The bishop of the diocese of the Arctic, David Parsons, is urging every Anglican in his diocese to give an additional $20 a week for the next year and a half so that it can pay off its remaining $1.9 million debt from the construction of St. Jude’s Cathedral by 2015.
The diocese on May 15 announced that it has reached an agreement with the receiver for Dowland Contracting Ltd. and has obtained a loan through NCC Investment Group for the balance of about $2.6 million that it owes the builder for the cathedral’s building cost. The diocese had paid more than $7.5 million toward the cost of constructing the cathedral and it had been paying the remainder of its debt as funds were raised, based on an “informal arrangement ” worked out directly with the construction company.
However, in May 2013, Dowland Contracting Ltd. was put into receivership and in July, it filed for bankruptcy protection. The receiver, Alvaraz and Marsal Canada, Inc. had asked the diocese for immediate payment of the debt, plus $30,000 per month in interest. It was a request that Parsons said the diocese would not be able to meet without closure of the cathedral and the end of its ministries to the community of Iqaluit.
With donations and pledges received in recent months, the diocese has been able to reduce that $2.6 million debt to $1.9 million, said Parsons in a press statement. “Thanks to NCC, the Nunavut Construction Corporation Investment Group, we have obtained a loan for the outstanding amount at prime plus one per cent.”
Parsons said the diocese believes it can pay off the debt by December 2015 through a new diocesan fundraising campaign, “Freedom 2015.”
He described the diocese as “full of energy [and] vitality,” adding that despite its financial challenges, “we’re continuing to move ahead.”
In 2005, the igloo-shaped cathedral was extensively damaged by arson and rendered unusable.
For information about St. Jude’s Cathedral or how to donate, contact:
The Diocese of the Arctic
P.O. Box 190,
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories X1A 2N2
Tel: 867-873-5432. Email: [email protected]
Or go to its website.