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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 23. Bishop's College, Prince Albert--Boundary changes between Manitoba and Alberta--Division of the Diocese reviewed.

Bishop Lloyd's greatest concern was to provide a full and adequate ministry to all those who stood in need of it in the Diocese of Saskatchewan. This involved not only the provision of the men who would provide the ministrations of the church, but also the financial resources to support them and the necessary buildings that would be required. At the Semi-Centenary Synod in Prince Albert in 1924 Bishop Lloyd had remarked that the matter of immigration had been pressing upon them increasingly of late, and in the future of the Diocese it would be of first importance. With his staunch British background he added "We want our own British blood settled in large numbers throughout this Diocese, for if we have the land filled with little Asias and little Russias and little Balkans, it is going to make our church work ten times harder, and in many cases impossible."

His words were truly prophetic, for in the years that followed, until his resignation in 1931, the work of the Diocese increased tremendously with the large influx of settlers that poured in from all directions. Bishop Lloyd constantly appealed for an immigration policy which would fill the West with settlers of British stock, and sometimes his remarks about the settlers from Europe were not too happily received because of the implied criticism that he made of the European settlers. Through the Fellowship of the Maple Leaf and the Saskatchewan Association in England he did his best to promote the introduction of good citizens from Britain to work in the areas over which he had jurisdiction as Bishop. His interest went beyond the strictly church organization of the Diocese and still continued to take a strong interest in the educational activities which were involved in such projects as St. Alban's College and St. George's College, together with the Sunday School by Post and the Teachers' Hostel in Saskatoon.

His predominant concern, however, was that of the ministry. As early as 1923 it became apparent to him that with the many missions that were unshepherded Emmanuel College in Saskatoon would not be able to supply the needs of the growing North. So it was that in January 1924 a Catechist School was opened in Prince Albert, in which Bishop Lloyd repeated his experiment of 1906 and 1907. The School opened with seven men in attendance, and in the following year of 1925 the number still remained the same. During the first year or so, the men lived in town at such places as they could find for boarding. Then the Diocese once again took possession of the Fraser House and the men were accommodated there until the numbers became too great, and later moved to the new wing of the St. Alban's College building. By the winter of 1927 membership had increased to twenty-four, but some of these men were on probation and two were transferred to Edmonton with the redistribution of Diocesan boundaries. By 1928 there were eighteen men in residence in the St. Alban's College building and they were working on a seven year course which would permit them to serve longer on the field than the students from Emmanuel College, but as a result the period of instruction was longer. Fifty-two lectures were given during the week by the teaching staff, which was headed by the Bishop, and he was assisted by Canon Burd, Canon Strong and the Rev. F. J. Stevens. In addition to Theology, lectures were given on church music, the conduct of services, homiletics, and church history.

[113] As might be expected, considerable criticism resulted by the Emmanuel College authorities, and also by some of the members of the church, particularly in the Saskatoon area. The Bishop contended, however, that there were so many new white districts not nearly strong enough to carry ordained men, even with a mission grant, and yet altogether too important to be adequately ministered to by a four and a half month Summer Divinity student. That method of supply simply left those missions subject to seven and a half months without any ministry except a very occasional one from one of the supervising clergy.

Most of the men were married men and all had previous experience as lay readers, on the field they took entire charge of the mission districts subject to the visitation of the general missionary Canon McKim. During their time on the field they read specified books on the course, and in the latter part of January, February and March they came to the Catechist School for ten weeks of study. Bishop Lloyd in his address to the Synod in 1927 referred to some of the criticism that he had received with the opening of the Divinity School, and remarked that he had been confronted by the same criticism twenty years ago, except that it was then urged in more influential quarters that this plan would fill the church with uneducated men. Events had proven, as a result of the development of the first Divinity School into Emmanuel College in Saskatoon, that the vigorous action of Dr. Lloyd had been fully justified. He maintained that just as it was in the interests of the Diocese to move the Catechist School from Prince Albert in spite of the vehement opposition of Prince Albert to such a move, so the interests of the Diocese now demanded the re-establishment of the Catechist School in Prince Albert. In spite of opposition, the Bishop stated that Bishop's College would be carried on and continued as long as the need existed, under the authority of the Bishop as being directly responsible for the appointments in all missions, and that it was a vital necessity for the church at this time.

By 1931 the number in attendance had increased to thirty-seven. The former Bishop's residence had become the headquarters of Bishop's College, with eighteen men in residence, and one wing of St. George's College (formerly St. Alban's College) was used as an annex with eighteen in residence. By this time there had been some changes in staff and Archdeacon Walter Burd had become Dean of residence and lecturer, while Archdeacon Paul and Canon Holmes were also lecturing in some of the courses in the curriculum.

