Raising money and matchmaking

Published December 1, 2000

John Jessop of Victoria, the bridegroom, and his bride, Mercedes Robertson of Surrey, B.C., are flanked by Dorothy Tam of the office of planned giving in Toronto and David Rushton, planned giving consultant for British Columbia diocese.

DONATING to the Anglican church seldom includes romance as a side benefit, but it did for Mercedes P. Robertson of Surrey, B.C. and John W. Jessop of Victoria.

Both are donors to the national church’s charitable gift annuity plan, which provides donors with some tax-free income during their lives and, after death, provides the church with a contribution.

Dorothy Tam, program assistant in the office of financial development and planning at Church House in Toronto, maintains a toll-free number (1-888-439-4438) for donors and keeps in touch with many of them.

Last March, “Mercedes called and said she was going to Victoria on a seniors’ tour,” said Ms. Tam. However, Ms. Robertson said she would be going for tea alone at the Empress Hotel and Ms. Tam asked her if she might like company.

“I had met Jack (Mr. Jessop) on a previous trip to B.C., so I said (to Ms. Robertson) that I knew him and could I let him have her phone number. She said that would be delightful. I called Jack and he was shy but the perfect gentleman,” said Ms. Tam.

They didn’t have tea at the Empress Hotel, after all, but had lunch on a trip to the scenic parish of St. Peter’s in Quamichan, where Easter lilies grow wild on the grounds.

A friendship deepened into romance and Mr. Jessop, who is 88 years old, and Ms. Robertson, who is 80, were married last Sept. 24 at her church, St. Michael’s in Surrey. The couple honeymooned in the Rockies and plan to live in Victoria.

Ms. Tam attended the wedding.


  • Solange DeSantis

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

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