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 24. Resignation of Bishop Lloyd--Election of Rev. Dr. W. T. Hallam--A new Episcopal Endowment Fund--Division of the Diocese--Election of Archdeacon Walter Burd as Bishop of Saskatchewan.

It was not until the Synod of 1931 that the subject of the division of the Diocese again came before the Diocesan Synod. However, prior to the Synod of 1929 a resolution had been presented to the executive committee, moved by Canon Armitage of Saskatoon and seconded by Canon Burd of Prince Albert, which read as follows: "In view of the urgent need of closer supervision and encouragement of those in charge of the missions of this Diocese, this executive committee suggests to the Bishop that he appoint an Archdeacon for white work at the earliest possible moment."

By the time that Synod convened at Saskatoon in June of 1929, the Rev. R. H. A. Haslam, Principal of Emmanuel College, had been appointed Archdeacon of Saskatoon, and Canon Walter Burd of St. Alban's Cathedral of Prince Albert had been appointed Archdeacon of Prince Albert. Canon G. H. Holmes of St. George's Church, Saskatoon, had been appointed Canon Residentiary of St. Alban's Cathedral upon the appointment of Canon Burd as Archdeacon.

It was at this time that the executive committee had made changes in the educational facilities in Prince Albert, by moving St. Alban's students to the former Bishopsthorpe in order to accommodate the increased number of boys at St. George's College in the former St. Alban's College building. Bishops College continued to occupy the smaller wing of the former St. Alban's College building, while the work of the St. Alban's College in its new quarters now came under the capable leadership of Mrs. Burd, wife of the newly appointed Archdeacon.

St. Alban's College had formerly been in the hands of a joint stock company, but by this time the debentures had been recovered by the Diocese as a result of financial help from the Anonymous Donor, whose help had been forthcoming to the Diocese for many years. This had enabled the Diocese to begin the work of St. George's College and assume control of the St. Alban's College building as well.

While no action was taken at the Diocesan Synod in 1929 with reference to the division of the Diocese, at the Provincial Synod meeting in Calgary in September of the same year Archbishop Matheson expressed genuine regret that in the interests of the work of the church the division had not been effected, and expressed the earnest hope that it might be consummated before another Triennial Synod had taken place.

The Diocesan executive committee passed a resolution, which was moved and seconded by the the two Archdeacons, recommending that the Diocese be divided as soon as necessary financial arrangements could be made. A further stimulus was provided by the visit throughout the West of the National Commission which had been appointed by General Synod to examine the state of the church throughout Canada. The commission consisted of Canon Gould, Bishop Owen and Chancellor Gisbourne. The Commissioners recognized the necessity for a second Bishop in the Saskatchewan area, and recommended the transfer from Qu'Appelle of the territory which had previously been requested.

As a consequence, Bishop Lloyd recommended to Synod in 1931 that the Diocese proceed as soon as possible to the election of the first Bishop, that is one who would become Bishop of Saskatchewan immediately, with [119/120] the distinct understanding that as soon as the second Bishop for the Northern area can be provided for, the other Bishop would resign the Northern area and take up the Saskatoon area only. Bishop Lloyd announced that he had already sent in his resignation to the Archbishop, asking that this be made effective in the shortest possible time. It was his opinion that if the machinery for an election could be dealt with expeditiously the election could be made by the end of July in Saskatoon, and the consecration of the new Bishop by some time in October.

It was his suggestion that since the new Bishop would be Bishop of Saskatoon only, after the division took place, it was hardly fair for the delegates of the Northern area to elect one who would be Bishop of the whole area for a short time only. He therefore suggested that a token delegation only attend the election and that the new Bishop would in effect be elected by those whom he would represent after the division of the Diocese took place.

The Synod proceeded to endorse in full the resolutions presented to it by the executive committee on the subject of division of the Diocese. This involved the recommendation for division, and established suggested boundary lines for the two Dioceses that were contemplated. It also included the recommendation that the episcopal endowment should be retained by the South, and that permission should be granted by Provincial Synod for the election of a Coadjutor Bishop for the Northern Diocese until such time as a new episcopal endowment had been raised.