As Bishop Lloyd had anticipated, the spiritual leadership and quality of the ministry which the Diocese received from the men who trained in Bishops College justified the experiment which he made. Many of the parishes of the Diocese today thank God for the ministry of men who came from Bishops College and by great self-sacrifice and personal devotion led the way through the difficult years of the depression. Some of these men gave their whole ministry to the Diocese, while others went on to enrich the church life in other parts of Canada. Today the names of men like Canon Horace Ashmore, Rev. Douglas Andrews, Canon Stanley Jarvis, Rev. Thomas Mitchell, and Rev. Victor Ward are still remembered with gratitude and affection in the various parts of the Diocese in which they served. The contribution that they made is a valuable part of the foundation of the Diocese of Saskatchewan today.

Another contentious issue which was happily resolved during the tenure of Bishop Lloyd was the transfer of those parts of the Diocese which lay outside the civil boundaries of the Province of Saskatchewan. This had the effect of relieving the Diocese of Saskatchewan of the responsibility for [113/114] providing both men and financial resources for large areas which like Saskatchewan were becoming more and more populated.

At the Synod of 1926, considerable attention was given to the matter of Diocesan boundaries, and it was agreed to offer the Diocese of Edmonton all the territory West of the provincial boundary line at Lloydminster. The Diocese of Edmonton had presented a memorial to the Provincial Synod six years prior to that, requesting that some action be taken along that line. On May 1st, 192 7, at a meeting of the Provincial Synod, the Diocese of Edmonton officially requested the transfer to be made. The approval was given by the Provincial Synod and the final decision left in the hands of the Bishop of Saskatchewan. The terms of transfer were submitted to the Edmonton Diocese by Bishop Lloyd, and upon their acceptance the transfer of the Alberta area was officially concluded.

The Eastern area of the Diocese in the Province of Manitoba was a little more difficult of settlement and was not quite so promptly taken care of as a result of some difference of opinion between the Diocese of Rupert's Land and the Diocese of Brandon. An offer had previously been made to the Diocese of Keewatin which touched the Saskatchewan Diocese on the Eastern border, but that Diocese had more territory than they were able to cope with themselves.

Then followed the mining developments at Flin Flon, Sherrit Gordon and other places in the Manitoba area of Saskatchewan Diocese, which attracted not only greater interest in the area, but also resulted in an increase in population. The Diocesan Synod of 1929 concurred with the Bishop's recommendation that the territory in the Province of Manitoba should be transferred to one of the Dioceses in that Province. Subsequently the Provincial Synod met and the Diocese of Rupert's Land requested the transfer of the whole territory to their Diocese. However, as a result of a proposed amendment to the Constitution of the Provincial Synod, which could have delayed any decision for some time, and the feeling of Bishop Lloyd and the delegates from Saskatchewan that the report of the committee on boundaries was taking an unfair advantage of the situation, the matter was withdrawn from the Provincial Synod. Following this the executive committee arranged for negotiations with the Bishop of Brandon whereby that Bishop and Diocese would take over and administer the said territory for a period of six months, with such renewals as might be necessary until approval of the Provincial Synod could be obtained at its next meeting.

Bishop Thomas of Brandon approved the idea and undertook to accept the offer of the Diocese, and the resultant administration of the Manitoba area under the Superintendent of Northern Missions for Brandon, the Rev. W. Brailsford, was very successfully carried out. When the Provincial Synod again met in Winnipeg in September 1933, a report was presented by the committee on boundaries. The report included various matters such as the division of the Diocese of Saskatchewan, the transfer of the Diocese of Moosonee to the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario, and the transfer of the Diocese of the Yukon to the Ecclesiastical Province of British Columbia. In the same report the transfer of the Saskatchewan Diocesan territory in Manitoba was also included as having worked out satisfactorily and having received the approval of the two Dioceses that were concerned. As a result of the acceptance of the report of the Boundaries Committee, and the concurrence of the House of Bishops with the report, the transfer was put into effect officially. So it was that for the first time in its history the boundaries of the Diocese of Saskatchewan became co-terminous with the boundaries of the civil Province. It also resulted in the disappearance of the original missions at The Pas and the Devon Mission in Manitoba from the territory [114/115] of Saskatchewan, although it had been the source from which the earliest missions in the Diocese had been established.

