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 28. New Committees and programmes for expansion--Research programme--Building Loan Fund--New parishes in the See city--The first Dean appointed--St. Luke's House--Spiritual Renewal

The arrival of Bishop Crump in the Diocese heralded the commencement of a strong and vigourous program of re-appraisal of spiritual values and human and material resources within the Diocese. For several months he busied himself visiting all the parishes and missions and Indian Reserves in all areas of the Diocese, acquainting himself not only with the personnel of the clergy and lay workers, but with the members of the many congregations. From the breadth of his experience and the depth of his understanding of people, he was able to develop new insights into meeting the needs and problems which were apparent in the various areas of the work of the Diocese.

He summed up his conclusions in his charge to Synod just a year after his consecration, in March 1961. He paid tribute to the intense love for and loyalty to the church throughout the Diocese, commenting on the great value which was placed on sacraments and services. He emphasized that top priority must be given to the deepening of the spiritual life of the people of the church, but called on the members of the Synod to recognize that material support of the church must keep pace with the growing intensity and perception of the life of faith among the congregations.

He challenged both the clergy and the laity to provide opportunities of service to the men, women, and young people of the parishes. He expressed the hope that in the coming years all the congregations might become well instructed in the faith, with a knowledge of the church, and a loyalty to the church, that would enable every person, especially the youth, to carry with them a faith by which they could live, and a vocation to be an Anglican Christian in their community. Bishop Crump urged the congregations of the Diocese to follow the example of the Executive Committee in becoming less dependent on outside assistance for financial support. For the first time, a Budget Committee had been appointed by the Diocese to determine a more realistic accounting procedure to satisfy the needs of the Diocese from local sources rather than from outside help. He commented that in studying the statistical reports of the parishes it appeared that only 5% of parish income had been devoted to Diocesan and missionary purposes, the balance of parish income had been spent entirely upon parish needs. To this end, the Bishop suggested the setting up of a parish council where each congregation, while preserving its independence, would have a share in the overall responsibility and progress the parish faces not only in its internal problems, but also the problem of the church at large.

In order to achieve this the Bishop asked that the annual meetings in the parishes should be presented with a full financial picture showing the total financial cost of operating the parish. It was his opinion that in previous years they had seen only the annual statement and what they themselves had raised and paid out. It was his hope that they would also be presented with the amounts received from M.S.C.C. and other sources of income which enabled the parish to be maintained.

The establishment of a Diocesan Committee on stewardship and information was contemplated in order to educate, inspire and assist all parishes in becoming stronger in this area, realistic goals could not be achieved by emotional appeals, but by the well tried methods of a carefully prepared for and well executed Every Member Canvass and Visitation. The Bishop [148/149] remarked that the Diocese was fortunate in having a very loyal and active group of clergy and stipendiary laymen, who were supported by the finest groups of lay people that he had ever met. Given leadership and information, he was certain that they would respond by utilizing the three things needed to move forward--time, talent and treasure. These three, when put to work for Christ and His Church, would provide the tools by which a miracle would happen.

The total mission of the church, said the Bishop, requires nothing less than the total commitment of the parish coordinating the efforts of the priest, the wardens, the vestry, the W.A., the Sunday School; the young people, the choir, and the men and women in the pew.

An announcement was made regarding a research program to be undertaken in the Diocese from July 2 7th until August 20th. It was under the auspices of the Rev. Dr. Joseph Moore of the Episcopal Church, the Director of Research for the American Episcopal Church, with headquarters at Evanston, Illinois. Under his leadership, surveys of Dioceses had been undertaken in the American Church for some years, and it was announced that he and his team would do a detailed study of the Diocese, parish by parish. The expense of this research project had been undertaken by the Canadian Church as a pilot project, and the Bishop requested the support and cooperation of all members of Synod and, indeed, of all the people of the Diocese that it might be a complete success, and that the fullest benefit might be derived from it. A detailed program was later drawn up and involved the work of three teams which undertook the visitation of all Indian and white congregations within the Diocese. A two-day training conference was held in Prince Albert on July 27th and 28th, after which the teams left for the many appointments in the Diocese that they had. One team was under the direction of Archdeacon Payton and the Rev. John D. McCarty, of the Episcopal Church, visiting both Indian and white parishes in all three Deaneries of the Diocese, and being assisted by Canon Adam Cuthand on the Reserves. The second team was under the leadership of the Rev. D. A. Gregory and the Rev. J. T. Hooton of the Episcopal Church. This team visited a large proportion of the Melfort Deanery together with some of the parishes in the Deanery of Prince Albert. At Red Earth and Shoal Lake they were assisted by the Rev. Smith Atimoyoo. The third team was under the leadership of the Rev. J. Ivey and Mr. Reed Stewart of the Episcopal Church. The area covered by this team included most of the Northern missions and the Western end of the Turtleford Deanery. The Rev. Andrew Ahenakew accompanied the team in the Northern missions and also at Thunderchild's Reserve, Frog Lake, and Onion Lake.

