PWRDF asks bishops about name change

Published November 19, 2009

Niagara Falls, Ont.The Canadian House of Bishops was asked to weigh in on the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund’s (PWRDF) ongoing efforts to change its name because of low recognition rating among Anglicans in the country. The relief and development arm of the Anglican Church of Canada embarked on a name change after an “appreciative inquiry” conducted at the 2007 General Synod revealed that only 30 per cent of Canadian-Anglicans know what PWRDF is about. The bishops, during their fall meeting here, willingly obliged. Asked by diocese of Qu’ Appelle Bishop Gregg Kerr-Wilson, a member of the PWRDF board, whether the new name should be “evocative, expressive, or descriptive,” they offered varying suggestions. Bishop Patrick Yu, suffragan bishop of the diocese of Toronto (York-Scarborough), said the word “Anglican” should be in the name so that it would be recognizable to the church’s faithful. The diocesan bishop of Toronto, Colin Johnson, agreed saying, “You have to be Anglican to know what primate is.” Bishop Benjamin Arreak, suffragan bishop of the diocese of the Arctic, said the board should also consider the issue of translation. “To translate PWRDF is very long in Inuktitut,” he said. “What’s more critical is the logo. Our society is so visual. Are you rebranding the logo, too?” asked Bishop Linda Nicholls, suffragan bishop of the diocese of Toronto (Trent-Durham ). “The charitable organizations that work, such as World Vision and Oxfam, have names that are not glitzy. Let’s not overthink this and spend so much money,” advised Bishop Jane Alexander, of the diocese of Edmonton.Bishop Barry Clarke, diocese of Montreal, expressed concern about changing the PWRDF’s name saying people in his diocese “have worked hard to promote the name PWRDF.” Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada and chair of the PWRDF board, urged the bishops to give their input to the steering committee in charge of PWRDF’s “branding strategy.” He said that he had told the PWRDF board that “if we’re going to make a change, let’s make it for the right reasons, let’s make it work for us.” Bishop Kerr-Wilson said that although the PWRDF board has a short-list of possible new names it still wanted to get the bishops’ feedback.


  • Marites N. Sison

    Marites (Tess) Sison was editor of the Anglican Journal from August 2014 to July 2018, and senior staff writer from December 2003 to July 2014. An award-winning journalist, she has more that three decades of professional journalism experience in Canada and overseas. She has contributed to The Toronto Star and CBC Radio, and worked as a stringer for The New York Times.

Related Posts

Skip to content