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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 27. Continuing economic problems--Centralisation and power farming in rural areas--Emergence of Indian Lay Readers School--Retirement of Sir Jeffrey Paul--Visit of Archbishop of Canterbury--Resignation of Bishop Martin--Election and Consecration of Bishop Crump

During the years of Bishop Martin's administration, the church attempted seriously to meet the challenge of facing realistically the cost of living and of travelling for the clergy. Some idea of the burden of administration in a period of this kind can be obtained by a comparison of the years, both of expenditure and of income. In 1941 there were thirty-two clergy, twenty-one serving in white work and eleven serving in Indian work. In 1950 the number of ordained clergy was reduced to twenty-seven, eighteen serving in white work and nine in Indian work. But there were four workers engaged in administering parishes, one woman worker, one Church Army Captain and two lay workers preparing for ordination. In 1959 there were thirty ordained clergy, nineteen in white work and eleven in Indian work, two women workers and one Church Army Captain. Expenditure for stipends in the year 1940 totalled just over $18,000.00; in 1951 it had risen to $29,422.00; and in I960 it had climbed to just under $56,000.00. Payments on travelling expenses showed a similar large increase; in 1940 the total costs paid to all for travelling was $1,112.00; in 1951 it amounted to $2,686.00; and in I960 the total amount was $10,078.00. This last figure reflects the share of the travelling costs of the clergy which had been assumed by the M.S.C.C. in an effort to relieve the clergy of the necessity of paying their travel costs from their stipends. The figures for Diocesan administration, strangely enough, reveals a careful control of those amounts which were spent for such a purpose. In 1940 administrative costs amounted to just over $3,300.00; and in 1951 the total amount spent for this purpose was just over $4,000.00; and in I960 the cost was still just under $7,000.00.

A study of Diocesan income reveals that together with the increased amounts received from the M.S.C.C. the parishes within the Diocese were maintaining the same increase in their givings to the mission work of the Diocese and outside areas. In 1940 parishes contributed just under $2,000.00 to missionary apportionment. By 1951 over $5,000.00 was received for this purpose with an additional amount of nearly $ 1,300.00 which was contributed towards the pensions of the clergy. In I960 apportionment figures show a total receipt of over $10,000.00 and $3,200.00 on pensions payments on behalf of the clergy. This reveals the encouraging response of the Indian and white parishes towards the challenge for a more complete recognition of their obligation to the church at large.

A study of the figures of income received from sources outside the Diocese shows increasing dependence upon the M.S.C.C. and agradual decline in revenue from other sources, with the exception of the Dominion W.A. which, as with the M.S.C.C, showed increases from year to year for women workers. In 1940, just under $20,000 was supplied to the Diocese from outside, the M.S.C.C. providing approximately $12,000 of this amount. The S.P.G. was still supporting the Diocese to the extent of $2,000 and the C. and C.C.S. just under $3,000. By 1951 the regular M.S.C.C grant had risen to $25,856.00 with an amount for students and travelling totalling under $2,000. The C. and C.C.S. was still supporting the Sunday School by Post to the extent of $1,807.00 and the Council for Social Service and the Fellowship of the Maple Leaf were providing $600.00 for special work. At this time the Dominion W.A. was contributing just over $1,100.00 for women [141/142] workers. By I960, however, the M.S.C.C. regular grant had risen to almost $38,000 and the travelling had reached a total just under $ 12,000. The Dominion W.A. had risen to an amount of $6,000 for women workers, and the total amount from outside sources now amounted to $68,525.00.

The constant struggle through the years to maintain adequate income from grants that are available and from the resources of the Diocese itself can well be imagined from a study of these comparative figures. Clergy and laity alike are frequently under the impression that a Bishop's responsibility is largely of a spiritual nature. While this is true, the amount of time consumed by him in trying to relate the needs of his Diocese to the existing sources of supply can become overwhelming.

