What century did you say?

Published February 1, 2000

100 years ago: February 1900

Canadian Churchman reported that it is curious to see how people still doubt as to whether we are now ending the 19th Century or beginning the 20th. Even the Archbishop of Canterbury has been appealed to on the subject. In a letter to a lay Churchman, His Grace says, “that all historians have dated events on the supposition that the year 1, and not the year 0, is the year in which our Lord was born, and it is now too late to alter it. Therefore the year 1900 is the last year of the 19th Century, and not the first year of the 20th.” This question we decided, on simple grounds of reason, some weeks ago, as the Archbishop has decided it, and we cannot imagine any other decision possible.

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50 years ago: February 1950

Canadian Churchman reported that the government approved, non-profit service known as CARE has issued through its Ottawa representative an interesting statement providing a few particulars of what has been accomplished in four years. Nine million packages of food and textiles have been shipped to needy people in Europe and Asia. Ninety-four per cent of these contained food. The value of the total is placed at $88,000,000. CARE comprises 25 major welfare agencies ? Thomas Massey of the English House of Commons moved that the word Mass be abolished from the English language and that with the words ending in -mas or -mass the syllable -tide be substituted, as for example Christide, Michaetide, etc. This being in that witty man’s day, Daniel O’Connell rose and said he would gladly second the motion if the proposer would set the example by changing his own name to Totide Tidey!

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25 years ago: February 1975

Canadian Churchman reported that the Anglican Church of Canada is losing the urban battle and becoming less and less relevant to the majority of city dwellers. Rather than searching out particular needs of the urban community the church merely responds to requests and adopts a “come to us” attitude. These are the conclusions reached in a comprehensive study of the 13 parishes making up the Toronto East deanery of the Diocese of Toronto. One of the critical issues to emerge from the study is, “the realization that the traditional form of ministry in urban centres is dramatically failing.” The next five years are critical: “Unless new strategies are effected, the downward trend may be totally irreversible.” This could be disastrous for the Anglican Church of Canada, which depends on its affluent urban base for the money to carry out ministry and mission in other areas.


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