Project Canterbury

An Historical Sketch of the Diocese of Saskatchewan of the Anglican Church of Canada

By W. F. Payton, Archdeacon Emeritus

Prince Albert: The Anglican Diocese of Saskatchewan, 1974.

Chapter 11. Bishop Cyprian Pinkham--Formation of the Diocese of Calgary--Its separation from the Diocese of Saskatchewan

After the death of Bishop McLean the Archbishop of Canterbury invited Archdeacon William Cyprian Pinkham, Archdeacon of Manitoba, to become his successor. This invitation was accepted by Archdeacon Pinkham and he was consecrated as the second Bishop of Saskatchewan on August 7th, 1887 in Holy Trinity Church, Winnipeg.

Archdeacon Pinkham was the eldest son of a family of 12, born in St. Johns, Newfoundland on November 11th, 1844. After finishing his preliminary education, he taught for two years in a rural school outside St. Johns and assisted Canon Medley, the Rector of St. Mary's with the night schools which were carried on by him within the parish.

In May, 1865 he went to England to enter St. Augustine's College, Canterbury to prepare for ordination and service in some part of the British Empire. Prior to his graduating from St. Augustine's, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in London offered him the mission of St. James in the Red River settlement. Although he had been privately studying the Tamil and Sanscrit languages in the hope of going to some Eastern country, he accepted the offer and prepared himself to return to Canada, which he reached by way of the United States.

He arrived in Winnipeg on September 10th, 1868 and was received by Archdeacon McLean who, in the Bishop's absence, was acting as his Commissary. Bishop Machray had gone on a journey to the East and had met Mr. Pinkham in London, Ontario where, with his permission, Mr. Pinkham was ordained by Bishop Cronyn who happened to be having an ordination at that time, and Bishop Machray was the preacher.

He was ordained Priest in St. John's Cathedral, Winnipeg on February 21st, 1869 by Bishop Machray himself. Shortly after his arrival in Winnipeg he met Jean Anne Drever to whom he became engaged on the third time of their meeting, and they were married on December 29th, 1868. His wife was a sister of the wife of the Reverend John A. Mackay.

In 1870 the province of Manitoba was formed with the capital at Winnipeg, and the following year, after the passing of the new School Act, Mr. Pinkham was appointed a member of the Protestant section of the Board of Education. Mr. Pinkham became the Superintendent of Education for the Protestant schools of the province, a position which he filled with great distinction until 1883, when to his great regret, because of the pressure of church work it was necessary for him to resign. He took an active interest in drafting the amended School Acts of 1873 and 1878, and represented the Protestant section of the Board of Education on the Senate of the University of Manitoba. In March of 1880 the Archbishop of Canterbury honoured Archdeacon Pinkham by granting him the Lambeth Degree of B.D. "For general services in connection with education."

In 1882 Mr. Pinkham was appointed Archdeacon of Manitoba and a residentiary Canon of St. John's Cathedral, and also secretary of the Diocesan Synod, a position that he held until he left Winnipeg in 1887. These and other offices, all necessitating duty and service, compelled him to resign his office as Superintendent of Education since he felt that he could in no case surrender his duties as a clergyman.

[42] In accepting the offer from the Archbishop of Canterbury to become Bishop of Saskatchewan he stipulated that the Provisional District of Alberta should be formed into a separate diocese as soon as possible, and that the territory then remaining with its total area of about 200,000 square miles should, for the present, constitute the Diocese of Saskatchewan. He stated that his idea was that for purpose of organization and development, the whole territory could be more readily brought under control as two separate dioceses than as one, and he undertook to administer both.

When addressing his first Synod of the Diocese of Saskatchewan on August 28th, 1889 he reminded his hearers in his address to them that in 1883, in his place in the Lower House of the Provincial Synod of Rupert's Land, he had moved the following resolution which was duly seconded and carried by acclamation, although apparently no action on it was taken by the House of Bishops, namely: "That while heartily concurring in the proposition to include the district of Alberta in the See of Saskatchewan, this House desires to express to the Upper House its most earnest wish that their Lordships could see their way to recommend the setting off of the district of Alberta into a separate diocese to be placed, until the circumstances are such as to justify the appointment of a Bishop, under the episcopal supervision of the Bishop of Saskatchewan."

