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Report on the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada Synod July 29, 2007

Posted by Ninja Michael in General.

Earlier this month, the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (of which I am a member), held its national synod in Halifax, NS, at Mount Saint Vincent University.   The host parish was St. Aidan’s Church, whose rector is the Rt. Rev. Craig Botterill, QC (also a suffragan bishop with responsibility for parishes in Atlantic Canada).   This was the first synod the church has held in that part of the country, as most of our churches there have developed comparatively recently.

 The Sunday before the synod, my fellow Ninja and I were able to witness the ordination to the priesthood of the Reverend Charles Warner, SSM.   Fr. Charles is ministering to a fledgling parish on Cape Breton Island.   The ordination was the first, I believe, for Bishop Craig, and the first event of this sort the parish was able to host in their new church building, which is lovely – the parish has put an incredible amount of work into the place, completely refinishing much of the inside.   The sanctuary is lovely.

The day after the ordination, we were able to visit several members of Fr. Charles’ parish who had not been able to attend the ordination, and have dinner with them at their home in Sydney, when we dashed (back) to Cape Breton to tour the Fortress of Louisbourg (well worth the trip).   Then we dashed back (once again) to Halifax, for the synod.

 The synod was truly exceptional, I thought.   There was a good crowd, including a number of children.   There were a number of clergy who I had not had the opportunity to meet before, including one new deacon from Newfoundland.

 Worship, as promised, received pride of place on the agenda.   I enjoyed playing the organ, a Casavant (which was lovely, although in need of a bit of work).  Each day began with Morning Prayer, and a celebration of the Holy Eucharist before breakfast (the morning sermons, delivered by bishops, were mercifully short, including the one delivered by the Primate, who is known for preaching somewhat longer at times – hello Archbishop Hepworth!).   The Wednesday Evensong was followed by Benediction, which never fails to fill me with joy and awe (the first Benediction I had participated in within the diocese).   There were also sermons in the evening, the one for the Evensong and Benediction given by Fr. Doug Hayman, rector of the parish of St. Barnabas, located near my home south of Ottawa.   Other preachers in the evening included Fr. Richard Harris, Regional Dean of Atlantic Canada, and Fr. David Skelton, the Regional Dean for the Prairies.

 The worship concluded Friday morning with a Requiem, the Missa Pro Defunctus beautifully chanted by Bishop Carl Reid of Ottawa (accompanied by a surprising number of worshipers who have it memorized).  Bishop Craig delievered a wonderful sermon on the Christian hope of Eternal Life (at least one priest said something afterward about wanting a copy), and a trio of Bp. Carl, Fr. Kipling Cooper of Ottawa, and myself, sang a Russian Orthodox Kontakion for the Faithful Departed, just before the dismissal.   (Fr. Keith Kirkwood of BC took the organ for this service, much to my delight, as it was nice for me to be out of the organ loft for one of the liturgies.)

 Mass settings other than the requiem included Missa de Angelis, and Willan’s Missa Sancta Maria Magdalena.   The offices included a mixture of Anglican chant and plainsong; and all the services included rousing hymn singing.

Bishop Peter Wilkinson, OSG, opened the synod proper on Wednesday morning by reminding the delegates of their sacred responsibility – pointing out that ideally a synod would be held in a church facing a book of gospels, and that there are no political parties within the church.   Archbishop Hepworth addressed the synod that afternoon, giving an extended presentation on the growth of the Traditional Anglican Communion worldwide, and a heartfelt and stirring talk on the unity of the Church of Christ, particularly in the TAC’s hopes for the reconciliation of all Catholic Christians to communion with each other (as stated in the Affirmation of St. Louis).   I have seldom heard a minister of any denomination speak with such passion about Christian unity, and his remarks brought the crowd leaping to their feet.

 Fr. David Marriott, of Vancouver, BC, also spoke about the development of the TAC throughout the world, giving a presentation about the churches in Zambia and the Congo on Friday morning.  The Vancouver parish of St. Peter and St. Paul has set up a number of projects to help these churches, which are badly in need.

 In addition to the liturgy and the business sessions, a number of social events were held, including a reception on the Tuesday night in the campus pub, and a dinner cruise, where we were able to see tall ships from around the world (something you don’t see every day).   And, informally, people had different opportunities to relax, tour the city, and get to know each other better.   Some of the kids toured around while synod met during the day, and even the Ninjas slipped out for part of it to go downtown to see the sights.   After the cruise the last evening, a number of people invitied me to sing a few songs for them, using a piano in the building we’d been meeting in.

All in all, I left very impressed with Halifax, and Atlantic Canada in general, and thrilled with the synod.   Especially heading out to Manitoba next month, the one province where we don’t have a parish, it was nice to see everybody before going away for a while.   At the same time, I’m very much looking forward to the next synod, and to what God has in store for the ACCC in the future.

The diocesan website (www.anglicancatholic.ca) should have the August Diocesan Circular online within the next few days, and that will feature photos and other news about the synod.  The website also links to photos from St. Aidan’s, showing their new church.   The Sydney parish website, linked from the diocesan website as well, includes a couple of pictures from the ordination on Sunday.   All for now.  God bless.



1. ML - August 6, 2007

wish i could’ve been there!

2. Joel - August 22, 2008

Does this blog still exist?

3. Michael Tim - February 28, 2009

I love your site! 🙂

Experiencing a slow PC recently? Fix it now!

NixonisLord - May 21, 2011

Is it true that Quebec anglicanism is about to die? I’d heard that it was shrinking faster than snow in June.

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