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Igloo Cathedral offer: The Church of England Newspaper, April 18, 2014 June 2, 2014

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The Diocese of the Arctic has offered C$2.65 million to the receivers of a construction company that went bankrupt while rebuilding St. Jude’s Cathedral in Iqaluit on Baffin Island. In 2005 the Arctic’s “Igloo Cathedral” – built in the shape of an Eskimo igloo was destroyed by arson. Through the proceeds of its insurance settlement and a Canada-wide fundraising appeal the diocese was able to pay C$5.5 million of the million rebuilding cost. The builder, Dowland Contracting Ltd, accepted a promissory note in 2011 for the balance due of C$3.94 million. However, in May 2013 Dowland was declared insolvent and the balance due from the diocese was assumed by the Royal Bank of Canada. The Rt. Rev. David Parsons, Bishop of the Arctic told a Nunavat newspaper on 10 April 2014 the diocese was awaiting a response from the receivers to its offer, which if accepted must be approved by the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta.

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

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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.

 

New Bible, bishops and cathedral for the Arctic: The Church of England Newspaper, June 17, 2012 p 6. June 15, 2012

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St Jude’s, Baffin Island. Photo: Anglican Journal

A new Bible, two bishops and a cathedral greeted worshippers at Canada’s Arctic Igloo Cathedral last week. Destroyed by fire in 2003, St Jude’s in Iqaluit reopened for services on 3 June 2012 with the dedication of a the first complete translation of the Bible into the language of the native Inuit people and the consecration of two bishops.

An arsonist set fire to the cathedral on Baffin Island in November 2005, destroying the Igloo shaped cathedral built in 1970. But an $8 million rebuilding campaign saw a new church arise. St. Jude’s retains its distinctive dome-and-spire “igloo” shape, but is now metal-clad and fire-resistant.

While the construction has finished, the diocese continues to raise funds to pay the final $3 million in construction costs.

Over 400 people attended the consecration of former Church Army Captain David Parsons as Bishop Co-Adjutor of the Arctic, and the Rev. Darren McCartney as his suffragan on 3 June 2012.

Capt. Parsons currently serves as regional dean of the Mackenzie Delta and is the incumbent at the church of the Ascension in Inuvik and St. David’s in Tulita, N.W.T. Mr. McCartney, a former Royal Army chaplain, is rector of St. Matthew’s in Knocknamuckley, in Northern Ireland and a former Crosslinks missionary in the Arctic.

The cathedral also welcomed the first Inuktitut-language Bible for the Inuit or Eskimo people of the Arctic. A joint project of the Canadian Bible Society and the Anglican Church of Canada, the $1.7 million project has taken 34 years to complete.

Five native Inuk Anglican clergy led the project and “for the first time in Canada, the entire translation was done by mother tongue speakers of the language rather than by missionaries,” the Canadian Bible Society said.

Translation of the New Testament was completed 20 years ago and has gone through five editions. However, the Old Testament has only now been translated. The retired Suffragan Bishop of the Arctic, the Rt. Rev. Benjamin Arreak – the project coordinator – said “this is the first time our people will have the complete Bible in their language. This will open their hearts and minds to the word of God.”

Canada’s largest diocese by geographic size, the 1.5 million square miles encompasses the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Nunavik.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Arctic election for Irish rector: The Church of England Newspaper, June 10, 2012 p 6. June 13, 2012

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The Rev. Darren McCartney. Photo: Church of Ireland

A former Crosslink’s missionary and British Army chaplain has been elected Suffragan Bishop of the Arctic.  The Rev. Darren McCartney, rector of Knocknamuckley in the Church of Ireland’s Diocese of Down and Dromore will be consecrated on 2 June 2012 at the “igloo cathedral” in Iqaluit on Baffin Island.

A Crosslinks missionary with his wife, Karen, to the Arctic, Mr. McCartney was ordained in the Arctic in 2004 and ministered at St Luke’s Church in Pangnirtung before returning to Ulster in 2006.

The Bishop of Down & Dromore, the Rt. Rev. Harold Miller said he was “absolutely thrilled to hear of the election.”

“Darren was ordained in the Arctic and exercised a very effective ministry there before returning to Northern Ireland. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his wife Karen on the occasion of his consecration on Trinity Sunday. We look forward to celebrating with him when he returns. May the rich blessings of God be on Darren’s episcopal ministry,” Bishop Miller said.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.