Provision was made by the Provincial Synod of Rupert's Land a few days after the consecration of Bishop Pinkham, by giving unanimous approval to the following resolution: "That the civil territory of Alberta be formed into a separate diocese from the rest of the Diocese of Saskatchewan, to be called the Diocese of Calgary, subject to the consent of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the appointment of the present Bishop of Saskatchewan on his choosing either the Diocese of Calgary or the diocese consisting of the remaining portion of the Diocese of Saskatchewan, which shall be continued to be known as the Diocese of Saskatchewan, to be Bishop of the other diocese until such time as, in the opinion of the Provincial Synod, adequate endowment is provided or other sufficient provision is made for the Bishopric of Calgary, when the Bishop shall resign either of the dioceses as he sees fit".

It was not until March 1888 that the Archbishop of Canterbury actually gave effect to the action of the Provincial Synod by appointing him as the first Bishop of Calgary. Before making a final decision as to where he would live, Bishop Pinkham took counsel with some of his friends and found that practically all were of the opinion that he should reside in Calgary. The reasons given were that it was on the main line of the C.P.R. and likely to become a railway centre, and was the largest place in the territories, its population at that time being upwards of 3,000. The Bishop had himself, between the acceptance of the Bishopric of Saskatchewan and his consecration, visited the chief places within the diocese, and Calgary impressed itself upon him as in every way a desirable centre, but owing to the difficulty of finding a suitable residence, as well as the need of going to England in 1888, he did not bring his family to Calgary until May 1889.

After his consecration, Bishop Pinkham left for his diocese towards the end of August, visiting Swift Current and Battleford where he held his first confirmation. Going on to Gleichen, where the Reverend J. W. Tims was in charge, he consecrated St. Andrew's Church. In October he arrived at Onion Lake and visited the Indian School there, leaving on the 30th for Carlton Lake and Prince Albert, conducting three services at Sandy Lake where the Reverend John Hines was in charge. He comments in his unpublished memoirs that the collection included mink skins, a towel, bars of soap, four yards of white cotton, mugs, an old pipe and matches, a tin match box, seven dollar bills, and various coins amounting altogether to $17.05.

[43] The first Synod of the Diocese of Calgary was held on February 21st, 1889 when Archbishop Machray was the special preacher at the opening service of Holy Communion. Both he and Bishop Pinkham paid tribute to the self-sacrificing work of Bishop McLean, and Bishop Pinkham went on to speak of the future of the Diocese of Calgary, looking towards its division from Saskatchewan when the endowment fund for the Bishop was complete. He acknowledged the debt to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel when he said that it was owing to the generous help of this Society that the work had been made possible in Southern Alberta. In addition to that, the work of the Diocese of Saskatchewan had been supported for years in its mission work among settlers as well as the endowment of the See and Emmanuel College. The Church Missionary Society also came in for his earnest thanks because of their continued interest in the Indians of the West which had begun almost 70 years ago. Similarly the Bishop said the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge had given substantial aid in the endowment of the Diocese of Saskatchewan and many substantial grants towards the cost of church buildings in different parts of the diocese, as well as grants of service books for churches and a bursary for a student at Trinity College, Toronto.

