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Canadian diocese to be dissolved: The Church of England Newspaper, February 10, 2013 p 7. February 11, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Canada, Church of England Newspaper.
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Bishop Thomas Corston of Moosonee

Canada’s Diocese of Moosonee will be dissolved upon the retirement of its current bishop, the Rt. Rev. Thomas Corston, and its churches formed into a mission area of the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario, the provincial synod learned last year.

At its 2011 synod meeting in Timmins, Ontario delegates unanimously adopted a resolution directing its officers to begin talks with the Province of Ontario to dissolve the diocese and create a mission area to oversee its 26 parishes.

“Nothing will change immediately,” Bishop Thomas Corston told the synod.  “We are simply preparing a way forward for our diocese when it becomes clear that we need to make the jump.”

Delegates to the Ontario provincial synod unanimously adopted Canon VII for the provincial bylaws and have passed the recommendation on for formal action to the 2013 meeting of Canada’s General Synod for final action. The Algoma Anglican reported that “delegates from Moosonee gave a heartfelt presentation on their ministry and on challenges such as distance,  the cost of living, clergy isolation and low pay. As they discerned the best way forward, one elder summed up the feeling in the diocese that they wanted to stay together as a family.”

A downturn in the mining and paper industries has hurt the diocese. “Much of the forest industry has shut down in the area. There’s no pulp and paper industry anymore,” Bishop Corston told the Anglican Journal in April 2011.

Bishop Corston, who was elected bishop in July 2010, spoke of his sadness at the decline of the diocese.  Moosonee “started in 1872 as an indigenous diocese through the Hudson’s Bay Company, and as industries moved into northern Ontario, northern Quebec the church grew along with them,” he said.

However, the diocese has been in decline for the past 50 years.  When he was a boy in the early 1960’s the diocese employed 60 full-time clergy.  When he was ordained in 1975 there were 30 full-time clergy, and when he was consecrated in 2010 there were only a dozen full-time clergy for the 350,000 square mile diocese, the bishop said.

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