The loss of the territories on the Eastern arid Western extremities of the Diocese had been anticipated and regarded as beneficial. A third area of discussion had been proceeding with regard to Diocesan boundaries which involved the Diocese of Qu'Appelle ceding to the Diocese of Saskatchewan a strip of land on its Northern boundary. The Diocese of Qu'Appelle was reluctant to entertain this idea; in the opinion of Bishop Lloyd the approach which had been made largely by Canon Smith of Saskatoon had spoiled the plan by asking for too much. Bishop Lloyd suggested that Qu'Appelle be asked to give Saskatchewan four townships wide on its Northern border so that the boundary, instead of being ten miles from Saskatoon, might be somewhere between Townships 30 and 31. The Bishop remarked that a Diocesan boundary within sight of the City of Saskatoon is an ecclesiastical absurdity and, if it cannot be moved, it would indicate Diocesan selfishness on the part of Qu'Appelle, and paralytic incapacity on the part of the Provincial Synod!

The boundary changes were all considered in conjunction with the growing belief that the time was fast approaching when the Diocese should be divided. At the Synod of 1926 Bishop Lloyd said that this was no new subject, since it had been before the Synod for many years. It was his belief that Canon Smith of St. John's Church and a small group of laymen in Saskatoon had been the originators. At the time that Emmanuel College moved from Prince Albert to Saskatoon, Dr. Lloyd had been approached to support the proposition of a central Saskatchewan Diocese, with Saskatoon as the See City. In 1926 he said that the division of the Diocese still, in his belief, came primarily from Saskatoon, but he did not know of anyone in the North who resented it as a suggestion. He recognized that of all the populated Dioceses of the West, Saskatchewan was by far the largest, and within that territory under one Bishop and executive committee there already existed what were to all intents and purposes three distinguishable Dioceses. First of all there was the area which lay along the trans-continental railways running East and West of the City of Saskatoon. Twenty-five years previously Saskatoon had begun to develop as a central place, and along with it the development of a white Diocese of the 20,000 square miles lying East and West of it. This area he regarded as the central area in view of the fact that Qu'Appelle occupied the Southern part of Saskatchewan. The second Diocese he recognized as the Northern area where the Canadian Northern Railway, when completed, constituted almost a straight line from East to West, centering on the See City of Prince Albert and formed a base line for the huge white Diocese. A few of the places in this area were 25 years of age or over, but a large part of the white settlement had taken place since the close of the War. The third Diocese which was apparent was the Indian work which included 5,000 Indians divided into 45 separate Reserves or Stations. But it was his feeling that this Indian work could never be a separate Diocese because it was being more and more interwoven with white work. Reports showed that the Indian work in Saskatchewan was slightly larger than the largest Indian Diocese in Canada--the Diocese of Moosonee--and twice as large as the next largest which was the Diocese of Keewatin.

The Bishop foresaw the possibility of the appointment of an Archdeacon of Indian work in succession to Archdeacon Mackay, with the possibility later of having him appointed as a Suffragan or Assistant Bishop in Prince Albert. He referred to his own appointment in 1906 as Archdeacon of Prince Albert to supervise all the white work in the Diocese. He pointed out that some years later it was felt that two white Archdeaconries could well be [115/116] formed, one for Saskatoon and also the one in Prince Albert. Bishop Lloyd stated that he was prepared to facilitate that action if the Synod was prepared to endorse it, providing that the stipend could be arranged.

A logical development, Bishop Lloyd remarked, having established the two Archdeaconries, would be to divide the work of the Synod Office between the two areas of Prince Albert and Saskatoon, and follow the same plan with the executive committee and other sub-committees of the Synod. Instead of meeting alternately in the two cities, the Northern half of the committee could meet regularly in Prince Albert and deal only with affairs belonging to the Northern Archdeaconry, and the other half could meet regularly in Saskatoon and deal only with affairs belonging to the central belt. Similarly, if that worked out well, the same thing could be done with the Synod which could meet annually in Prince Albert and Saskatoon but in alternate years, and each city would deal only with the affairs of its own area. It was Bishop Lloyd's opinion that after a trial period of three years, or six if necessary, the two Archdeaconries would know with certainty whether they were strong enough to carry on alone in the administration of the work of their own area. The Bishop offered this as an alternative suggestion to requesting the Provincial Synod for permission to divide into two Dioceses. Notice had previously been given that a resolution was to be moved by Rev. Principal W. T. Hallam of Emmanuel College and Mr. W. H. Clare, a delegate from Saskatoon, that recognition be given by the Provincial Synod to the necessity for the division of the Diocese of Saskatchewan into Northern and central Saskatchewan; such division to become effective when further permission had been obtained from the Provincial Synod for the actual division. Authority was also to be asked for the appointment of an Assistant Bishop as soon as suitable financial arrangements could be made.

The memorial to the Provincial Synod was drawn up with extensive and careful details as to the reasons for the application, and the supporting statistics with regard both to the area involved and the population then existing, and also anticipated in the future. Reference was made to the extent of the Indian work, and the two cities which naturally lent themselves as See Cities for such a division as was being contemplated, together with the natural division into which the two areas fell from the point of administration of white work and the existing and proposed railway lines which would facilitate such administration.

