Dulcie Brown, who dedicated most of her life to serving the Anglican Church of Canada, particularly the former diocese of Cariboo and the Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior (APCI) died on March 20. She was 89.
“We know Dulcie as a gentle and humble woman, but she is also fearless and adventurous in the living out of her faith,” Bishop Gordon Light said in a speech in 2005, when he installed her as lay canon of St. Paul’s Cathedral in Kamloops, B.C.
Ms. Brown, who studied to become a missionary at the College of the Ascension in Selly Oak, England, was sent to Japan with the Society of the Propagation of the Gospel in the 1950s. After a two-year language training in Tokyo, she was assigned to a parish in the diocese of Kobe.
After a 10-year stint in Japan, Ms. Brown went back to England where she met Ralph Dean, bishop of Cariboo (1964-1969), who invited her to work with Japanese-Canadians at St. George’s Church in Kamloops, many of whom had been interned during the war.
Ms. Brown also worked in Kamloops for the synod office, the Church of Cleopas, and at St. Paul’s Cathedral. She taught cello and was choir director at St. Cleopas for many years.
She was remembered for her generous spirit. “At the heart of Dulcie’s ministry has been her joy in giving and accepting friendship and hospitality of those she meets,” said Bishop Light. “It is this that has been such a gracious sign of God’s love.”
In 2001, the Anglican Journal profiled a special ministry that Ms. Brown and her friend, Barbara Pacey, maintained on the streets of downtown Kamloops – every Friday night, bearing a plate of homemade cookies, the two would stop and chat with female sex trade workers. “No matter how many people walk by and throw pennies at you, you know that there’s two people here who care,” one of the workers had said. Added another: “It’s nice to know somebody loves us.”
Hers was “a ministry of marvellous simplicity grounded in joyful self-giving,” said Bishop Light.