The value of this program was amply demonstrated by the results which followed. Every parish was assessed both as to the present situation and the future potential life of the parish. Attention was given to studying the requirements of the church in each area as to the needs that existed and the way in which these needs were being met. The people in the parishes were given the opportunity of outlining the historical development of the work of the church in that area, and this, together with the other assessments and reports from the team and from the people themselves, was combined into a book which was given to each parish for study and also a copy retained in the Synod office for future use. These studies today have great value and in many cases reveal the accuracy of the forecast of conditions which was arrived at by the members of the team together with the members of the different congregations.

The Bishop also announced at his first Synod the creation of a new Building Loan Fund which had been developed by the Executive Committee [149/150] in cooperation with one of the Chartered Banks in Prince Albert. To meet the urgent need for funds for building purposes, the bank had extended a line of credit to the Diocese amounting to $200,000. The fund was to be administered by the Finance Committee of the Diocese, which included all applications and repayments. The Diocese, through the secretary-treasurer, would handle all the negotiations with the Bank for each account, and all responsible parishes were encouraged to take advantage of the fund in order to bring the churches, parish halls, and rectories into a state of repair, or to provide new facilities where these were urgently needed. Through the years this revolving Loan Fund has been of tremendous value both to the parishes and the Diocese, and has made possible the provision of adequate facilities wherever the need has been justified by the necessary financial support.

Particularly was the fund of value in assisting the Diocese to provide new churches on Indian Reserves where the buildings were either inadequate or in a serious state of disrepair. After much consultation and study with those in the building trades, Bishop Crump was convinced that the rigid frame type of building could be successfully adapted either for a church or for a parish hall. Its greatly simplified roof construction and the utilization of insulation and siding material in standard size made the erection of such buildings much more economical than the conventional type of church. In the earlier years of the history of the Diocese, the familiar little white church with a tower on the front was known as the Bishop Lloyd Church. In more recent years the rigid frame type of church has become more and more common, and has been associated with this new development during the episcopate of Bishop Crump.

The Bishop referred to the resignation of Archdeacon Woolcock, late in I960, and explained that he had studied the situation very carefully before filling the vacancy. He expressed the conviction that after his first year in the Diocese he had come to the conclusion that there was only one work and that it was wrong to divide it, as had been done for so long. So far as he was concerned, he wished Synod to discuss this in order that he might be guided by the decision of the Synod delegates. In the meantime, much of the work of the Archdeacon of Indian work had been delegated to the Archdeacon of Prince Albert, and Bishop Crump stated that in order to remedy the situation to some extent it was his intention to appoint a Canon Missioner in the near future. He would work along side the Bishop and the Archdeacon, and be responsible for supervising the work of Summer students and give directions to the Deacons and administer the sacraments as the need arose in vacant parishes and missions.

Later that year, the Bishop appointed the Rev. Douglas A. Gregory, Rector of the Parish of Tisdale, to this position. Canon Gregory entered this work with an enviable record in parish administration as well as in the spiritual ministration of the parishes in which he had served. During the time that he served so acceptably as Canon Missioner of the Diocese, his contribution to the developing programs instituted by the Bishop was of great value. After the acquisition of St. Luke's House at Meadow Lake, he became the leader of the retreat programs and the therapy groups that were held there with such success.

The year 1961 was also noteworthy in that on March 1st the Bishop announced the separation of the congregation on the East Hill, known to us now as St. David's Church, and Holy Trinity congregation, from the Cathedral Parish. The preliminary work for this move had been undertaken by Canon Taylor of St. Alban's Cathedral, and this made possible the appointment of the Rev. T. A. Rayment as the Rector of the two new congregations [150/151] under his direction. The growing population of Prince Albert had made it necessary to make provision for the needs of people living at a distance from the Cathedral, and the wisdom of this course has been amply demonstrated in the years that have followed.

