Manitoba History: ‘A Great Feeling of Unity’: Anglican Hospitality for Orthodox Congregations in Manitoba

by Stephen C. Sharman
Selkirk, Manitoba

Number 79, Fall 2015

This article was published originally in Manitoba History by the Manitoba Historical Society on the above date. We make this online version available as a free, public service. As an historical document, the article may contain language and views that are no longer in common use and may be culturally sensitive in nature.

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One Sunday in July 1997, I attended the Sunday Eucharist in the Parish Church of St. Edward’s, Cambridge, England. I discovered that a Greek Orthodox Parish held their services in the Church. The Anglicans were finishing their post-service tea while the Orthodox congregation was singing The Hours which preceded their Liturgy. This introduced me to the long tradition of friendship between Orthodox and Anglicans which, in this case, showed itself in the sharing of a Church building for the worship of both congregations. In this article, I shall examine five case studies of the sharing of Church buildings by Anglicans and Orthodox in Manitoba in two of which Orthodox parishes purchased Anglican buildings and in the other three Orthodox parishes held their services within Anglican buildings. This is part of the larger story of Anglican-Orthodox friendship which begins in England.

The City of York in England has among its historic buildings the Ancient Guild Hall of the Merchant Adventurers of the City of York. The Guild Hall displays a Russian Icon of the 16th or 17th centuries which shows the Theotokos and Her Son, a saintly bishop and another saint. [2] The presence of the Icon testifies to the relations between England and the Orthodox East in the 16th and 17th centuries. In those years, the Muscovy Company played an important role in cultivating relations between England and Russia. [3] This trading company established trade routes to Russia by way of the White Sea. Part of the English interest in Russia and the Orthodox East was trade, part of it was the search for the North East passage and part of it was an interest in a Christian Church that was older than Rome but not Roman Catholic. The English Church, emphatically not Roman as the result of the Reformation, was interested in other Christian Churches that shared the English distrust of Rome.

An interest in Orthodoxy continued to be an important part of English church life. [4] As an example of this, we might consider the Rev. William Palmer, a Deacon of the Church of England and a Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, who travelled to Russia in 1842 and 1844. [5] He applied to the Russian Orthodox Church for permission to receive Communion in their services. Because of his standing as an Anglican and as a Deacon in the Church of England, his application had serious canonical problems and was never granted. His travels and his books did create bridges between England and Russia. He met the noted Russian theologian and philosopher, Alexis Stepanovich Khomiakoff, with whom he established a friendship. [6] Another Anglican who was interested in Orthodoxy was John Mason Neal (1818–1866) who translated Orthodox hymns into English and wrote The History of the Holy Eastern Church that introduced English church people to Orthodoxy. [7] Behind this is the figure of St. Theodore of Tarsus (circa 602–690 AD) who became Archbishop of Canterbury in 668 AD long before the schism in 1054 which divided East and West. [8] The Anglicans who were committed to cordial relations with Eastern Orthodoxy were often members of the “high church” party in the Church of England, a party composed of Tractarians, Non-Jurors and their friends. [9] One such Anglo-Catholic friend of Orthodoxy was Father William Turney SSJE, whom we will meet later in this essay. An Anglican interest in their Orthodox neighbours is a feature of Canadian Church life. This is often joined with a willingness to help them especially with buildings.

