Corporations Canada, which regulates the names of federal corporations, has ordered a group of churches using the name “Anglican Communion in Canada” to change its name.

The Anglican Church of Canada last January asked Corporations Canada to make the group stop using the name because only the Anglican Church of Canada is entitled to exclusive association with the Anglican Communion

The Anglican Communion includes dioceses within the 38 national and regional churches which are in communion or fellowship with the See of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Their bishops are invited by Canterbury to the Lambeth Conference every ten years.

Corporations Canada made its order under the part of the Canada Corporations Act that states a group must not use a name “deceptively misdescriptive as set out in the regulations to the [Canada Corporations] Act.”

After receiving representations from the group as well as the Canadian Church, Aïssa Aomari, Deputy Director of Corporations Canada, wrote the group’s lawyer that the use of the name will have to stop.

The group does not represent the Anglican Communion in this country, the deputy director stated, “nor does it have any recognized ties with the international fellowship of churches known worldwide as the Anglican Communion.”

“If the corporation has not changed its corporate name within 60 days of receipt of this letter,” Aomari wrote on September 12, “the Director will be obliged to revoke it and assign to it a number name.”

The group of churches first incorporated itself as a federal corporation in July 2002, a month after the synod of the Diocese of New Westminster voted to ask for rite of blessing for same sex couples, and Bishop Michael Ingham consented to the blessing.

In February, 2004, they received supplementary letters patent to change the name to “Anglican Communion in Canada.” This led to the Anglican Church of Canada’s objection.

As of late November, a website continues to use the name “Anglican Communion in Canada” and lists ten congregations: two on Vancouver Island, five in the Lower Mainland, and three in Saskatchewan.