Bishop Pinkham reported that the week previous he had signed an agreement with the Rector and Church Wardens of the Parish of the Church of the Redeemer, making it for the time being the Cathedral of the diocese. Following the Synod the Bishop left for a lengthy visit to the Northern part of Alberta at Edmonton and adjacent missions, proceeding to the Diocese of Saskatchewan where the Synod was held on August 28th. Bishop Pinkham in his address to Synod referred to what he called the large ideas and very ardent hopes of Bishop McLean with regard to Emmanuel College and the establishment of a training school for Blackfoot students at Calgary as a branch of it. The Bishop went on to say that in his judgement these ideas were in advance of the requirements of the country, and with the concurrence of leading clergy and laity with whom he had taken counsel in Prince Albert they were for the present in abeyance. He established a College Council with himself as president, and expressed the hope that Emmanuel College might prove to be what Bishop McLean meant it to be, an important and vigourous centre of higher education in connection with the church.

Bishop Pinkham outlined the changes which had taken place among the clergy and parishes of the diocese, remarking that Archdeacon George Mckay was now incumbent Of the joint parish of St. Mary's and St. Alban's. This enabled him to arrange for the use of St. Mary's Church as a College Chapel while St. Alban's became the parish church of Prince Albert. He announced the appointment of the Reverend John Hines to the Mission of Devon at The Pas and Superintendent of Missions in Eastern Saskatchewan, while his work at Sandy Lake was taken over by the Reverend J. R. Settee. Reverend E. K. Matheson, who had laboured with such devotion at St. Catherine's, and then organized the Church at Lethbridge, was appointed to St. George's Church, Battleford. Reverend A. H. Wright, travelling missionary, had accepted a rearrangement of his mission which gave him the whole of the work East of the North branch of the Saskatchewan, including the Pahonan Settlement and the Reserve at Fort a la Corne which was made his headquarters. The Reverend Thomas Clark was still occupying the important position as Principal of the Battleford Industrial School to which he had been appointed by the Indian Department in 1883.

Thus began a period when the Bishop was compelled to divide his time between travelling and the two Dioceses of which he was now Bishop. While Prince Albert and Emmanuel College undoubtedly suffered as a result of [43/44] the lack of a resident Bishop, the foresight of Bishop Pinkham in electing to live at Calgary was probably justified by the increased activity in Alberta as a result of the railway and other improved travelling facilities.

In addressing his second Synod in St. Alban's Church in 1891, the Bishop had this to say about conditions here: "The time which has elapsed since our last meeting has not brought many changes to the portion of the great North-West included in this Diocese. True, we have at length obtained the long looked for boon of a railway to this town, which gives us excellent travelling facilities and two mails a week instead of one; but beyond these little if any advantages can as yet be seen. Of immigration there has been very little; indeed it may be questioned if we have not lost more people from the Battleford district, who grew tired of waiting for railway advantages, than we have gained in those who have settled in other parts of the Diocese."

The number of clergy had increased from 13 to 16 and some new work had been opened up. It is interesting to note the Bishop's remark that he had hoped to announce a clergyman for the Saskatoon district. However, as a result of their inability to guarantee $100.00 for the first year towards his support, he announced that he hoped to constitute Duck Lake, Saskatoon and Carlton as one mission, under a clergyman who would have his headquarters at Duck Lake, and he was on the look-out for a suitable man.

Emmanuel College had continued to function with the help of the Indian-Department which had made a per capita grant of $100.00 a year towards the support of ten pupils. Assurances had then been received from the 1st of July that provision would be made for an additional ten pupils. So it was that Emmanuel College continued as an Indian Residential School, and among the pupils still living, who attended at that time, are Chief Allen Ahenakew of Sandy Lake, who with Canon Edward Ahenakew and many others received their education at Emmanuel.

