I’m in Niagara Diocese, Anglican Church of Canada. Confusingly, that’s also called ACC, at least here. In November, members of our Diocesan Synod voted overwhelmingly to ask the Bishop to allow clergy to perform blessings of legal civil marriages of same-gendered couples, where their conscience allows it, and once there’s a rite to do so. The Bishop gave his assent to the vote this time – the assent to hold the services still hasn’t been given. Our Bishop, the Rt. Rev. D. Ralph Spence, retired on February 29th, and the new one, the Rt. Rev. Michael Bird was installed in early March.
Late in February, three parishes of the Diocese voted to secede from the Diocese and the Anglican Church of Canada, and receive Episcopal oversight from the Province of the Southern Cone. They intend to take the real property of the parishes with them. Ownership of the property has gone to court, and the court granted temporary, sole occupancy of the premises to the parishes, which belong to something called the Anglican Network of Canada. The issue is scheduled to go back to court tomorrow, Maundy Thursday. We don’t know what time. The Diocese holds the position that the Diocese owns all parish property, and that the people who gave money for their purchase in the first place intended for the parishes to be part of the ACC.
Please, hold us in your prayers tomorrow: the Diocese of Niagara, Bishop Michael Bird, Executive Archdeacon Michael Patterson, and Secretary of Synod, the Rev. Canon Dr. Rick Jones. I’m a secretary in an Anglican parish, and doing a pre-internship M. Div. student placement in the same parish. I’ll be putting in at least an 11-hour day tomorrow. Also, I’ve got the flu, and may not have energy to make a blog entry. Please, keep the diocese in your prayers, and you can check for updates at this link: