Canada briefs: Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario

Published October 1, 1998

Iranians take refuge in London cathedral

A London cathedral has given sanctuary to an Iranian family after their attempts to win refugee status were turned down.

The family of four, including a two-year-old boy born in Canada, were Shi’ite Muslims who have since become involved with St. Paul’s Cathedral and have converted to become Anglicans.

The Immigration and Refugee Board rejected their request for asylum and their appeal was also denied. A last-ditch attempt has been submitted in the form of a humanitarian and compassionate application.

St. Paul’s is supporting the family’s application and the congregation has offered sponsorship. Scores of letters of support have been filed on behalf of the family and more than 1,500 petitions sent. Archbishop Percy O’Driscoll has written to the minister of immigration on the family’s behalf.

Meanwhile, the family was living in the cathedral at press time. Huron Church News

Rules relaxed

Four clergy who have been prevented from functioning in ordained ministry because they were involved in homosexual relationships are becoming more involved in their home parish, Holy Trinity in Toronto.

Priests James Ferry and Meredith Hill along with deacons Allison Kemper and Joyce Barnett had all been inhibited at some point over the years. Bishop Terence Finlay had requested that they seek his permission each time they were asked to participate in a leadership role in an occasional service.

Bishop Finlay said the four have all been conscientious in following his request so he recently entrusted the permission-giving role to Rev. Sally Boyles, the church incumbent.

“It was helpful for me to know that the four would be working in a supportive, accepting community that appreciated their gifts as clergy,” Bishop Finlay said. “I had a pastoral concern for both the four clergy and the people of the parish.” Toronto Anglican


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