In the latter half of Bishop Martin's Episcopate other problems began to arise which were consequent upon the changing pattern of life in Western Canada. Emphasis was placed in education upon centralized schools where better facilities could be provided for the education of the children. This resulted in the closing down of many country schools in favor of larger schools at a central point. With this disappearance of the school as a focal point for the community the church became the only centre remaining for such a purpose. But the improved road conditions also made it possible for people to travel with greater convenience, and the habit of going to the lake on Sundays had its effect on services. Another factor which also affected the situation not only in the country, but also in the towns, was the growth of television as a medium of entertainment. Popular programs on Sunday evenings had a great deal to do with the gradual disappearance from the scene of services in the churches on Sunday evening. In many congregations the evening service had been preferred at one time, but with the new patterns emerging, more and more clergy found it necessary to hold their services either in the morning or in the afternoon. Many of the farmers began to move to town for the Winter months, with the result that the outside points in the parishes suffered at least from the point of view of attendance. This made it necessary in many cases for the consolidation of services at the central points and the disappearance in many cases of the subsidiary churches.

Another factor which has contributed greatly to this same problem has been the introduction of power farming. Whereas in the early days of settlement in the North, almost every quarter section had a family living on it, as horses were replaced by tractors the amount of land that could successfully be cultivated was greatly increased. As a result, the farms became larger and the number of families dwelling in the neighborhood of a country church became fewer in number. In some cases this has meant the relocation of the church in a more central area, and also in other situations the complete abandonment of churches which have served for many years past.

With this brief review of the changing background of life in the Diocese which was to affect its development in these years and the ones that followed, we turn our attention once again to some of the significant events which are recorded in the annals of the Diocese. By the time that Synod met in 1950 the Indian Residential School at Onion Lake had unfortunately met the same fate as that which the school at Lac la Ronge had suffered. Once again the staff and students were moved to the city of Prince Albert where accommodations were provided for them at the barracks on the West hill, where the Army Training School had been established during the War. The Rev. A. J. W. Scrase was appointed Principal and there was a total of some 360 children accommodated in the two schools. By 1952 the Indian School Administration of the M.S.C.C. had combined them into one. Rev. A. J. Scrase became the Principal and the administration of these schools continued in these buildings, with improvements and new buildings being added from time to time in the ensuing years.

[143] 1952 also marked the removal of Canon W. S. Noble from St. Alban's Cathedral to undertake the work of the parish of Waterdown in the Diocese of Niagara. Canon Noble had gained the respect and esteem not only of the parish and Diocese, but also of the residents of Prince Albert, and his departure was a loss to all. In September 1952 the Rev. R. Leslie Taylor of Christ Church, Winnipeg, arrived to become Canon Residentiary and Rector of the Cathedral.

For a few years work had been developing in the West end of Prince Albert, and Sunday School had been commenced in the building of Queen Mary School. This had largely been initiated by lay people, notably Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Stuart and Mr. Ronald Gent. This was the beginning of the present Holy Trinity Church on 15th Street West where land was acquired after the work had developed to the point where Sunday School and Church services were well supported on a weekly basis.

The year 1953 marked the beginning at Okema Beach of the Indian Lay Readers School. This was undertaken by Archdeacon Paul and Canon E. Ahenakew. During the first year, four lay readers attended and discussions and Bible study were conducted daily, resulting in both enlightenment and inspiration to those in attendance. In 1954 Bishop Martin took up the matter with the Executive Committee of the M.S.C.C. and a grant was promised to assist with the expenses. In addition, the M.S.C.C. undertook to enlist the support of Indian lay readers in other dioceses, and in 1954 the second Indian Lay Readers Conference was attended by additional men from Saskatchewan and also some from the Diocese of Brandon. By 1955 this was extended also to the Diocese of Keewatin. Through the years, the work and influence of this camp has been extended to every Indian Mission in the Diocese, and has not only assisted in providing the lay readers with help in their work, but has also served to inspire younger men to attend and undertake the work as well. Because of the recurring shortage of clergy in the missions, many of the Indian Reserves would have been deprived of regular services at various times had it not been for the loyal and dedicated efforts of the Indian lay readers. They have earned the respect and admiration not only of their own people, but also of successive Bishops and all those who are familiar with their work.

