Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Shakeup hits Anglican diocese

Rupert's Land to add cathedral after merger with Kenora-area parishes

  • Print

Soon you can call Donald Phillips the bishop with two -- er -- seats.

On Aug. 1, when Anglican parishes of the southern region of the Diocese of Keewatin join the Diocese of Rupert's Land, the cathedral in Kenora, Ont., is part of the package.

"It deserves to keep some special recognition," Phillips says of the Cathedral Church of St. Alban the Martyr in Kenora.

"It's just been decided it will maintain the name 'cathedral.' "

A cathedral is a church with a seat or chair for the bishop, sometimes called the seat of the diocese.

Since Rupert's Land already has St. John's Cathedral, at 135 Anderson Ave. in Winnipeg, Phillips essentially has two seats.

More importantly, Phillips heads up 15 additional parishes with the extension of the eastern boundaries of Rupert's Land to include Pinawa, Lac du Bonnet and Fort Alexander at Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba. The remaining 12 are located in northwestern Ontario, including Kenora, Rainy River and Sioux Lookout.

The parishes join Rupert's Land after the dissolution of the Diocese of Keewatin and the creation of a new diocese called the Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh, which includes 25 communities in northwestern Ontario and northern Manitoba.

Last month, Bishop Lydia Mamakwa was installed as bishop of Mishamikoweesh, which was proclaimed as a diocese on June 14.

Changing jurisdictions is one of those proverbial mixed blessings, since it involves saying goodbye to a long association with northern aboriginal communities in the former Diocese of Keewatin, says the dean of St. Alban.

"One of the things we will miss is the close relationship we have with the northern Ontario region," says Rev. James Duggan.

"We're looking forward to a diocese which is a bit smaller in size," he adds, referring to the old diocese's vast geographical area.

He expects the cathedral congregation will also see less of Bishop Donald Phillips, who lives in Winnipeg, than they did of Bishop David Ashdown of Keewatin, who lives in the parish. Ashdown retires from ministry on Dec. 31, 2015.

Duggan says the mainly English-speaking congregations in the southern region of Keewatin benefited from linguistic and cultural diversity of the diocese and learned to really listen to each other in meetings held in both English and Oji-Cree.

"That method causes you to listen more carefully to the message," says Duggan.

"That resulted in a deep respect for each other."

Phillips hopes the former Keewatin parishes can bring those qualities to their new diocese.

"I think it will be quite interesting for us," says Phillips, who is on leave from his diocesan duties until Oct. 1 to complete his doctoral dissertation.

"It will be a slightly different cultural emphasis that will enrich us, but it will be like family."

The addition of the Keewatin parishes will result in additional income for Rupert's Land through diocesan levies, but Phillips says no decisions have been made on additional diocesan staff.

The expansion of Rupert's Land means its boundaries to the east more closely align with those of the MNO Synod of the Evangelical Church in Canada. Anglicans and Lutherans have a full communion relationship, and the diocese and synod share office space at the Anglican Lutheran Centre in Fort Garry.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 19, 2014 D15

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Jets fans take Anaheim by storm

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • The sun peers through the fog to illuminate a tree covered in hoar frost near Headingley, Manitoba Thursday- Standup photo- February 02, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Korea Veterans Association stained glass window at Deer Lodge Centre. Dedication with Minister of Veterans Affairs Dr. Rey Pagtakhan. March 12, 2003.

View More Gallery Photos


Do you agree with the sale of the Canadian Wheat Board to foreign companies?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google