The church’s poorest dioceses have agreed to provide remuneration to non-stipendiary (unpaid) priests in their dioceses working in excess of 10 hours each week, bucking a demand by the Anglican Council for Indigenous Peoples (ACIP) that the issue of compensation include all dioceses across Canada, especially those with significant aboriginal population.
Bishops of the Council of the North member dioceses arrived at their decision during their regular winter meeting in Winnipeg. (The council encompasses 11 dioceses, mostly in northern areas, which are financially assisted by the national church’s Anglican Appeal.)
Bishop Anthony Burton of Saskatchewan, chair of the council, said the council will inform ACIP of the bishops’ decision.
“We feel that we should lead by example rather than have a general appeal,” said Bishop Burton in a telephone interview.
Talks be-tween representatives of the house of bishops and ACIP, who are members of a task group examining non-stipendiary ordained ministry, had collapsed last October on the matter of limiting discussion on compensation to only council dioceses.
“There was a difference of opinion as to how to get the job done and the difference is still there,” said Bishop Burton.
Archbishop Caleb Lawrence of Moosonee, vice-chair of the council, said the bishops have identified between 20 and 25 non-stipendiary priests who should be entitled to stipends.
The council has yet to determine how much the additional stipends would cost and where the money will come from. “Council dioceses will foot 50 per cent; the other half we’ll have to look for,” said Archbishop Lawrence in a telephone interview.
The council, which administers the Anglican Church of Canada’s grants for northern mission, includes the dioceses of the Arctic, Athabasca, Brandon, Caledonia, Cariboo, the deanery of Labrador (in the diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador), Keewatin, Moosonee, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Yukon.