The Synod of 1954 was the last Synod attended by Archdeacon Paul. In his final report to the Synod he commented upon his feeling of inadequacy due to his declining powers as he approached the age of 70, and remarked upon the increase in violent deaths, drunkenness, and dishonesty on the Reserves which he stated had never been apparent before. With his characteristic humility he asked for renewed efforts to combat these evils. He concluded that part of his report by saying "The gospel of Christ is still the power of God unto salvation, the Lord's hand is not shortened that it cannot save, neither His ear heavy that it cannot hear, then why our failure to hold our people in the path of Christian living? I suppose Isaiah's answer applies today; 'your iniquities have separated between you and your God and your sins have hid his face from you that he will not hear.' It is not God who has failed; it is we who have failed. Lack of workers may be part of the cause, and partly it may be through our lack of faith, or failure in prayer, or lack of courage and faithfulness in denouncing sin, or perhaps just through laziness. May God forgive my failures."

In the following year Archdeacon Paul retired from his position and returned to Ireland to his ancestral home.

The year 1954 also marked another notable achievement on the part of the Diocese, when for the first time the Constitution and Canons were printed. For several previous Synods an effort had been made to update [143/144] the Canons and bring them into line with the needs of the church in modern times. Prior to the printing, the clergy and churches had been dependent upon mimeographed copies of the Constitution and Canons which, with revisions from time to time, often became difficult to read.

On 20th September 1954 the Diocese was greatly honoured by a visit of the Most Reverend Geoffrey Fisher, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury. Archbishop Fisher was a guest of Bishop and Mrs. Martin and was most warmly received not only by members of the church but by the whole community and those from outside the city as well.

In the evening, a service was held in the Armouries at Prince Albert which was attended by representatives of all the churches. The Archbishop preached an inspiring sermon and the service proved to be one of the outstanding religious events in the history of the city. The following morning, before his departure from Prince Albert, Archbishop Fisher celebrated the Holy Communion in St. Alban's Cathedral at a service which was largely attended. This was followed by a coffee hour when all those present had an opportunity of meeting the Archbishop and also Mrs. Fisher.

His winsome good humour and democratic manner were shown at the railway station just prior to his departure, when he left the official party to approach a group of railway workers waiting for the incoming train on which he was to leave. He spoke to them and provoked their laughter by the interchange which followed, before he left to board the train.

At the end of 1955 Bishop Martin appointed the Rev. Alfred Woolcock, Rector of Port Dalhousie in the Diocese of Niagara, as Canon Commissary for Indian work to replace Archdeacon Paul whose resignation had taken effect. Canon Woolcock had been a Chaplain in the British Army during the Second World War, and had a wide experience in the ministry both in England and Canada. Canon Woolcock entered into his new work with zeal and enthusiasm and was warmly received by the Indians on the Reserves as well as by the other churches and congregations of the Diocese.

As a part of the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Province of Saskatchewan in 1955, two bronze memorial plaques were donated by the Provincial authorities. One was in tribute to the position which Holy Trinity Church, Stanley, occupies in the history of the Province, being recognized as the oldest building of any kind in the Province. This plaque was dedicated by the Bishop at the Church in the presence of a large congregation. The other plaque was installed on a cairn at the North-West corner of St. Mary's Cemetery, commemorating the founding of Emmanuel College in 1879 and its incorporation in 1883 as the University of Saskatchewan.

The Diocesan Synod met again in June 1956, and further attention was given to the stabilizing of the spiritual work of the Diocese as well as the necessary material support within the parishes. Following a pattern which was being adopted throughout Canada, the Synod was presented with an outline of the Every Member Visitation and Canvass which was being implemented, in order to encourage greater spiritual dedication, and also increased financial support of the work of the church, both in the local parish and Diocese, and also in the missionary areas throughout the world.

As a result of a careful study of the Every Member Visitation, the Synod adopted it as a Diocesan project and all parishes were recommended to assess their resources by this means.

The work of the laymen was also a matter which was seriously considered, and resulted in the recommendation from the Laymens Council that the Church Wardens of each parish should form a committee to educate its members on the needs of the parish, the method of financing of the church, and to explore the possibility of self-support. A further recommendation was [144/145] made that steps be taken to form the Brotherhood of Anglican Churchmen in parishes where this was possible, so that the members could be affiliated with other branches throughout Canada.