In view of the impending resignation of Bishop Lloyd, a resolution was passed at the end of Synod expressing the deep appreciation of all the members of the church as well as the Synod for his unceasing labour in the building up of the church in Canada. The resolution stated that he had been a tower of strength in the cause of Christianity and Righteousness, and also of British citizenship and ideals. It could well be said of him "His strength is as the strength often, because his heart is pure". His name would never be forgotten in Saskatchewan and would be engraved in the hearts of the people of his Diocese.

After the business sessions concluded, Bishop and Mrs. Lloyd were made the recipients of a presentation which included a purse of money and an oil painting by Gordon Griffiths of Patience Lake entitled "Remembrance". The painting was a composite treatment of a scene depicting Bishop Lloyd in characteristic pose, with groups of people typical of the Indian, the early settler, new Canadian and urban life, all pointing to the Light of the World, symbolized by a church in the background of the picture.

The Synod reconvened at St. John's Cathedral, Saskatoon, for the purpose of electing a Bishop to succeed Bishop Lloyd, on July 28th, 1931, the very date on which Bishop Lloyd had recommended that the election should be held. The membership of the Synod was almost entirely confined to the representatives of the central section, the Rev. Henry Wallace of Prince Albert, secretary-treasurer of the Diocese, appearing to have been the only clergyman present from the Northern area.

A total of 35 clergy and 44 lay delegates voted, and the election was concluded on the first ballot with a majority for the Rev. Dr. W. T. Hallam.

A telegram was sent to Dr. Hallam explaining the proposals that had been made for the division and the recommendation that a further election be held for the Northern Diocese following receipt of permission from the next meeting of Provincial Synod for the election of the Bishop, subject to the raising of the endowment.

By resolution of the Synod, it was requested that if possible the Bishop elect be consecrated at St. John's Cathedral, Saskatoon, at the earliest possible date.

[122] At an evening session in the Cathedral, a telegram was read from Dr. Hallam to the effect that he expressed gratitude to the members of the Synod for their expression of confidence in him, and he accepted their invitation to become Bishop of Saskatchewan, promising that he would gladly work with them toward the fulfillment of the conditions which had been outlined in their message to him.

The consecration of Dr. Hallam as Bishop of Saskatchewan took place as St. John's Cathedral, Saskatoon, on October 28th of that year. It is interesting to note that again this is the date that had been suggested by Bishop Lloyd for this purpose at the Synod earlier in the year. By this time, Archbishop I. O. Stringer had assumed the position of Archbishop of Rupert's Land and officiated at the service of consecration. Archbishop Stringer was also present on November 1st when Bishop Hallam was enthroned in St. Alban's Cathedral, Prince Albert, as the fifth Bishop of Saskatchewan. Bishop J. A. Newnham returned to the Diocese to participate in the service of enthronement.

Following Bishop Hallam's promise to respect, maintain and defend to the best of his power the rights, privileges and liberties of the church and the Diocese, he was conducted to his chair during the singing of a Psalm. He was enthroned in what has always been known as the Bishop McLean Chair, a red upholstered chair in the chancel of St. Alban's Cathedral, which is the same chair as that on which Bishop McLean was seated during his consecration at St. Mary's Church, Lambeth, in 1874.

In addition to officiating at the enthronement ceremony, Archbishop Stringer was also the guest preacher at the service. He preached upon the experience of Phillip and John in Samaria, confronted by many difficulties and much opposition as they preached the Gospel. Bishop Stringer pointed out that there were many inducements in a new country for men to substitute a false religion for the true one, even as Simon in the story of the church in Samaria had claimed to be the Messiah and preached false doctrine. The Archbishop particularly warned against the spirit of indifference which he said was the greatest enemy of the church, and this spirit was often induced by following after false gods. "You have done a great work here under your old leaders and you must not rest. Today you start a new chapter and I hope all will unite in carrying on".

At the meetings of the General Synod in Toronto in September of that year, a proposed appeal for raising the episcopal endowment fund for the new Diocese was endorsed, having already been sanctioned by the Provincial Synod. Plans had previously been made for an appeal which would endeavour to raise the necessary funds by soliciting support from friends of the Diocese both in Canada and in Britain.

