Clergy get ‘behind fence line’ view of military chaplaincy

Published May 5, 2010

Anglican clergy, mostly from the Winnipeg area, toured 17 Wing recently to learn about the role and work of military chaplains. (L to R) The Rev. Canon Brett Cane; The Rev. Canon Murray Still, Rupert’s Land Aboriginal Circle/Wechetowin Incorporated; The Rev. Lyndon Hutchinson-Hounsell, St. George’s, Winnipeg; The Rev. Ken Turnbull, St. Aidan’s, Winnipeg; Capt. Gordon Mintz, 17 Wing; Fr. Gerald Langevin, Blessed John XXIII, Winnipeg; The Rev. Deacon Linda Stokes, St. Aidan’s; Bishop Peter Coffin, Capt Will Hubbard, 17 Wing; Bishop Don Phillips, The Rev. Gordon Shields, St. Chad’s, Winnipeg; and The Rev. Jack Risk, St. Matthew’s, Winnipeg.

“It far exceeded my expectations,” said Bishop Ordinary to the Canadian Forces Peter Coffin, when asked his thoughts about a recent tour of a nearby Canadian Forces Base by members of the Anglican regional clericus.

The tour was sponsored by the 17 Wing’s flight line chaplain, Captain (The Rev.) Gordon Mintz. On the tour, Anglican clergy had the opportunity to receive a ‘behind the fence line’ insight into how military chaplains deal with the challenges of ministering to such a diverse and dynamic entity.

“The local (Anglican) clergy was very appreciative of learning first-hand the stresses on military families that they see in their congregations and learning more of the role of chaplains in supporting our military families,” said Padre Mintz. 

The clerics’ time at 17 Wing Winnipeg also included a series of briefings on the roles performed by the men and women of “Team Winnipeg”  and the impact they, and the wing, have upon the city, the province, and the nation.

Among those present at the session was Bishop Donald Phillips of the diocese of Rupert’s Land.

“It was a very worthwhile and eye-opening experience for me,” said the Rev. Canon Brett Cane, rector of St. Aidan’s Anglican Church in Winnipeg. “I had no idea how military chaplains work or of the crucial roles played by our Forces personnel at the Wing.”

Capt. Jeff Noel is the public affairs officer of Wing 17.

For more information on chaplains in the Canadian Forces, visit  

For more information about 17 Wing Winnipeg, visit:


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