The migration of Ukrainians to Canada between 1881 and 1912 came from the provinces of Galicia and Bukovina in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. [10] The people from Galicia were Greek Catholics and the people from Bukovina were Orthodox. They were followed by refugees from the Russian Revolutions and the Russian Civil War after the First World War and then more refugees from Eastern Europe after the Second World War. These movements of people brought Orthodox Christians into contact with Anglicans and led to the sharing of buildings which is the theme of this essay. The communities of Orthodox Christians needed Churches for their worship. In some places they shared buildings with Anglican congregations until they were able to acquire buildings of their own. In many places they were able to build their own often with the help of funds from the Czar of Russia. [11] In some cases they were able to buy Churches from other Christian communities, often from Anglicans. [12] I am aware of many Orthodox Churches whose buildings were once Anglican Churches with examples in London, New York, Montreal and Toronto. [13] In New York City in Lower Manhattan, the Russian Orthodox parish purchased a redundant church of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the USA. [14] In London, the Russian Orthodox community, a parish of the Moscow Patriarchate, rented the redundant Anglican All Saints Church in Ennismore Gardens in 1956 and subsequently purchased the building in 1977. [15] They named their Church the Cathedral of the Dormition and All Saints and consecrated it on Sunday, 16 December 1956. The presiding Hierarch was Archbishop Nicholas, the Moscow Patriarchate’s Exarch for Western Europe. They had previously shared St. Philip’s Anglican Church with a parish of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia. [16] The Diocese of London had allowed them to use All Saints Church rent-free. The exterior of the Church must be preserved because it is a listed building but the interior has become very Orthodox in appearance. In Toronto the Russian Orthodox community purchased the redundant St. Cyprian’s Anglican Church from the Diocese of Toronto in 1966 and renamed it Christ the Saviour Russian Orthodox Cathedral. They were a parish of the Moscow Patriarchate and had some knowledge of the Anglican Church since they had worshipped in “an Anglican chapel” in their early years. Their new church was consecrated as an Orthodox Church on 30 October 1966 by Metropolitan Irenaeus and Bishop Silvester. [17] It is an interesting experience to stand in this holy place during an Orthodox liturgy and to see the stained-glass windows which survive from the building’s Anglican years. In Montreal, the Russian Orthodox Parish of St. Peter and St. Paul purchased the Anglican Church of St. Luke in 1924 in order to accommodate a congregation enlarged by refugees from post-revolution Russia and transformed it into an Orthodox Church. [18] This parish is a member of the Orthodox Church in America and in communion with the Moscow Patriarchate.

I am aware of five occasions when Orthodox services were held in Anglican Churches in Manitoba. [19] One was the Anglo-Catholic Parish Church of St. Michael & All Angels, Winnipeg, Manitoba, where the priest and people of Holy Resurrection Parish of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia held their services in a room in the parish hall from 1950 to 1954 before they purchased their own church. At that time there was a good friendship between Anglicans and Orthodox which was encouraged by the Anglican priest, Fr. Turney, SSJE. We shall look at this friendship a little later in this article. The second instance is the Anglican Church of St. Philip in Winnipeg where the Orthodox Mission of the Theotokos of the Life-giving Spring holds their liturgies in the lower level of the Church. [20] The Mission belongs to the Archdiocese of Canada of the Orthodox Church in America. St. Philip’s is not an Anglo-Catholic parish and hence an exception to the pattern of High Anglicans forming friendships with the Orthodox. The third example is that of St. Mary the Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral, Winnipeg, which “held its first liturgies in a nearby Anglican church”in 1924 and 1925. [21] A fourth example is the Ukrainian Orthodox Parish of St. Michael, Sandy Lake, whose first Church was a former Anglican building which they rented before they purchased it as their first Church. The fifth example is St. Michael’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Winnipeg which purchased St. Mark’s Anglican Mission church, renovated it and made it their parish church.

St. Michael’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church (110 Disraeli Street, Winnipeg) was erected in 1902 as an Anglican Mission Church, located several blocks away on Rachel Street (now Annabella Street) near Sutherland Avenue. It was moved here in 1906 when the City expropriated its original site to widen Sutherland Avenue. The Mission closed around the time of the First World War and, in 1918, the building was purchased by the congregation of the National Greek Orthodox Church of St. Michael.
Source: G. Goldsborough

St. Michael’s Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox Church

The Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Sandy Lake, Manitoba, was organised in 1924. As they did not have their own church, in 1927 they rented an Anglican church that they purchased in 1933 and refurbished according to their traditions. Unfortunately the building burned down on 23 January 1944. [22] Peter J. Koltusky’s book has a photograph of the former Anglican Church after it had been refurbished and a second picture which shows the church on fire. [23] The parish subsequently built a new church which still stands. There is, however, a problem. While the people of the parish and the three sources all agree that their first church building was a former Anglican church, I have found no evidence of that in the Anglican archives which I have consulted. [24] Further, the admittedly brief history of Sandy Lake in the district history does not mention an Anglican church. It does mention a Presbyterian building and a Protestant building which was used as a school. The Protestant building may be the Anglican Church but this needs further supporting evidence. [25] In this case, the transfer of a building from one group to another is not necessarily evidence of friendship between the two groups. It is rather evidence of a commercial transaction. The Anglo-Saxon population which was leaving the district left behind an unused building. [26] The Ukrainians who needed a building purchased it for their worship.

