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Acting Warden Church of the Holy Cross, Abbotsford responds

Letter To the Editor
Church of England Newspaper

Dear Editor,

I would like to clarify a few points with regard to your recent article on the closing of our Mission church, Church of the Holy Cross.

The Christmas Eve service which you referred to as taking place in Rev. Wagner's home actually took place on Christmas Day. It was held there because our usual meeting place, a local recreation centre, was closed for the holiday.

Secondly, and more importantly, this was not our final service. We have continued to meet for Sunday morning services and have made arrangements for a clergy presence during these services.

Contrary to the declaration of Bishop Ingham, we consider ourselves genuine Anglicans and see no reason why we should cease to act as such. Church of the Holy Cross is a community, not simply a legal entity. Every decision we make is designed to keep us in full communion with the worldwide church. We have been in contact with a number of Bishops and at least one Primate to explain our situation and seek a way forward through this difficult time.

I feel strongly that this is a critical time for the Anglican Church of Canada. The unilateral declarations initiating rites which are contrary to the proclaimed mind of our national church and international communion display remarkable arrogance and insensitivity. The self-destructive actions taken by our leadership, such as the declaration of the closing of our church amidst a time when restraint and patience have been agreed upon, will eventually lead to the severe crippling and probable dissolution of our diocese. Clergy and laity, straight and gay are all fearful and confused as to the course mapped out and actions taken by the bishop of New Westminster.

Bishop Ingham has demonstrated by his words and actions that he has no interest is honouring the clear statement from the Primates, and the Anglican Church of Canada is unable to hold him to account for failing to do so. At a January 7, 2004 gathering of laity and clergy in the diocese of New Westminster which I attended, one question that was raised repeatedly to a visiting primate was: "why won't the Archbishop of Canterbury help us?". Our options are running out.

Bill Glasgow
Acting Warden
Church of the Holy Cross, Abbotsford
formerly of the Diocese of New Westminster
British Columbia, Canada

P.O. Box 102
Abbotsford, B.C.
V2S 4N9

Church 604-853-6083

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