Bishop Crump's first Synod in 1961 provided a spring board for greatly increased activity throughout the Diocese, both in the material and spiritual spheres. Before Synod met again in 1963, the seven Indian Reserves which had been noted as being in need of new churches had all been supplied with a new building for this purpose, and all were built upon the standard pattern of a rigid frame construction. New churches were built at Big White Fish Reserve, Deschambeault, a chapel at the Stanley Mission in the area where settlement exists on rhe side of the river opposite Holy Trinity Church, Molanosa, North of Montreal Lake, Cumberland House, Pelican Narrows, and Pemmican Portage. In addition, new churches were built at Prince Albert for the congregation of St. David's Church, as also a rectory, and new churches provided at Macdowall and Star City. New parsonages were also built at the same time at Paddockwood, Meadow Lake, and Loon Lake. A parish hall was built for the congregation of St. George's Church, Prince Albert, which has subsequently replaced the original church which was of inadequate size and inconvenient. As a result of the movement of population, other churches were removed from one site to serve at a site more favorable to their regular use. Two Indian congregations profited by this exchange, one being Pelican Lake North of Spiritwood where the church from Bapaume was utilized for the congregation there. Also in the Spiritwood area the church at Norbury was moved to Witchekan, and again this provided facilities which had not been available before. The congregation at Arborfield made use of the church which had formerly been at White Poplar, and the church at Makwa was moved from its previous site into the town of Makwa as providing greater accessibility.

A total sum of $51,000 had been contributed by the M.S.C.C. and from private sources to enable the erection of the churches on the Indian Reserves. In addition, the new church extension Loan Fund had provided the supplementary support for the erection not only of the Indian churches but also of the white churches built at this time and in the years that followed. As a result of the stewardship program and the work of the research study in the Diocese, a re-alignment of parishes and missions was taking place in various parts of the Diocese. For the first time in the Turtleford Deanery, a self-supporting parish came into being at Turtleford which was combined with the congregations of Spruce Lake and Livelong. Growth also became apparent in many of the missions which had formerly been limited to the services of a Summer student, supplemented by visits of the Archdeacon during the Winter months. Among these was the Sturgeon Valley Congregation where the new St. Luke's Church provided excellent accommodation for a large congregation. Cookson also utilized an old school building which became available, and this was transformed into St. Nicholas Church to serve the needs of that community. Elsewhere, at Big River and Canwood, Christopher Lake and St. Louis Mission, new efforts were made to give more regular services as a result of the response and strong support which had been forthcoming from their congregations.

On September 1st, 1962 the administrative staff of the Diocese was strengthened by the appointment of Mr. A. Christian Smith as assistant treasurer. Mr. Smith came to the Diocese upon retirement from business in Calgary, and his extensive experience proved of great help and benefit in the administrative duties of the Diocese. On January 1st, 1963 he assumed the full duty as treasurer and was subsequently ordained as Deacon and Priest. [151/152] An energetic and enthusiastic churchman, Mr. Smith has provided valuable spiritual leadership in the Parish of Sturgeon Valley, Briarlea, at St. James Church, John Smith Reserve, and as the Chaplain of the Indian Residential School. At the present time, he is serving the Parish of Macdowall and the efforts of Mr. Smith have been of great value and inspiration since his arrival in the Diocese.

The death of Judge J. M. Hanbidge late in 1962 necessitated the appointment of a new Chancellor in the person of Mr. J. H. Clyne Harradence. Judge Hanbidge had a distinguished career on the Bench and rendered outstanding service to the church, not only in Saskatchewan but also in the Southern part of the province in earlier years. Appointment of Mr. Harradence as his successor on January 1st, 1963 brought to the position of Chancellor a young man possessing a wealth of legal knowledge and a great love for his church. A son-in-law of Bishop H. D. Martin, and active in the Cathedral congregation since his youth, his interest had broadened to include the work of the Diocese in his adult years, and he continues to serve as Chancellor at the present time in a manner befitting the high dignity of his position.

