General Synod 2007

GS07 Report 08
Report of the Council of the North

up to Convening Circular
^-- up to Reports


The Council began the triennium by developing a strategic direction document using the Appreciative Inquiry method.  This was conducted by Mr. Michael Shouldice of the Diocese of the Arctic.

A Comprehensive Equitable Compensation Policy was developed by Mr. Rodney Clark and Mr. Michael Lowery.  This was subsequently presented to the Council of General Synod.

The Council of the North adopted a policy on the remuneration of non-stipendiary clergy, and a policy on location allowances.

The Council undertook an extensive process to update the Support Grant Allocation Formula.  This will be completed early in the next triennium.

The Council was led in its response to the General Synod Framework by Mr. Vianney Carriere.

Ms. Debra Gill is currently undertaking an update of the Council Policy Manual.

Communication with the Wider Church

The Council contracted with the Diocese of Keewatin to undertake a Promotions Programme.  Our Promotions Coordinator, Fiona Brownlea, did an excellent job helping the wider Church understand what it was achieving in its partnership with the Council.  Beginning with the General Synod, Ms. Brownlea traveled extensively across Canada to make presentations on behalf of the Council, and produced brochures and other excellent explanatory material which were distributed nationwide.  A section of the General Synod website was created for the Council with the help of the Department of Communications.  The Chair submitted an article for the General Synod Blog, In Plenary, outlining the Council’s financial crisis.  Ms. Brownlea worked with Saskia Rowley of the Communications Department to produce a new logo for the Council.  Ms. Brownlea reported on her activities to each meeting of the Council in the triennium.

An Increased Awareness Taskforce was created to prepare a presentation on the Council for the 2007 General Synod.

Communication with our Partners

Throughout the triennium, the Council was grateful for the contribution of various partners from the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples, including Archdeacon Sidney Black, the Rev. Gloria Moses, the Rev. Murray Still, Ms. Donna Bomberry, and the new National Indigenous Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Mark  MacDonald.  The Chair & Vice Chair, along with various other members of the Council, participated in the Fifth Sacred Circle in Pinawa, MB.

Our representative to the ACIP throughout the triennium was the Rt. Rev. Andrew Atagotaaluk.  The Council also liaised with other church committees.  Bishop James Njegovan represented the Council at Anti-Racism Working Group, Bishop David Ashdown at the Mission Coordination Group, and Archbishop Caleb Lawrence at the Governance Task Force.

We were grateful also to have as Council members Mr. Peter Blachford, Mr. Vianney Carriere, and his proxy Ms. Lisa Barry.  We were also thankful to have visitors to our meetings, including the Primate and Archdeacon Paul Feheley, Archdeacon John Wright of the Anglican Foundation, the Rt. Rev. Colin Johnson, Bishop of Toronto, Mr. Timothy Duke of the New England Company, and Ms. Stephanie Peddle of the Anglican Appeal.

Tataskweyak Cree Nation and the Diocese of Keewatin for hosted the Council’s September 2005 meeting.

Financial Crisis

The Council was very grateful for the continuing support of the General Synod, a special one time $25,000 grant from the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario, as well as financial support from the New England Company, various individual and parish donors, and the Diocese of Montreal.

The Council meets twice a year.  In order to save money, the Council began to hold its winter meeting by teleconference.  It has also begun to consider reducing the number of members who attend the fall meeting of the Council.

The allocation in the General Synod budget for funding the Council of the North has been steadily decreasing.   In 1993 grants to the member dioceses totaled $3,551,000.  In 2006 the total is  $2,373,000 which is a decrease of  $1,178,000  or  33%.   During that time the General Synod revenue decreased from $11,361,000  to $9,750,000, a decrease of $1,611,678.00  or 14%.    In 1993, the Council of the North grants absorbed 31.3% of the revenue of General Synod, in 2006 they will absorb only 24.3%  If the Council of the North  had the same priority (31.3%) in 2006 as it did in 1993, the current grants would total $3,052,000 or   $679,000 more than the actual current grants.

This erosion of pastoral and sacramental ministry in remote and isolated areas has not been deliberate.  With changing times, there have been changing demands.  As a result, priorities have unintentionally shifted.  The Council of the North believes that it is time that the whole church reviewed its priorities and   took a very careful look at how important the provision of this pastoral and sacramental ministry is to the mission of the church. 

As part of this review, the Council of the North asks that the whole church consider the effects of this massive decrease in actual dollars and lowering of the level of priority  coupled with rising costs such as soaring energy, transportation, and insurance  rates:

The Council of the North believes that in order to maintain a reasonable level of sacramental and pastoral ministry believes that it is critical that we have funding strategies that provide for and maintain:

Respectfully submitted,
Anthony Burton,


The Anglican Church of Canada
80 Hayden Street
Toronto, Ontario M4Y 3G2
Main switchboard: 416-924-9192