The resolution was presented to the Synod and was carried unanimously. A further resolution followed, giving effect to the Bishop's suggestion creating an additional Archdeaconry and dividing the work into the Northern and Southern portions, as the Bishop had suggested. This resolution was voted for by the clergy and laity separately and carried unanimously by both orders. After considerable discussion, the Bishop announced that he would take no action in the matter of appointing the Archdeacon until thorough consideration had been given at the executive meeting to be held in November.

At the meeting of the Provincial Synod of Rupert's Land held in the same year, the concurrence of the House of Bishops and the House of Delegates was given to general approval of the setting apart of "the proposed two new Dioceses to be carved out of the existing Dioceses of Saskatchewan and Qu'Appelle."

At the Diocesan Synod of 1927 Bishop Lloyd interpreted this as freeing the Diocesan Synod to decide on one of three courses--a) to take advantage of the permission given by Provincial Synod, and prepare for an actual division as soon as practicable by passing a resolution approving of the principle of immediate division, and referring to the executive committee the details of arrangements to be presented to the following Synod; b) to continue the [116/117] experimental plan which he had suggested at the previous Synod for a period of three years; and c) in view of the reluctance of Qu'Appelle to grant the area asked for, to drop the idea of the division of the Diocese in the near future.

Bishop Lloyd dealt in detail with his feelings about the need for the additional Archdeacon, and combined this with his recognition of the desirability of some episcopal assistance. He spoke appreciatively of the work of Bishop Lucas who had come to the Diocese for six months while Bishop Lloyd was in England establishing the work of the Saskatchewan Association. So valuable had the work of Bishop Lucas been in the Diocese that the executive had expressed the hope that Bishop Lucas might continue to serve in the Diocese for the present. It might be added that Bishop Lucas was the retired Bishop of Mackenzie River. Bishop Lloyd suggested that with the support of the Synod it might be possible to utilize the services of Bishop Lucas in the Diocese to undertake the work of the Archdeaconry in the central area, and he would also be enabled as a Bishop to provide considerably more assistance than an Archdeacon could, since he would also exercise all episcopal functions as were necessary and desirable.

However, when the Diocese came to debate the matter of both the division of the Diocese and the matter of the additional Archdeaconry, the sentiments of the delegates were unfavorable towards pressing either of these matters at that time. Both subjects were reviewed and recommendations made under the report of the committee on the state of the church which dealt with the Bishop's charge. The unwillingness of Qu'Appelle to surrender any of its area and the loss of some parishes to the Diocese of Edmonton, together with the financial problems of division, seemed to the committee to preclude the possibility and practicability of the formation at present of two Dioceses. The committee, therefore, recommended that in order to obtain the closest unity of all parts of the Diocese, a condition necessary to effective spiritual work, the idea of division be dropped and all members unitedly and heartily work for the highest welfare of the Diocese under the capable leadership of the Bishop.

In considering the matter of the two Archdeaconries for white work, the committee suggested that the experience of the previous year had shown that the working of the Diocese in two separate parts was not conducive to the best interests of the spirit and the whole work of the Diocese. They, therefore, recommended that for the present only one Archdeacon be appointed for white work. The Synod, by resolution, fully endorsed the report of the committee.

Another matter which should be mentioned as arising at the Synod of 1927, was the announcement by the Bishop of the resignation of Dr. Hallam as the Principal of Emmanuel College. He deeply regretted the resignation of Dr. Hallam and spoke highly of the work that he had done, explaining that while there had been differences on policy there had never been any differences on personal matters. Later in his charge he dissociated himself from the growing tendency to consider Emmanuel College as a Western rather than a Diocesan College in the minds of many who had spoken publicly about it. Speaking for himself, he said that Emmanuel College might become a great centre for the whole of the West, and this had been for years in the mind of the present Bishop, not less so today, but not by the method of depriving this Diocese of its rightful heritage and control. The College had been founded by the Diocese for the Diocese, and to get the Diocese to surrender its ownership or control of Emmanuel College was a proposal that must be guarded against.

A resolution was passed during the Synod, thanking Dr. Hallam for [117/118] his valuable services to the Diocese and to the Synod, during the time that he had occupied the position of Principal. Appreciation was expressed for his outstanding ability as a scholar and theologian, and a gentleman, at all times being willing and ready to render assistance whenever required. Dr. Hallam left his position in Saskatchewan to become Rector of the Church of the Ascension in Hamilton in which position he continued until after his election as Bishop of Saskatchewan on July 28th, 1931.

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