Following the death of Judge Hanbidge, the Diocese lost by death four stalwart Priests, all of whom had served with great devotion in the Indian work of the Diocese. These were Archdeacon Sir Jeffrey Paul, Canon Edward Ahenakew, Canon Gilbert J. Wake, and Canon Albert Fraser. Previous references have given some recognition to the contribution made by these men, with the exception of Canon G. J. Waite, to whom only a casual reference so far has been made. Born in England, Canon Waite had spent his whole ministry in the Diocese of Saskatchewan. Graduating in Arts from the University of Saskatchewan and in Theology from Emmanuel College, he had laboured long and well in isolated missions of the Diocese until his retirement. In the later years of his ministry he had served with distinction at John Smith Reserve, and Montreal Lake. He taught school in addition to undertaking the duties as a Priest, and was beloved by the children as well as by the adult members of his congregation. Upon retirement, he lived in Prince Albert for some time and undertook the duties as Chaplain at the Indian Residential School, until ill health compelled his complete retirement.

It was at the Synod of 1963 that St. Alban's Cathedral was represented for the first time by a Dean. The Bishop had previously appointed Canon R. Leslie Taylor as Dean of the Diocese of Saskatchewan. Until this time, it had been the custom of the Bishop to act as Dean of the Cathedral, and the Rector of the Cathedral had been designated as Canon Residentiary. Dean Taylor had shown great resourcefulness not only in the erection of the new Cathedral Hall, but also in the organization of the work which enabled the new parishes of Holy Trinity and St. David's Church to be set up.

At this time considerable preparation was under way for the Anglican Congress which was scheduled to meet in August 1963. Each Diocese was permitted a clerical and lay delegate in addition to the membership of the Bishop. A special sub-committee of the Executive Committee had nominated these delegates to the Bishop in the persons of Archdeacon W. F. Payton, and Chief Allan Ahenakew. The Bishop confirmed the appointment of the delegates and together with the Bishop they represented the Diocese at this, the first Anglican Congress to be held within the borders of Canada.

A new development in Diocesan financing was undertaken in 1963, when the Bishop appointed Canon R. G. Douglas of Melfort, Mrs. F. H. Burkitt, and Mr. A. C. Smith as a commission on apportionment. The purpose of this commission was to visit the Deaneries and parishes within the Diocese, and consult with them on the assessment for Diocesan apportionment. Prior to this time the assessments had been levied by the Synod Office, and in [152/153] order to share with the parishes the total responsibility for missionary work within the Diocese and elsewhere, the commission was responsible for explaining the needs, and receiving from each parish the acceptance of a realistic figure which could reasonably be expected from the congregations involved. This principle of consultation on financial responsibility proved from the beginning to be a forward step in the mutual sharing of the missionary responsibility of the whole Diocese. The results were shown by the receipts on apportionment after this principle had been established, and provided greater communication and understanding both for the needs within the Diocese and for the missionary work of the church.

The emphasis at the meetings of the Anglican Congress on World Mission, and the publication of the theme booklet entitled 'Mutual Responsibility and Interdependence in the Body of Christ' gave new impetus to the members of the church, not only in Saskatchewan but throughout the world, on sharing both the spiritual and material resources enjoyed by its members. In addition to this, the Diocese was fortunate in having the wide knowledge possessed by the Bishop who was chairman of the General Synod Budget Committee, which was responsible for the Canadian missionary contributions. Bishop Crump also had assumed the responsibility for undertaking the financial campaign for Emmanuel College, a project very close to the minds and hearts of the people of Saskatchewan. The erection of a new residential wing, and the new Chapel, were made possible not only by the vision of the Bishop but also by a great deal of hard work on his part and of the committee associated with him.

Towards the end of 1963, as a result of the resignation of Dean R. L. Taylor, the Diocese welcomed as its new Dean the Rev. Canon Hedley Vicars Roycraft Short. Canon Short had come to the Diocese from his position as Rector of St. Barnabas Church, St. Catherine's in the Diocese of Niagara. Blessed in his marriage with four daughters, and one son, Canon Short early in his work in the Cathedral parish showed interest not only in the work of the church school, but also in the educational patterns of the Public School Board into which he entered vigourously. He was capably assisted at the Cathedral by his wife, Frances, who undertook the responsibility of training a Boys Choir which has through the years been successful in winning distinction at Music Festivals and other events within the community.

As part of the Diocesan program on spiritual renewal, an eight-day Evangelistic and Teaching Mission was held on eighteen Indian Reserves in 1963, lasting from Whitsunday to Trinity Sunday. In addition to clergy of the Diocese, eleven clergy from other parts of Canada participated in the leadership of these missions. They included not only Evangelistic and Teaching sessions for the adult members of the congregations, but also in most cases special periods of teaching and worship for the children of the congregation. The results of the mission, while difficult to assess in spiritual values, were undoubtedly productive of a deepening of spiritual life wherever the mission was held.