St. Mark’s Anglican Mission & St. Michael’s Ukrainian Orthodox Heritage Church

In 1918, a group of Ukrainian Orthodox people who were formerly members of Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral purchased an unused Anglican Church building which became their parish church. They paid $1,800.00 for the building. St. Michael’s Church is believed to be the first Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Winnipeg. While it seems to have been a commercial transaction, that is, one group had a church to sell and the other group wished to buy a church, it is possible that a sympathy for the Ukrainian Orthodox and a willingness to support them as they established a parish motivated the authorities of the Anglican Diocese of Rupert’s Land to sell them the building. As yet I have found no evidence to support this suggestion.

St. Mark’s Mission had a short but interesting history. I shall tell that story first and then go on to the history of St. Michael’s Parish. St. Mark’s mission was founded by Christ Church Parish, Winnipeg, which had assumed as a consequence of their church’s proximity to the CPR Station on Higgins Street a ministry to immigrants and to the residents of what is now described as the inner city of Winnipeg. The Rev. Canon Edwyn S. W. Pentreath describes the mission’s beginnings in these words:

The origin of this mission was in the effort of the Men’s Guild of Christ Church in 1887. A small shanty on Gomez Street was rented and a Sunday School started. The mission was opened on Sunday March 6th 1887, the Reverend George S. W. Pentreath, Rector of the Parish giving the first address. The Services and the Sunday School were kept up for a time by the men of the Guild - later the Mission was placed in the charge of a committee of four under the direction of the Rector. [27]

The mission church was located first on Gomez (1887), then on Euclid (1890), then on Rachel (1892) and finally on Disraeli (1907). The building on Euclid was a former “(ware) room.” This building was opened for public worship on Sunday, 20 April, 1890, with a service at 3 p.m. at which the Lord Bishop of the Diocese (the Right Reverend Robert Machray) preached the sermon. [28] Canon Pentreath also reports that the people of the Mission selected the name “St. Mark’s Mission Chapel” at a meeting in April 1892. [29] Christ Church assumed the responsibility for the life and ministry of the mission and maintained the mission until 1917. At times the Mission had its own clergyman who is listed in the Synod Journals as a curate of Christ Church. When the Mission did not have its own clergyman, it depended upon the rector and clergy of Christ Church for ministry. St. Mark’s Mission first appears in the lists of parish and clergy in the Synod Journals in 1893 when the Rev. W. Clarke BA, is described as curate in charge of St. Mark’s Mission. Thereafter, St. Mark’s Mission is listed in the Synod Journals as a mission of Christ Church until its closing in 1917. In these years the clergy of the Mission were the Rev. W. Clarke, the Rev. E. M. Skagen (1894), the Rev. R. G. Stevenson (1895–1898), the Rev. S. G. Chambers (1898), the Rev. H. H. St. G. Buttrum (1901), the Rev. W. H. Cassap (1905) and the Rev. F. S Lewis (1909–1911). The mission seems to have thrived at times. In 1905, the Rural Dean’s report records, “St. Mark’s, an offshoot of Christ Church, has enjoyed the services of the Rev. W. H. Cassap, and has had a satisfactory record of steady work done by both pastor and flock. Thirty-five families, many of them poor, have raised over $800.” [30] In 1909, the Rural Dean’s report records, “St. Mark’s Mission is now connected with Christ Church and Mr. Lewis finds much to encourage him there.” [31] In 1911, the Synod Journal reports that “the Mission of St. Mark’s, since the departure of the Rev. S. F. Lewis, has been in the charge of Mr. C. Bristoll, of St John’s College.” [32]

The minute book of Christ Church Parish supplies a few additional facts about the mission. These entries show a satisfactory progress in the life of the Mission. In 1906, we read that “St. Mark’s Mission is at present under the care of the Rev. A. J. Warwick, late missionary on the Peace River.” [33] In 1907 we read that “St. Mark’s Mission has been under the care of Mr. C. B. Runnals, student of St. John’s College. During the past year the mission room has been removed to Disraeli Street, the whole building renovated and the electric light installed.” [34] In 1908, we read that “St. Mark’s Mission has shown much progress under the care and supervision of Mr. H. Cawley, student of St. John’s College.” [35] In 1909, we read that “With the help of Rev. F. S. Lewis, we are now able to work the mission of St. Mark’s, in conjunction with the Parish Church. Much progress is seen in the work of the Mission, the services being well attended and the various guilds and societies showing gratifying results.” [36] In 1910, we read that “St. Mark’s Mission has shown progress under the care of Rev. F. S. Lewis. The congregations are good and the Sunday School is in an excellent condition. A new altar has recently been dedicated for use in the Mission; and a choir of boys (vested) will be inaugurated shortly.” [37] After this date there are no more annual reports. In the light of these encouraging reports, it is hard to understand the closure of this mission. One may speculate that it was the result of a change in population from Anglo-Saxons to Ukrainians or it may be the result of “The War” with its shortages of men and resources. [38]