Attention was drawn to the fact that five young men of the Diocese were studying for Holy Orders at Emmanuel College, Saskatoon, and one young man at the Church Army Training Centre, Toronto. The young men at Emmanuel College at that time were Mr. Henry Roderick, Mr. Kenneth Genge, Mr. Robert McRae, Mr. Gerald Janzen, and Mr. Harry Johnson. Mr. Johnson had to give up his studies because of ill health; the other men have all made a notable contribution to the ministry of the church since that time, both in the Diocese of Saskatchewan and elsewhere in the church in Canada and the United States. The young man referred to as training with the Church Army became Captain Wilson DeWalt, who gave considerable service to the Diocese as a Church Army Officer before returning to secular work.

At the conclusion of the Synod, Bishop Martin announced the appointment of Canon W. F. Payton as Archdeacon of Prince Albert, and Canon A. Woolcock as Archdeacon of Saskatchewan.

Later that Summer Bishop and Mrs. Martin went to Britain to attend the Consultative Committee of the Lambeth Conference, and to Europe to attend the Executive Council of the World Council of Churches. Both Bishop Martin and his wife were closely associated with the movements that were generated at this time by both of these gatherings, the Bishop through his work in General and Provincial Synods, as well as on the Diocesan level, and Mrs. Martin through her activity as the Vice-President for Central Canada of the W.A.

Upon his return from Overseas, the Bishop threw himself once again wholeheartedly into the work of the Diocese, visiting the many Indian and white missions throughout the Winter months. Although a man of great vigour, the many years of unremitting toil had left their mark upon him, and in February of 1957 at the conclusion of the Board Meetings in Toronto Bishop Martin was stricken with a heart condition which required hospitalization for several weeks in Winnipeg before his return to the Diocese. His strong constitution enabled him to recuperate by a gradual return to the duties of his office, and although compelled to restrict his activities during the visitation of the parishes, Bishop Martin was able to resume his work with a minimum of modification.

Early in 1958 the Diocese mourned the passing of Lt. Col. W. G. Elder, Chancellor of the Diocese since 1948. Colonel Elder had enlisted in the First World War while a law student at the University of Saskatchewan, and served with distinction in France where he was wounded and received the Military Medal. After being called to the Bar in 1919, he practised law at Cudworth until 1928 when he came to the City of Prince Albert. Here he was a partner of the Rt. Hon. John G. Diefenbaker. In the Second World War he himself raised and trained No. 22 Canadian Provost Company and, going Overseas, served in England and in the Central Mediterranean Theatre. Bishop Martin said of him "Chancellor Elder was a man of unostentatious mien, and also had a genuine sense of service, a devoted churchman and a true friend." Bishop Martin appointed Judge J. M. Hanbidge as the successor to Colonel Elder, and he was not only well qualified for the position but had for some time served on Diocesan committees as well as being a faithful worker in the congregation of St. Alban's Cathedral.

1958 was also marked by the building of the Cathedral Parish Hall. This was brought to pass as a result of the successful culmination of the Every Member Canvass within the parish. This created new facilities which [145/146] added considerably to the opportunity for the work of the church school, and for many church organizations, and also has assisted in the community work within the City of Prince Albert. At the same time, Holy Trinity Church was erected in the West end of Prince Albert, and began its more formal contribution to the church life of the city after its introductory period while utilizing the facilities of Queen Mary School. This also was when work commenced on the East Hill, and the beginning of the congregation of St. David's Church, which has since that time become a very vital part of the church life of the See City.

Reference was made by Bishop Martin in his charge to the Synod of 1959 to the same expansion and consolidation of the work throughout the Diocese. In speaking of the white work, he said "Consolidation and expansion are the very evident activities that describe many of our parishes and missions. New churches have been erected; existing churches have been renovated and repaired. Also, parish halls have been provided or built. Not least of all, rectories and parsonages have been built or purchased, and in some instances modernized and decorated." At the beginning of Bishop Martin's Episcopate, All Saints Church Rectory at Melfort had been the only rectory which had the convenience of running water, with the exception of Prince Albert. By the end of his Episcopate, many congregations had been enabled by Diocesan grants and by their own efforts to provide water facilities in the rectories and parsonages.

