St Matthew’s: Anglican Foundation aids renewal

St. Matthew'sSt Matthew’s parish received a grant of $15,000 this year from the Anglican Foundation of Canada toward construction of a new worship space within its immense church building at St Matthews Avenue and Maryland Street.

The building is currently being converted into WestEnd Commons, with community service agencies in the basement, worship space on the ground level and affordable rental housing on the upper levels. The housing is scheduled for occupancy in March. Funds are still being raised for construction of the worship space.

Anglican Foundation of Canada

Last year, the Anglican Foundation of Canada supported the transition phase for three North-End parishes in Winnipeg, St Barnabas, St Anne’s and St Martin-in-the-Fields. The three parishes share one priest, Fr Michael Bruce, and are currently planning their shared future. The $4,000 Anglican Foundation grant helped cover transition costs.

St Margaret’s parish in the West End conducted a consultation on marriage and human sexuality with the aid of an $8,000 grant from the Anglican Foundation in 2008.

Since its creation in 1957, the Anglican Foundation of Canada has provided Anglicans with grants and loans totalling more than $28 million.  And the foundation—with current investment assets of almost $14 million—wants more Anglicans to benefit in more diverse ways.

“We’re helping Canadians in new ways,” says the Rev Judy Rois, the foundation’s executive director. “By making it easier to apply and increasing the impact of gifts, we’re able to help more people with a wider range of projects and programs across the country.”

Beginning in 2014, the foundation will launch four new funding initiatives:

  • Multiple-year funding for ministry projects of up to $10,000 a year for three years
  • An annual call for proposals to encourage innovative ministry-related projects
  • A donor/project matching program
  • A streamlined twice-yearly application process for grants and loans

While maintaining funding for construction and renovation, the foundation is breaking new ground as it supports the fresh expressions of the church’s Vision 2019 blueprint. Initiatives include ecumenical youth strategies, hospice and elder care, theological education and literacy coaching. Its inspiring projects in the visual and performing arts range from an uplifting wall hanging in a B.C. prison chapel to intensive choral training for young girls in Ontario.

“This is funding ministry that matters and makes a difference in people’s lives,” says Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Anglican Primate and Foundation chair. “It’s all about giving life to people, parishes and visions,” says Rois.

“This is funding ministry that matters and makes a difference in people’s lives,” says Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Anglican Primate and Foundation chair. “It’s all about giving life to people, parishes and visions,” says Rois.

The Very Rev Shane Parker, Dean of Ottawa and the foundation’s strategic team leader, is thrilled with this fresh direction and statement of identity, which, he says, “will provide abundant resources for innovative ministries, a strong Anglican presence and diverse infrastructure projects across the Canadian church.”

No one knows better how inspiring foundation support can be than Justin Cheng, a postulant with the diocese of British Columbia, who received a grant to do an internship this summer at St George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem. “The experience allowed me to get a glimpse of the church’s mission in the Middle East as well as meet Anglican pilgrims from around the world,” he says. “The foundation’s financial support demonstrates the church’s commitment to future ordained ministry.”

Last May, the Rev Beth Benson, rector of St. Cuthbert’s in Toronto, attended the ecumenical Festival of Homiletics in Nashville with aid from the Lewis Garnsworthy Memorial Trust. “I came home refreshed and encouraged in my preaching ministry and eager to protect the time I need for study and sermon preparation,” she says. “I am also eager now to experiment with different preaching styles.”

Traditional funding for church renovation continues. “The foundation’s generous support came at just the right time to raise our spirits and our hopes in the early days of our ambitious renovation project,” says the Rev Brian Pearson, rector of St Stephen’s in Calgary. “The church will be “pew-less” to make it an arts-friendly space.”

Funding is driven by investment revenue, and relies on the continuing generosity and collective goodwill of its hundreds of individual donors as well as bequests, memorials, trusts and special gifts. Every Anglican parish is invited to become a member of the Foundation by making an annual donation.

The Foundation remains committed to making great things happen all across the country. Since 2010, it has disbursed approximately $1.8 million to Anglicans across Canada. Become a catalyst for great things in your diocese. Imagine a project you could be passionate about, and let the foundation know it!

To apply for funding or make donations, go to anglicanfoundation.org

By Diana Swift