Foundation changing its focus

Published September 1, 2004

The Anglican Foundation took a step toward transforming its organization and mission at its annual meeting in Hamilton, Ont. last May.

Members of the foundation voted:

* to change the term of office for directors to a maximum of two three-year terms from the current maximum of three two-year tenure,

* to change the role of the primate (the national church’s senior archbishop) from president and chair to chair only,

* to establish a new volunteer office of president and to enlarge the size of the board, if necessary.

The changes, said the executive director, Canon John Erb, in an interview, pave the way for a new vision for the 47-year-old foundation. For much of its history, it has made grants and loans across Canada for renovations and expansions to church buildings and supported theological students through bursaries. Recently, the foundation undertook a study of its work, including a look at the Episcopal Church Foundation in New York, and concluded that the Canadian organization should expand its focus from ?bricks and mortar? to programs emphasizing education, planning and church development.

Last year, the foundation board considered 49 applications for funds, of which 39 were successful, and awarded a total of $913,795 ? including $727,500 in loans and $186,295 in grants. As of Dec. 31, 2003, the foundation had assets of $12.2 million, up from $11.0 million in 2002. In addition to construction projects, the fund supports education in preaching skills, liturgical art, music and choral work, dialogue between the Orthodox and Anglican churches and indigenous training and development.

The changes in the board and the establishment of a president’s office will spur a greater emphasis on fundraising, said Mr. Erb. Currently, the organization depends upon the purchase of memberships, bequests and investment income. It has about 800 members and the cost of membership starts at $50 per year. ?The establishment of a development function is critical,? wrote Mr. Erb in a report presented at the meeting.

An expanded board will bring more diversity to the foundation, he said. ?We should have an indigenous person appointed to the board. We might have younger persons. We might have someone with leadership training,? he added. As director, Mr. Erb oversees administration of the organization. ?The president would likely be a lay person. The primate is too busy and not able to have any hands-on involvement with the foundation,? noted Mr. Erb.

Changes to the foundation’s by-laws must be approved by the federal government. The next meeting of the foundation’s board will be held on Oct. 22.


  • Solange DeSantis

    Solange De Santis was a reporter for the Anglican Journal from 2000 to 2008.

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