Similarly Bishop Martin remarked in his charge upon the consistent work and growth in the Indian missions. "This year I have confirmed more young people than in any other year of my Episcopate. Attendance at church services is consistent; and on some Reserves it is necessary either to enlarge the present church or erect a new one. More and more also the financial obligations are being recognized and accepted, and I hope the day is not far distant when we shall have at least one self-supporting Indian congregation. The pressing need in our Indian work is for men. Thank God for the men who, in the spirit of wholehearted dedication and unselfish service, are now ministering on our Reserves, but it is imperative that more men volunteer for this important work."

The Bishop's plea for more men to serve within the Diocese was echoed in the reports of both Archdeacons at the Synod, and reference was also made to the important part that was being played by the laymen of the Diocese. The Indian Lay Readers Camp at Prince Albert and the Lay Readers School at Brandon were both filling a need among the Indian lay readers of the Diocese, and enabling many parishes on the Indian Reserves to receive services which otherwise would not have been possible. In the white work, during the preceding year, instructions had been given to a group of lay readers in the City of Prince Albert and its environs, and ten men had been presented by Archdeacon Payton for Lay Readers Certificates either for Diocesan or Parish work. Again Mr. Fred Burkitt, who had for so many years been the strength of the work of the laymen, together with Mr. Guy Adamson, presented a stimulating report on the value of the Laymens Council and the Brotherhood of Anglican Churchmen. The Brotherhood had been organized in several parishes, and a number of meetings had been held in Prince Albert and other centres to strengthen the work not only of the lay readers, but also of the laymen within the parishes.

After serving as Bishop of Saskatchewan for 20 years, Bishop Martin tendered his resignation in 1959 to take effect in October. Bishop Martin appointed Archdeacon W. F. Payton as Administrator and Commissary until such time as a new Bishop was elected and consecrated.

The procedure to be followed for the election of a successor to Bishop [146/147] Martin was considered by the Executive Committee, in consultation with Archbishop W. F. Barfoot, Metropolitan of the Province of Rupert's Land. While the number of self-supporting parishes had been increased to the necessary number to qualify the Diocese for electing its own Bishop, it was discovered that since some of the self-supporting parishes had been in receipt of assistance in the payment not only of transportation expenses for the clergy, but also for the pension assessments for the clergy, it was not possible for the Diocese to proceed with the election of its own Bishop. Consequently, the Archbishop was requested to proceed with the election of the Bishop of Saskatchewan by the Electoral College of the Provincial Synod, which was scheduled to meet in Winnipeg in January 1960. The Synod was convened in the Royal Alexandra Hotel, Winnipeg, on January 20th, and the following day Canon William Henry Howes Crump was elected Bishop of Saskatchewan.

Canon Crump was born at London, Ontario, and graduated with a B.A. from the University of Western Ontario in 1924, and from Huron College with anL.Th. in 1926. In 1927 he received the Degree of B.D. from the University of Trinity College, Toronto. Ordained both Deacon and Priest in the Cathedral at Brandon by Bishop W. H. Thomas, Canon Crump had begun his ministry at Wawanesa, Manitoba in 1926. He continued to serve in the Diocese of Brandon until 1934 when he became Rector of St. Aidan's Church in Winnipeg. In 1944 he became Rector of Christ Church, Calgary, where he served until his election as Bishop of Saskatchewan. The new Bishop had been appointed a Canon in the Diocese of Calgary in 1949 and was Examining Chaplain to the Bishop of Calgary from 1952 to 1960. During these years Canon Crump had served in both Provincial and General Synods and had made an important contribution in many areas of the councils of the Church in these posts. In addition to this, he was greatly loved and respected by the congregation of Christ Church in Calgary, and had contributed to the civic life of Calgary in various capacities during his residence there.

The service of consecration took place in St. Alban's Cathedral on the Feast of St. Matthias, February 24th, I960. The consecrating Bishop was the Most Reverend Walter F. Barfoot, Archbishop of Rupert's Land, assisted by the Most Reverend H. H. Clark, Archbishop of Edmonton and Primate of all Canada, together with the Bishops of Brandon, Athabasca, Calgary, Keewatin, and Saskatoon. In the presence of the clergy and laity of all parishes within the Diocese, Bishop Crump was enthroned as the eighth Bishop of the Diocese of Saskatchewan on the same day as his consecration.

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