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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 16. Enlarged missionary activinity--Bishop Montgomery and Rev. J. D. Mullins--Arrival of English catechists--Archdeacon Lloyd revives Emmanuel College--St. Alban's College

Bishop Newnham's announcement at the Synod of 1906 of the impending visit of Bishop Montgomery, together with the action of the Mission Board in sending to the Missionary Society of the Church in Canada a map and statement in detail showing the urgent need of the Diocese at that date, was to completely change the whole of the Diocese in the months and years that followed. In the statement to M.S.C.C, 30 more men and a grant of not less than $10,000.00 was asked for.

It is of interest to note that Bishop Montgomery was the former Bishop of Tasmania and had become the secretary of the S.P.G. He was the father of General Montgomery of El Alamein, one of the great heroes of the Second World War. This visit came as a result of urgent appeals from Western Canada for increased help, because in 1896 the S.P.G. had determined to cut down all Canadian grants by 10% annually until the grants ceased. Bishop Montgomery made the visit in order to assess the situation and advise the Society what action should be taken. It so happened that the Reverend J. D. Mullins, Secretary of the C. and C.C.S., also visited the Diocese at that time, and with the S.P.G. undertook obligations with regard to the problem of new missions within the Diocese.

An invaluable book, "The Church on the Prairie," written by Bishop Montgomery and published by the S.P.G. in London, England in 1911, priced at a shilling, gives an excellent report of the problem and of the action taken. A similar article was written by Archdeacon Lloyd himself for the Greater Britain Messenger, published by the C. & C.C.S., and later reprinted in the M.S.C.C. publication in March 1910. Bishop Montgomery's book not only includes his own account of the work but also accounts written by Archdeacon Lloyd and representative students who came out to Canada.

Bishop Montgomery describes how news of Western Canada was circulated in all the countries of Europe, and inducements offered to all to give Canada the population that it so badly needed. While English speaking immigrants were preferred, Scandinavians and Germans and others were all welcomed. To show something of the size of the movement, figures are quoted for seven different boats which landed passengers at Quebec on May 12th, 1907, with a total of 9,336 immigrants--mostly going to the West. In the first four months of that year 80,000 persons came into Canada, and 300,000 in all were expected--a large percentage coming from the British Isles, many from the United States and some certainly were Canadians returning from the States to their own country.

At the Land Titles Office in Battleford it is reported that 3,587 claims for 168 acre-blocks were filed in one year. It was against this background that Archdeacon Lloyd journeyed to England in 1906. A meeting was held at Lambeth Palace by the Archbishop of Canterbury, at which representatives of the S.P.G. and the C. and C.C.S. were present. It was resolved that the Archbishop should issue a letter to the public asking for the help of churchmen in England to meet this tremendous challenge. Archdeacon Lloyd was present to present the claims of the Diocese of Saskatchewan in particular and of the West in general. First the appeal for funds was for £20,000 and this sum was later raised to £30,000 so far as the S.P.G. was concerned. The C. and C.C.S. appealed for money for churches and for supporting catechists and the training of students to the amount of £40,000.

[67] As a result of the appeal for men, 55 applicants were approved from the two Societies. They left Liverpool on April 19, 1907 full of hopes and ideals at the prospect of their new adventure.

In due course they arrived at Montreal and entrained with their baggage, accompanied by Archdeacon Lloyd, for Saskatoon. Here they were to receive their tents, ponies, carts, cooking utensils, etc. and start on their great venture in faith. Through an unfortunate mistake the tents had been left behind at Liverpool and on arrival in Saskatoon the men were quartered in a small parish hall of St. John's Church. Accordingly 30 men were sent off to their posts along the lines of the Canadian Northern Railway until their tents and ponies arrived. Another 20 men were compelled to wait till their ponies had come from British Columbia; so a camp was made and, while they were waiting, a rough and ready divinity school was established. Cooking, camping, practicing reading the services, etc. filled up the time. Some of these men had to be sent 250 miles to begin their work, literally to push their way into it single-handed. "No time for shyness here, every man must feel that upon him rests the honour of the Diocese, and that not only Canada but the mother country was watching him and praying for him." These words of Bishop Montgomery suggest something of the problem in organizing and establishing the sudden in-rush of new workers. As the Bishop comments, no Diocese could ever before have had its numbers increased so suddenly as in this case.

As a consequence, Bishop Newnham commented to the Synod in 1907 that expenditure had outstripped the income somewhat. He went on to remark "so our good friend Archdeacon Lloyd was not far wrong when he claimed on English platforms, as the papers report, that it was a matter for congratulation that his search for new fields and the access of new workers had brought the Bishop to the edge of insolvency." He went on to comment on the fact that it was now possible to gather people together for worship, to visit them in their scattered homes and give them ministrations of the church which hitherto they had yearned for in vain. He reminded the Synod that a year previously they had numbered 26 clergy and 9 catechists, whereas in 1907 the list showed 32 clergy and 63 catechists.

The Bishop remarked that it must never be forgotten that this wonderful advance was due, under God's blessing, largely to the enterprise, self-denying labours, far-sightedness, organizing skill and enthusiasm of the 'recruiting sergeant' Archdeacon Lloyd. This enthusiasm and optimism had proved contagious not only to the Bishop but to the Secretary and Board of the M.S.C.C, and to Bishop Montgomery and the Secretary of the C. and C.C.S.

It is also recorded that when Archdeacon Lloyd was placing the men, who had come out from England, along the railway line, leaving one here and another there, they would sometimes say to him "what is the name of that place?" His answer at times would be "I don't know, it didn't exist when I was here last".