In October of 1932 the Anonymous Donor, through her solicitor in London, England, notified Synod authorities that she was prepared to provide the sum of $80,000 which would provide the necessary capital for the endowment. The Diocesan committee on the division met accordingly, and undertook the necessary considerations for actual division. At the Executive Council of General Synod held in Toronto later that month, it was possible for the Bishops of the Province of Rupert's Land to meet and endorse the division officially. It was also reported to the National House of Bishops which was meeting in Toronto at the same time, and a suitable resolution of thanks was conveyed from that body.

On November 10th the executive committee of the undivided Diocese met in Saskatoon and thoroughly discussed the matters of division, settling them in a series of effective resolutions which the Chancellor had prepared. Upon the resolution for division of the Diocese being unanimously adopted, [122/123] Mr. C. C. Gamble of Prince Albert, acting on behalf of the Anonymous Donor, presented to the Bishop a certified cheque for the total sum of the endowment fund.

In accordance with the instructions of the Anonymous Donor, it was announced that the endowment fund was to be known as the Bishop Lloyd Memorial Bishopric Endowment Fund. The interest of the Anonymous Donor in the work of the Diocese of Saskatchewan has been mentioned before, as she had given considerable help financially to various other projects in the Diocese including the support of St. Alban's and St. George's Colleges and also Bishops College. Shortly before the War, Bishop Lloyd had been in England speaking on behalf of the church in Western Canada, and in response to his appeal to a group of students at Cambridge University to assist in the work of the church in the Diocese of Saskatchewan, the son of the Anonymous Donor had decided to answer his call. War broke out before he was able to do so and he immediately volunteered for service and was killed in action.

It was his mother's earnest desire to carry out her son's wishes, and instructed her solicitor to assist the work of the church in Western Canada by means of anonymous gifts, after careful investigation as to where such help was most needed. This was the story which lay behind the very generous gift of the endowment fund for the new Diocese of Saskatchewan.

It immediately made possible actual division of the Diocese, and plans were immediately made for the convening of a Synod at Prince Albert for the purpose of electing a Bishop. Two days after the announcement at the executive committee, Bishop Hallam assumed the title of Bishop of Saskatoon.

On December 8th, 1932 under the chairmanship of Bishop Hallam, the Synod of the Diocese of Saskatchewan met in St. Alban's Cathedral with 29 clergy and 41 lay delegates present.

Bishop Hallam in his charge to the Synod reviewed briefly the steps which had taken place and which had enabled the Synod to gather in order to elect a Bishop. He spoke of the work in which he had been engaged in the Diocese since he had undertaken it in October the previous year, and noted that he had held a total of 64 confirmation services in the Diocese, 26 of which had been in the Northern area. The work at Bishops College had absorbed the greater part of three months during the Winter and this, with the preparation for the June ordination and the various committee meetings, had left him very few unoccupied days. He noted that of necessity he had spent more of his time in the Northern Diocese.

Bishop Hallam went on to say that he would continue his connection with the Diocese until the consecration of the new Bishop, and that the business of the Diocese would be conducted by a provisional executive committee to be appointed at the Synod then in Session.

After completing technicalities which involved endorsing the action of the executive committee which had met in Saskatoon, the Synod passed a resolution of appreciation both to the Anonymous Donor and to her solicitor for the donor's generosity and the agent's care and consideration in his dealings with the Diocese.

The voting was undertaken after prayer under the direction of Bishop Hallam, and the first ballot resulted in a majority both in the clerical vote and in the lay vote for the Venerable Walter Burd, Archdeacon of Prince Albert. Bishop Hallam declared him duly elected. After a brief adjournment, the Synod reconvened and Archdeacon Burd in an earnest address accepted the decision of the Synod which had elected him as Bishop of Saskatchewan.

The consecration of Archdeacon Burd as Bishop took place on Sunday, March 12th, 1933. The consecrating Bishop was the Metropolitan Most Rev. [123/124] I. O. Stringer, Archbishop of Rupert's Land, and assisting him were Rt. Rev. G. E. Lloyd, Rt. Rev. W. T. Hallam, Rt. Rev. M. M. Harding, and the Rt. Rev. A. D. Dewdney who preached the consecration sermon; also present were the Rt. Rev. W. H. Thomas, the Rt. Rev. A. E. Burgett and the Very Rev. W. L. Armitage, Dean of St. John's Cathedral in Saskatoon.

