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Arctic Cathedral in financial crunch: The Church of England Newspaper, October 24, 2013 October 27, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Canada, Church of England Newspaper.
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The financial collapse of a builder may leave the Diocese of the Arctic without a cathedral.

In May the Canadian building firm Dowland Contracting Ltd went into receivership and filed for bankruptcy protection in July. One of the construction giant’s projects had been the rebuilding of St. Jude’s Anglican Cathedral in Iqaluit, Nunavut [Baffin Island].

Last week the Rt. Rev. David Parsons, Bishop of the Arctic reported that Dowland’s receivers were demanding immediate payment of C$3 million plus $30,000 per month in interest. “This is a request that the diocese cannot meet without closure of the Cathedral and an end to the church’s ministry of compassion, hope and presence in the Arctic,” he said.

“We have always remained committed to paying the balance owing on the construction costs to date. But these new demands now threaten our very existence.”

In 2005 the igloo-shaped cathedral was destroyed when a young man set the building ablaze. The fire left the church unusable, while insurance proceeds were insufficient to cover the cost of a replacement.  A nationwide fundraising campaign enable the diocese to begin rebuilding the cathedral and more than $7.5 million of the costs have been paid so far.

Bishop Parsons told The Church of England Newspaper the diocese was appealing for help and reaching “out across the Arctic and across Canada to ask people for their support and contributions toward paying off the Cathedral.”

“What I am doing is asking God to pay” the bill, he said. “I don’t know how God will work but let all know this, I, and I hope we, are looking to God for help and direction. We know that God often works through people and our plan is let our people and all else know that we need as many as possible to respond to our ongoing fundraising, so that our Cathedral will become debt free and we may have a service to consecrate it. Until it is paid off we cannot.”

The diocese will not lay off any of its employees, he said. “We actually wish to be able to expand our ministries and we are seeking God’s direction and our people’s help for this and the cooperation of the receiver. Until the receiver decides how he will respond to our situation, nothing will change,” he said. 

“We have always been faithful stewards who have not gone back on our word. As we promised Dowland, we will pay our bills when the money comes in. Until it does, we cannot. Everyone, including the receiver for Dowland needs to know this,” the bishop said.

 

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