Services mark life of former primate

Published September 1, 2004

Archbishop Edward (Ted) Scott’s life and work as an advocate for the powerless were celebrated at memorial services at Anglican cathedrals across Canada, with Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu remarking in Toronto that the former primate of the Anglican Church of Canada ?was committed and courageous but gentle.Archbishop Tutu challenged the Canadian church — “a church for which he lived and for which he died” — to be a memorial to Archbishop Scott. “Instead of bickering about human sexuality … to be concerned about poverty, about AIDS, about wars that are frequently totally unnecessary and immoral, about spending huge sums on defence … what a memorial to Ted,” he said.About 900 people packed Toronto ‘s St. James Cathedral on a humid July morning for a sung eucharist, with an overflow crowd of about 100 outside. Invited guests included Governor-General Adrienne Clarkson, federal Minister of External Affairs Bill Graham, former prime minister Joe Clark and representatives of religious denominations from around the world. About 30 active and retired Canadian Anglican bishops attended, as did Archbishop Scott’s successor as primate, Archbishop Michael Peers, who read the prayers of the people. The current primate, Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, presided. Also in attendance were members of the Scott family and the archbishop’s companion, Sonja Bird, who was injured in the accident. Archbishop Tutu, in his sermon (which is available at, recalled that Archbishop Scott “was highly controversial” as he “espoused unpopular causes.” He stood up for aboriginal people and supported gays and lesbians and the ordination of women, said the retired South African archbishop, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his fight against apartheid. “It is such an incredible privilege to say on behalf of our people how deeply thankful we are for Ted’s support and your support,” said Archbishop Tutu. A letter from Nelson Mandela that was read aloud paid tribute to “his intimate and incisive role (in ending apartheid), one that helped change the course of history”After the service, Mr. Clark recalled in an interview with the Journal that he was foreign minister when Archbishop Scott served on the Eminent Persons Group. “He was very forthright. He would let me know when we needed to move Canadian government foreign policy,” said Mr. Clark, who read a lesson at the service. In his sermon, Archbishop Tutu recalled Archbishop Scott’s dislike of ecclesiastical formality. “He said, ‘Just call me Ted.’ Some of us lesser mortals need the high-faluting titles such as ‘Your Grace,’ but he let who he was do the talking and how eloquent he turned out to be,” said Archbishop Tutu. Other Canadian cathedrals also marked Archbishop Scott’s life, some on July 13, the same day as the service in Toronto . In Halifax , a memorial service at All Saints Cathedral was led by Bishop Susan Moxley, suffragan (assistant) bishop of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island . In Regina , diocese of Qu’Appelle, a service was held at St. Paul ‘s Cathedral. In Vancouver , a service of celebration took place at Christ Church Cathedral. Two cathedrals held memorial services earlier. St. Paul ‘s Cathedral in London , Ont., held a memorial service on June 28. St. John’s Cathedral, Winnipeg, held a service on June 30; Donald Phillips, bishop of Rupert’s Land, preached and Patrick Lee, retired bishop of Rupert’s Land and friend of Archbishop Scott, delivered the eulogy.


  • Solange DeSantis

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

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