Departing members of the parish of Holy Cross, Vancouver, late last year decided to pay the parish’s back assessment to the diocese before leaving the church.

Meanwhile, Diocesan Council at its December meeting endorsed the reorganization of Holy Cross, the diocese’s Japanese-Canadian parish in East Vancouver.

Bishop Michael Ingham invoked Diocesan Canon 15 and appointed Basil Izumi and Gwen Lamacraft, members of the parish, as Bishop’s Wardens, after the parish’s elected wardens, its treasurer, and several members of its parish council left.

The departure of most members of the former parish council followed the decision of the Rev. Dawn McDonald to take charge of a parish under Bishop Terry Buckle of the Diocese of Yukon.

Before departing, the exiting parish council members decided to pay the back assessment to ensure good standing with the diocese for those in the parish who chose to remain in the diocese, McDonald said in an email from her present parish, St. Mary Magdalene, Fort Nelson, BC.

The parish had been refusing to pay its diocesan assessment since July, 2003, to protest the decision a year earlier by Diocesan Synod to ask the bishop for a rite of same-sex blessing.

The amount paid was $30,290, which brought Holy Cross up to date as of November 30.

Bishop Ingham told Diocesan Council that two retired priests of the diocese who speak Japanese, the Revs. Harold McSherry and Cyril Powles, have agreed to conduct services while a search for a new rector goes on.

The bishop said that the diocese has engaged in ministry for over a century to Japanese-speaking Anglicans. “We have an historic heritage ministry. I hope we will do everything we can to continue this ministry.”

Note: The above story was revised to incorporate new information.