Prince Rupert, B.C.
Anglican parishes across Canada will be asked to contribute to a one-time only collection on Sunday, Oct. 4, to assist St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Prince Rupert, B.C., and the diocese of Caledonia out of a crushing debt burden.
Canon Jennifer Davies, people’s warden at the cathedral, relates that the congregation has taken out a total of two mortgages totalling $650,000.
St. Andrew’s Cathedral has raised more than $180,000 over the past two years. However, it has not been able to make the monthly payments and afford a stipend for a priest. Therefore, Bishop John Hannen and the cathedral’s secretary treasurer have been providing these services.
The cathedral’s financial problems date back to when it began what it thought were minor repairs to the church in 1995. Dry rot was discovered and as this was repaired more and more structural damage was uncovered, making the building unsafe.
The cost of the massive repairs required the diocese to obtain financing to assist the cathedral. The diocese is liable for the debt if St. Andrew’s is unable to meet its obligation. The cathedral is struggling to repay the debt on a monthly basis and as a result puts the diocese and its ministry at risk.
St. Andrew’s provides an important ministry to the life of the diocese and the city of Prince Rupert. It ministers to seven other parishes on the Naas and Skeena Rivers and islands on the coast. This involves pastoral support to families when a member from a village is in hospital, or providing a home for people from visiting villages. The cathedral also runs a soup kitchen, as well as organizes and participates in, the ministry to seafarers in Prince Rupert.
Adapted from articles by Canon Jennifer Davies, People’s Warden, St. Andrew’s Cathedral.