A still more significant part of the spiritual program was announced to the Synod of 1965 by the Bishop, when he made reference to the purchase of the former Meadow Lake Hospital to provide a spiritual centre for the Diocese, to aid and to work along side the parish churches. The Bishop explained that it was not to take the place of the parish church, but to be a place where clergy and laity, men, women and children could come, not only to talk about God and the Church in conference, but also to know God through the living presence of His Son, as the source of life and the Giver of spiritual strength. He reiterated that he did not want this hostel to become known as a conference centre but he did want it to be within [153/154] the Diocese and outside its border a home, a House of Refreshment and Renewal.

The building, a large three-storey structure of comparatively recent construction, was adequate in providing lecture rooms, common rooms, kitchen and dining areas, and accommodation as a residence. The Bishop announced that the title of the institution would be "St. Luke, the Physician's Community House" and could be abbreviated as St. Luke's House. The Bishop also announced the appointment of Canon D. A. Gregory as Director of the Hostel, and Canon Gregory served in this capacity, ably assisted by Miss Doris Budden, the youth worker of the Diocese. Upon the furnishings and other renovations that were needed being completed, groups utilized St. Luke's House representative of all ages and on Diocesan, Deanery, and Parish levels. It also became a much more adequate area for the holding of the Indian Lay Readers School, inasmuch as it afforded better and increased accommodation and it was not subject to the limitations imposed by weather conditions upon the facilities at Okema Beach.

In his charge to the Synod of 1965, Bishop Crump urged upon the clergy the necessity of taking into account in their daily ministry new approaches and methods which were being forced upon them. Three aspects of this he detailed as being a) a new approach in stewardship, b) the new curriculum in religious education, and c) the whole question of World Mission. The subject of World Mission was given special attention at a forum held on one afternoon of the Synod under the chairmanship of the Reverend Canon Morse Robinson of the M.S.C.C., Toronto. World Mission was considered under the topics of Prayer Partnership, Study, Self-examination, Recruitment, and the World Mission Fund. The Bishop dealt in his charge with these five aspects of World Mission, pointing out that it was a matter for each individual member of the church to become aware of his or her responsibility to undertake their share of total commitment for the benefit of all members of the church wherever they might be. The Bishop summed up his remarks by saying "I feel now that we must give prayerful attention to our spiritual poverty and to our potential spiritual wealth. We have a great capacity in our Anglican Church for the building up of a strong Christ-directed life among our people. The way is opening up in this Diocese for the power of your spiritual wealth to become more in evidence."

As a result of this emphasis at the Synod, the whole Diocese was regenerated in its spiritual strength and responded to the financial challenge for self-sacrifice by contributing $2,000 in the following year to the amount required from the Canadian Church as a whole.

Bishop Crump announced the impending retirement of Miss Etta Whelpley after 29 years of faithful service in the Diocese, administering the work of the Sunday School by Post. The Bishop added that it did not mean that Miss Whelpley would be leaving the Diocese, but would continue her work with Miss Tucker for the time being. What it did mean was that the time had come when the W.A. required that she be placed on pension, but she wished to continue her service to the Diocese for the time being. In appreciation for her years of service, the Synod voted her a two-month leave of absence in order to visit England, and the Diocese voted the necessary funds for this, her first visit to Britain. The whole matter of the work of the Sunday School by Post was at that time under review because of changing conditions and decreasing income. As a result of these studies, the work was gradually reduced until its eventual disappearance from the regular work of the church.

That same year the parish at The Pas Commemorated the 125th Anniversary of the work begun by Henry Budd, and representatives of the Diocese were sent to participate in the celebration. The Province of [154/155] Saskatchewan also marked the Golden Jubilee of its establishment as a province, and many observances took place in Prince Albert and in the parishes commemorating this event.

In the Autumn of that year the Diocese was honoured by a visit from the Bishop of the Philippine Islands, who was returning to his own church after visiting Canada. He addressed many gatherings within the Diocese and impressed the people of the church with his deep sincerity and humility, and through his addresses helped to deepen the understanding and strengthen the bonds between churchmen in the Diocese and their fellow Christians elsewhere. Canon B. P. W. Stather Hunt also visited the Northern missions at La Ronge, Stanley, Pelican Narrows, and Cumberland in October of that year, returning to the mission which had been founded by his grandfather and was his own father's birthplace.

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