The enthronement of Bishop Burd took place in the evening of the same day, when he was conducted to the episcopal chair by Bishop Lloyd and enthroned by Archbishop Stringer.

Bishop Burd announced the appointment of those officers whom he had chosen to assist him in the administration of the Diocese; he confirmed Archdeacon Paul in his position as Archdeacon of Saskatchewan, and the Rev. Edward Ahenakew he appointed as a Canon of the Cathedral and general missionary of the Diocese, thus re-affirming the promise made at the Synod that his work among the Indians should be his first consideration.

Bishop Burd then announced the appointment of Canon G. H. Holmes as Archdeacon of Prince Albert, the position which Bishop Burd had held when elected as Bishop. Canon Strong was appointed as Chancellor of the Cathedral, and the Rev. R. K. Sampson, Rural Dean of Melfort, was appointed an Honorary Canon of the Cathedral.

As indicated by his election as Bishop on the first ballot, Bishop Burd assumed the position as Bishop of the Diocese with the full support of all its members together with their affection. Bishop Burd was ordained Deacon and Priest by Bishop Lloyd in 1922, and after serving four years as Rector of the Parish of Tisdale, during which time he endeared himself to his congregations there, he became Canon Residentiary of St. Alban's until the experimental division of the original Diocese into two Archdeaconries was made in 1929, when he was appointed to the Northern part. His sincerity and devotion, coupled with his experience and administrative capacity, made him an ideal Bishop when the division was completed.

Bishop Burd's announcement of his appointment of Canon Holmes as Archdeacon of Prince Albert was similarly received with great satisfaction by the members of the Diocese. Archdeacon Holmes had received his early education in Liverpool, England, where he attended Liverpool College. With his parents he came to Canada in 1906, arriving in Western Canada about the time that Emmanuel College was transferred from Prince Albert to Saskatoon.

Archdeacon Holmes entered the University of Saskatchewan and was among the first to receive a degree from that institution. He received his L.Th. from Emmanuel in 1913 and his B.A. from the University in the following year when he was ordained Priest at St. Alban's Cathedral. For five years he worked in the Town of Hardisty where he was in charge of St. Mark's Church and also acted as Justice of the Peace and Juvenile Judge for the Province of Alberta. In 1919 he became Rector of St. George's Church, Saskatoon, in which he continued for ten years. Upon the appointment of Canon Burd as Archdeacon of Prince Albert, Canon Holmes had succeeded him as Canon Residentiary at St. Alban's Cathedral, a position which he had filled with characteristic zeal and devotion.

The legal requirements for the substitution of the Diocese of Saskatoon in the Act of Incorporation had been arranged at the executive meeting held in Saskatoon on November 9th, 1932. The change of the name of the Diocese was also involved in the legal detail, and accordingly the necessary legal machinery was put in hand with the provincial legislature and was covered under Bill No. 03 of 1933 and Bill No. 04 of 1933. These Bills were assented to on March 27th, 1933 in the legislature and incorporated the new Synod of the Diocese of Saskatchewan.

[125] The new boundary between the two Dioceses was described as follows: from the Manitoba border between Townships 43 and 44 due West along the Township line to the South Saskatchewan River, thence North along the East bank of the river to a point opposite, the line between Townships 45 and 46, thence West along the Township line to the North and South line between Ranges 7 and 8, West of the Third Meridian, thence North two Townships and West along the Township line between Townships 47 and 48 to the North Saskatchewan River, thence along the East bank of the river to the Alberta border; and whereas that portion of the existing Diocese of Saskatchewan which lies to the South of the said dividing line is to be known as the Diocese of Saskatoon, and that portion of the existing Diocese which lies North of the said dividing line is to be known as the Diocese of Saskatchewan.

By this legislation, the Diocese of Saskatoon became in effect the continuing Diocese, and the Diocese of Saskatchewan was created as a new Diocese under the old name, retaining not only the name but the Seal of the Diocese and obviously the original See City and the original area which surrounded it.

In addition to the legislation in the provincial legislature, a petition was presented to the Federal Parliament asking that the original Act be so amended as to make it applicable to the Diocese of Saskatoon and that it be so named therein.

Project Canterbury