100 years ago: September 1899
Canadian Churchman asked, “Whose fault is it that in so many parishes there is no co-operation between the clergy and the laity?” Probably there are faults on both sides; clergy are loath to call in the services of laymen, feeling that in some cases the time and labour given is grudged; but is this really so?
We think that often the clergyman, who wants efficient lay help given, makes the mistake of going first to the leading men of his parish (leading, that is to say, in the social scale), rather than to the more obscure but no less efficient worker, who, from his own calling, knows how to lay out time and labour to the best advantage, and with the truest economy. Of course there is great gain in being able to publish a well-known name as a church warden, but the duties of the office are, or should be, something more than nominal … Why should the organist and choir have the monopoly of the church music? Their proper sphere is to lead, not to silence, the responsive devotions of the congregation.
50 years ago: September 1949
Canadian Churchman reported that the admission of the Diocese of Newfoundland to the Church of England in Canada was probably the most historic event of the 1949 session of the General Synod. The ceremony was conducted in a happy spirit of welcome and goodwill. The gravity of the occasion was relieved by an unexpected presentation to Bishop Abraham (Nfld.) of a bottle said to contain water from the Pacific.
The request that it be emptied in the Atlantic was cautiously undertaken by the bishop, subject to the approval of the Newfoundland Minister of Fisheries!
25 years ago: September 1974
Canadian Churchman reported that church bells can be noise polluters, according to officials of the Ontario Environment Ministry. But John Sutherns, supervisor of the ministry’s noise section who is preparing the first anti-noise regulations, doubts that his inspectors will ever haul a clergyman into court. “One usually finds the operators of churches are good corporate citizens, so to speak. We don’t get many complaints.”… No shortage of judges is expected at the Trinity Anglican Church’s fall fair in Brockville, Ont., next month. Last year the fair sponsored an amateur winemaking competition and more than 50 bottles of red, white and rose vintage wines were entered. This year, the number of categories has been increased and judges say they will have to spend about six hours at their task of tasting and savoring! Another said that infant baptism makes sense only in the context of a continuing life within the Christian community – the church at the parish level.