As part of an effort to shore up support and raise awareness about the Anglican Foundation of Canada (AFC), its executive director, the Rev. Canon Judy Rois, has asked the leadership at the Anglican Church of Canada’s national office in Toronto to become members of the organization.
This move has paid dividends. “Everybody has said yes,” said Rois, describing it as “a great show…of support and solidarity.”
The overture to the Church House directors came in the wake of the Foundation’s Free Up Fifty campaign. The campaign draws attention to the AFC’s origins at the 1957 General Synod, when it was established that every parish in the country would donate $50 per year in support of the Foundation. “Over the years, a number of parishes either have forgotten about that $50 commitment, or don’t know about it-most of them actually don’t know about it,” said Rois. “[E]very parish in every diocese can draw on the Foundation for money, but it’s kind of symbiotic-you also have to put some money in.”
Currently, the AFC counts 506 parishes spread throughout 18 dioceses, along with 354 individual members, as part of its membership. These are numbers Rois would like to increase in the coming years; she said the Free Up Fifty campaign and the newly minted memberships of the Church House directors are key components in achieving that goal.
When she took over the helm of the Foundation in 2011, its directors identified raising the profile of the Foundation as a top priority. Rois acknowledged that it has been, at times, a challenging process, but she added, “we’re actually beginning to see the fruits of those labours, that people are aware of the Foundation.”
The Anglican Foundation describes itself as an independent body that “seeks to provide abundant resources for innovative ministries, Anglican presence, and diverse infrastructure projects across the Canadian church.”
Ben Graves is an intern for the Anglican Journal.
Editor’s note: In the third paragraph, “every parish in the diocese” was corrected to read “every parish in the country.”