At the Synod of 1894 Bishop Pinkham announced that he had signed an agreement with the Rector and Church Wardens of St. Alban's under which that church will remain the parish church but become for the present the Cathedral of the Diocese. The number of clergy in the Diocese of Saskatchewan had risen to 20, while 15 were then working in the Diocese of Calgary, the number shortly to be increased to 18. The Bishop made little reference to Emmanuel College at this Synod other than to say that he was most grateful to the Indian Department for the continued maintenance as a Church of England institution, of the Battleford Industrial School, as well as for the assistance given towards the maintenance of pupils at Emmanuel College. At the Synod of 1896 held on June 17th, it was reported that Emmanuel College continued to educate native pupils to be teachers and catechists in the Diocese. In addition to the grant announced previously for 20 boys and young men, an .additional grant of $60.00 a year had been made by the Indian Department for ten girls and young women. A committee, which had been named to examine the functioning of the College, reported that it was doing a good work, providing a sound elementary education to the students under the approval of a government inspector, and whenever aptitude in that direction is shown, the pupils are trained for the position of elementary native teachers. The committee had read the references to the College in the addresses of Bishop McLean and gathered that his designs as to the College's functions had changed with the changing conditions of the Diocese, and it was their opinion that the management is on the whole carrying out the spirit of the modified intentions of the founder.

At the Battleford Industrial School in December 1894, Reverend Thomas Clark resigned his position as principal and Archdeacon J. A. Mackay had assumed temporary charge. This school had become a church institution under [44/45] the direct control of the Bishop, although wholly maintained by the Indian Department on a per capita basis. The Bishop reported that at that time there were upwards of 100 pupils, boys and girls, now in attendance with room for between 50 and 60 more.

The Bishop went on to report the need for a new church in Prince Albert, to become a memorial of the life and self-sacrificing labours of Bishop McLean, and to serve at the same time as a Cathedral. He urged the Rector and parishioners to do all in their power to provide the necessary finances, and said that he understood that the intention was to begin the building the following Spring.

At the Synod of June 8th, 1898 Bishop Pinkham reported on educational institutions as follows: Number of pupils at Emmanuel College had increased to 52, with the expectation that it would shortly rise to 60. Archdeacon Mackay continued as its head and the work was going forward in a very satisfactory manner.

The Industrial School at Battleford continued to do excellent work under its principal, Reverend E. Matheson, and his staff of workers, with the number of pupils ranging between 100 and 120.

St. Barnabas, Boarding School at Onion Lake was steadily widening its influence under its energetic founder and principal, Reverend J. R. Matheson, and those associated with him. The number in attendance was between 35 and 40 pupils. The Bishop stated that he was sure that the Synod would hear with pleasure that Mrs. Matheson, in order to increase her usefulness in her husband's mission and boarding school, at great inconvenience and self-sacrifice, had taken the full medical course in Toronto, and received the degree of M.D.

By September 25th and 26th, 1900 when the Synod again met, the Bishop reported that the Emmanuel College Indian Training School, the Battleford Industrial School and the Boarding School for Indian children at Onion Lake were never in a more satisfactory state for doing excellent work than at that time. He stated that he was anxious to secure as soon as possible at least two more Boarding Schools, one to be located at Lac La Ronge and the other at The Pas. At that same Synod the Bishop reported accepting Archdeacon Mackay's resignation from the position of Warden of Emmanuel College, which he had occupied since 1887. The Bishop remarked that he would now be free to travel about as Archdeacon, giving his great experience and his valuable services wherever they are for the time most needed. It was as a result of this that Archdeacon Mackay was able to devote his time and attention to the building of the new Residential School at Lac La Ronge.

This was the last meeting of the Synod of the Diocese of Saskatchewan presided over by Bishop Pinkham. In 1903 the episcopal endowment fund for Calgary having been completed, he resigned the See of Saskatchewan on September 30th, retaining his position as the Bishop of Calgary. It is noteworthy that he continued as Bishop of Calgary until the 17th of February, 1926 which was the 39th anniversary of his consecration. On October 1st, 1903 the Right Reverend Jervois Arthur Newnham was translated to the Diocese of Saskatchewan by the action of the House of Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Rupert's Land. Bishop Newnham had been elected to the Diocese of Moosonee on April 15th, 1893 by the House of Bishops of the Province of Rupert's Land and had been consecrated by Archbishop Machray the same year. It was not until July 23rd, 1905 that Bishop Newnham convened his first Synod in the Diocese of Saskatchewan.

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