Bishop Michael Ingham speaks to the Aboriginal Council at Christ Church Cathedral last month
Aboriginal Council of Indigenous Peoples meets in Vancouver

In a circle, members of "ACIP," the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples heard Bishop Michael Ingham and other diocesan leaders at a reception at Christ Church Cathedral last month. The group meets regularly across the country. The bishop urged ACIP to dialogue with gay and lesbian Anglicans, since ACIP members at the national General Synod said they found it hard to understand the same sex blessing issue.


Government funds to help Cathedral install elevator

Christ Church Cathedral has received over half a million dollars from the provincial and federal governments to help make the Cathedral more accessible for people in wheelchairs.

The grant of $538,000 from the BC Infrastructure Program will help pay for an elevator and upper level wheelchair accessible washroom.

The work to be carried out in early 2005 will be part of the third and final phase of the Cathedral's $9.8 million dollar restoration and renewal project, which began in 1995. A fundraising "completion campaign" within the Cathedral begins this fall to raise the remainign $500,000 needed.

The renovation has included new steps and a porch outside with a memorial garden lining it,a wheelchair ramp to the east side front door, a complete restoration of the interior and replacement of many pews with cathedral chairs, new washrooms, completely redesigned offices, and the installation of a new tracker-style organ which was still being installed last month.

The money for the elevator from the government was presented by Vancouver-Burrard MLA Lorne Mayencourt during a visit to the Cathedral in September. He called the cathedral "the heart of the community for many Vancouverites."

Pilgrimage finds spiritual roots

By Pat Appavoo
Christ Church Cathedral

Why a pilgrimage? asked members of my family when I announced that I would join the Vancouver School of Theology Pilgrimage to Britain last August.

As a family, we could walk in Bunyan's footsteps in Elstow and Stevington, the Wesley rectory and parish in Epworth, tour Lincoln, York and Durham Cathedrals and perhaps find our way to Lindisfarne (Holy Island).

But I would not have had the benefit of Gerald Hobbs and Lynne MacNaughton's talks on the political, historical, and spiritual backdrop to our Anglo-Christian roots. I would not have had the opportunity to eat, sing, pray and share insights and stories with a diverse group of people whose reason for being on this tour were similar to mine - to explore (and strengthen) our spiritual roots.

Diocesan Archivist Doreen Stephens helps Garth Walker serve cake on his 90th birthday while he was working in the diocesan archives, which are located at Vancouver School of Theology. Walker served as the diocese's first archivist from 1980 to 1986. He continues to volunteer there many hours on a regular basis. (Barbara Sigerson photo)

If this sort of study tour interests you, look for the VST Pilgrimage brochure. It will take a different road but the focus on spiritual roots will be similar.

Diocese cited for refugee work

Federal Immigration Minister Judy Sgro has congratulated the Diocese of New Westminster for 25 years of sponsoring refugees to Canada.

A plaque was presented to the diocese and the Refugee Unit chaired by John Conway for "tireless efforts to assist refugees" which have helped make Canada a world leader in refugee protection.

Refugees are formally sponsored by the diocese under the government's private sponsorhip of refugees program. They are taken care of by parish groups, which commit to financial and other assistance for at least two years. At present nine refugees are being helped, and seven more should arrive soon.

TOPIC fails to credit St. Bart's

I have been made aware of the attempt at correction of a story in TOPIC. The correction stated that St. Hilda's parish should have been credited with helping make the Taiwanese Youth visit last July such a success.

It was St. Bartholomew of Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast who hosted the Taiwanese Youths last July to a very enjoyable and memorable two days.

As this is the second time I am emailing on this matter, I can only assume that the mix-up occurred due to the fact that St. Hilda's Church of Sechelt is also on the Sunshine Coast.

As St. Bartholomew and everyone connected with this event feel proud of its success, including myself - the organizer- it would be nice if you could set the record straight in your next issue of the TOPIC .

Betty Mah
St.Bartholomew's, Gibsons

The doubly embarrassed editor hopes that proper credit has finally been given this time.