It was during this time that many new churches sprang up across the countryside which today are known as "Bishop Lloyd churches" but were originally called "Canterbury Cathedrals". It is probable that the plans for these churches were originally drawn up by the Reverend D. T. Davies of Saskatoon who was a skillful carpenter. At the same time the small homes built for the catechists were called Lambeth Palaces, and both the churches and the mission houses were of standard size and specifications.

Long after Bishop Lloyd's time, and within the writer's own memory, plans for the churches were still available in three sizes, depending upon the number of worshippers that they were intended to accommodate. While many of the buildings have long since disappeared, there are still many in regular use, while some have been preserved as historic sites.

[68] In addition to the practical work that the men did in their missions, a part of the plan included also their training in preparation for ordination, providing that their work was satisfactory. Accordingly, on November 12th the Divinity College opened and lectures began. Training was so organized that half the men--approximately 30--came to the lectures from November to February, and the other half came from February to May. In this way it was found that many of the missions could be kept open all Winter while their own missionaries were away at College. Alternate men were brought up and their neighbor took the services on alternate Sundays during their absence. Unfortunately the Emmanuel College buildings were not available for the divinity school, and therefore it was necessary to utilize such buildings as were available. The old Prince Albert Land Titles Office, which still stands at 350--12th Street East, was used for living quarters for the students. In addition, some 6 or 8 men were accommodated at Archdeacon Lloyd's own home, which was later the residence of the Gilmore family of the Gilmore Ice and Fuel Company. This house still stands on the river bank at 8th Avenue West.

Lectures were given in the old St. Alban's Church and meals were served in a small wooden building which stood at the rear of the present St. Alban's Cathedral on 15 th Street, and in later years this building was utilized as a garage and was demolished only a few years ago.

As the initiator of the whole program, Archdeacon Lloyd moved from his original home at Lloydminster to Prince Albert, a distance of 250 miles. Here with the assistance of the Bishop, Rural Dean Dewdney, the Reverend D. T. Davies, and the Reverend C. L. Malaher, he formed classes of about 25 men each. He stated in his article to the Greater Britain Messenger that this plan did not continue for very long. The Bishop was too busy to give lectures, and he himself was too often away from home to deal with the College work efficiently, so they had to get down to solid permanent college training in a larger way. Eventually he gave up travelling around the Diocese and lectured regularly on Systematic Theology. The Reverend John Tuckey of Trinity College, Dublin, came on to the staff, and the Reverend H. S. Broadbent, Oxford, resigned his Rectory in Saskatoon to come up to Prince Albert and make lecturing his chief work.

Lectures began at nine in the morning and continued until one o'clock. Dinner and outdoor exercise occupied the next two hours, and then a further two hours of lectures were given, followed by tea, evening service and private study.

Archdeacon Lloyd went on to speak of the method of examination of the catechists. He said "It is interesting to note that in giving marks, everything has been taken into account, work done in the field as well as the study in the College. It has been constantly said before the men that they must have not only good heads but good feet to cover the ground. For instance, one of them came very low down in his lectures, but stood top of the tree in the number of services and people attending, 1600 odd. It is the all-round man that counts. Speaking as a whole of the men and of the term here, I can only say that I am satisfied up to the last point."

So the situation continued, with one group of men alternating with the other in their course of studies at the College, and then returning to their work in the mission field. This work needs to be considered against the general background of immigration, which, for what became the Province of Saskatchewan, was represented by census figures in 1901 as 91,279. In 1906 this figure had increased to 257,763, while by 1911 the census figures were given as 492,432.

Prince Albert was incorporated as a city on October 8th, 1904 and the [68/69] population is said to have doubled by the year 1906. It doubled again to a total of about 9,000 by the year 1911.

Another venture in education was begun by the Diocese in 1906 with the establishment of St. Alban's Ladies College. This was stimulated partly by Mrs. Newnham's concern for the education of her own daughters, and she was aware that others had simillar problems. The aims of the College were stated to be "to give girls a thoroughly and sound and modern education based on religious teaching. This teaching is in accordance with the principles of the Church of England, but special arrangements are made for girls belonging to other denominations." The curriculum included the regular subjects of school to meet the requirements of Junior and Senior Matriculation examinations, and were supplemented by music, art and sewing. Other social graces such as dancing were a part of the recreational activity, and as many as 68 girls of many denominations were in attendance at the College at one time. The building, which included residential accommodation, was built on the East side of Central Avenue immediately East of the Prince Albert Collegiate Institute where classes began in January 1910. The College functioned for some years with considerable success, until a new wing was added to provide increased accommodation for the applicants. Since the city not only required the regular taxes for the institution but also college fees, the capital indebtedness caused by the new wing proved too much for the institution and it later closed down. It was then occupied for some time as St. George's College for boys, but this was subsequently transferred to the present Synod Office Building after Bishop Newnham's resignation. The early work of the Covenant Bible Institute in Prince Albert began in this building, but with the destruction by fire of the Indian Residential School at Lac la Ronge, the quarters were then utilized as an Indian Residential School, and the staff and students were transferred from La Ronge. This continued until the Indian School at Onion Lake met a similar fate to the one at La Ronge, and then the Indian Department combined both schools at the present site of the Indian Student Residence. After this happened, the building remained vacant and was eventually purchased by the Roman Catholic Church and used for Notre Dame College. With the removal of Notre Dame to St. Louis, the old St. Alban's College building remained empty for some time, and recently was demolished and an apartment house built upon the site.

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