecture in Canada in September, 1954, may be noted: "Is it impertinent to ask whether the title, 'Church of England in Canada', is not an anachronism, and an increasing handicap ?"
Those present at the meeting, agreeing unanimously that a change in the name of the Church is desirable, also were of unanimous opinion that, despite recent objections, the most acceptable title for the Church is "The Anglican Church of Canada". It is therefore recommended to General Synod that the name of the Church be changed from "The Church of England in Canada" to "The Anglican Church of Canada", and that the necessary legal steps be taken to effect this change in name.