St. Mark’s Mission ended in 1917. The Minute Book of Christ Church parish records the steps which led to its end. First, we read, “Motion That this Vestry endorses the action of the Rector in the conditional gift of the contents of St. Mark’s Mission to St. Mark’s Church at St. Vital.” [39] This action suggests that services were no longer being held in the Mission. Then on 24 July 1918, a special meeting of the parishioners of Christ Church decided, “Motion That this meeting of parishioners of Christ Church, duly called for and held, accept the offer of eighteen hundred dollars ($1,800) cash for the property known as St. Mark’s Mission and humbly request the Executive Committee of the Diocese of Rupert’s Land to give consent to the sale.” [40] The Executive Committee and the Archbishop gave their consent and the Synod Journal of the Diocese of Rupert’s Land recorded the sale: “The Sale of St. Mark’s Chapel and site, Winnipeg, for $1,800 cash, the proceeds to be held in trust by the Synod and the net income to be paid annually to the Parish of Christ Church.” [41] These records do not state the purchaser of the building and property. [42]

I now turn to the history of St. Michael’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Basil Rotoff, Roman Yereniuk and Stella Hryniuk’s book, Monuments to Faith, contains a brief account of St. Michael’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church. [43] After the Ukrainians purchased the building, they converted it into an Orthodox church which required the construction of “an iconostasis and a raised sanctuary area” and “the addition of a bell tower and the building of an onion dome over the porch,” a transformation which “gave it a somewhat Lemko-like appearance.” [44] The parish was served initially by ‘Russian Orthodox missionaries’ and joined the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church of Canada in 1932. Behind these few words lies a larger history of ecclesiastical discussions. Yereniuk and Hryniuk describe the Point Douglas district as having a large Ukrainian population which supports the conclusion that the Anglican mission failed when Anglo-Saxon people left the district. They say that “a great majority of the early parishioners were employees of the CPR, who applied their skills and used scrap materials to build the liturgical necessities of the church. For example, the royal doors were fashioned out of heavy-gauge sheet metal.” [45] Recently, Cheryl Girard wrote an account of this parish church for the Winnipeg Free Press. [46] She describes the interior of the building and some of its treasures which include a bell donated by the CPR, a gospel “believed to have been brought from Ukraine by the early pioneers” and icons “written before 1918.” [47] She introduces her readers to the parish priest, Father Oleh Krawchenko, whose family were refugees from Eastern Ukraine and who came to Canada after the Second World War. Father Oleh who came to Winnipeg in the 1950s describes the church as “a historical church, not a regular parish.” [48]

Holy Resurrection Russian Orthodox Church (732 Alfred Avenue, Winnipeg) was purchased in 1954 by refugees from the Soviet Union who, on arrival after the Second World War, had been assisted by the Anglican Parish of St. Michael and All Angels.
Source: Peter Clarke

St. Michael and All Angels Anglican Church & Holy Resurrection Russian Orthodox Church

These two parish churches, St. Michael and All Angels and Holy Resurrection, represent a different relationship between Anglican and Orthodox congregations. [49] The two relationships which we have studied above represent commercial relationships in which one parish purchased the building of another. There may not have been any friendship in these transactions. The sharing of buildings by the two denominations suggests friendship as well as commercial relations. The relationship of St Michael and All Angels and Holy Resurrection does represent a friendship of two congregations. It began in 1950 when the Orthodox parish first held their services in the Parish Hall of St. Michael’s and continued after the Orthodox parish moved into their own church in 1954. Their first service was on 6 April 1950, the Eve of the Annunciation. In this history, Fr. Turney SSJE, the incumbent of St. Michael and All Angels, was the significant figure. He was a member of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist, a monastic community of missionary priests whose Canadian mother house was in Bracebridge, Ontario. The SSJE was the first successful monastic community in the Church of England and a product of the Oxford Movement. Fr. Turney was, therefore, an Anglo-Catholic and a member of a group within the Anglican Church which had a particular interest in close relationships with both Roman Catholics and Orthodox. His parish was the pioneering Anglo-Catholic parish in the city of Winnipeg. In addition, he had, I think, a genuine affection for the priest and people of the Russian parish. At the time of the consecration of Holy Resurrection Russian Orthodox Church, he was honoured by their Bishop, priest and people. Their parish history tells us the story:

Consecration of the church, with the repose of relics of the Great Martyr Saint Barbara in the Holy of Holys “[sic]”(altar) was conducted by Archbishop of Canada Pantelaimon (Rudik) with Vladimir (Chekanovsky) and the residing priest Basil (Olishansky) serving. Father William Turney, parish priest of the Anglican church was presented with an icon of the Archangel Michael from the grateful parishioners of the newly created parish of the Holy Resurrection. He also received a certificate of thankfulness from the Synod of Bishops for his great help to the Russian Orthodox worshippers. That same icon of the Archangel Michael to this day hangs in a prominent place in the Anglican church. [50]

The Icon which is now attached to the door which leads from the Church into the sacristy remains as a witness to the friendship which developed between the two congregations and their priests. The Orthodox parish gave Fr. Turney the title of honorary guardian of their parish as another mark of their friendship. [51] In the words of the Gospel, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” [52]

The history of Holy Resurrection Russian Orthodox parish begins in the aftermath of the Second World War when refugees from Europe travelled to Canada and to Winnipeg. [53] The founders of the parish came from the Soviet Union with painful memories of their sufferings at the hands of an atheistic regime. At the time there was a Russian Orthodox parish in Winnipeg, Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, which had been founded before the First World War and funded before 1917 by the Czar. Their founders were from Belorussia and the Ukraine and their church had been consecrated by Archbishop Tikhon who later became Patriarch of Moscow and a martyr of the Bolshevik regime. In the 1940s this parish was a part of the Russian Orthodox metropolia in North America and in communion with the Patriarchate of Moscow which was widely considered to be under the influence of the Soviet regime. The refugees of Holy Resurrection parish had experienced that regime and wished to escape from it. Accordingly they established their own parish and placed themselves under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia. This Orthodox jurisdiction had emerged in Western Europe among refugees fleeing the Bolshevik Revolution. Their leaders found themselves unable to accept the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate which, they thought, was too much under the influence of the Soviet regime. And that regime was persecuting the Church in the Soviet Union. [54] Holy Resurrection Parish’s acceptance by the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia took place on 17 September 1950. Metropolitan Anastasy (Gribanovsky) became their chief hierarch.

The parish was now organised within an Orthodox jurisdiction and they had gained a friendly place to hold their Liturgies. Their next goal was to find a Church of their own. In 1954 this hope came true. They found a church at 732 Alfred Avenue, Winnipeg, which had belonged to a congregation of “Polish-Ukrainian Catholics who had not allied themselves with Rome.” [55] They purchased the building in January 1954. The Church was consecrated in August 1954 by the Archbishop of Canada Pantelaimon (Rudik) and relics of the Great Martyr Saint Barbara were placed within the Altar. This building required some adaptation to the standards of an Orthodox church and of Orthodox worship. The most important of these was the provision of an Iconostasis and Icons for the Iconostasis and for the Church. A. Sauer, a parishioner, artist and Iconographer, directed the erection of the Iconostasis and painted the Icons of the first level of the Iconostasis and the Icon of the Crucifixion at the Table of Remembrance. Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, New York state, provided more Icons. Other Icons came from Jerusalem and Archbishop Joasaf donated “the parish feast day icon.” The Koligin family donated a “very old icon (200 years old) of the Mother of God of Kazan brought from China.” [56] The Iconostasis was completed before the Church was consecrated. In 1966 the appearance of the Church was changed by the replacement of the original bell tower and steeple with a gilded cupola. In 1963 and 1976 the Parish obtained sections of land in the Brookside municipal cemetery and established their own parochial cemetery.

Both parishes, St. Michael and All Angels Anglican Parish and Holy Resurrection Russian Orthodox Parish, continue to exist and to thrive. Their friendship continued for some years. When the memorial shrine for Fr. Turney in the Churchyard of St. Peter’s Church at Dynevor, Manitoba was blessed in June 1964, the service was attended by Fr. Gibbons of St. Michael and All Angels, Winnipeg, Fr. White of St. Thomas Church, Weston, Winnipeg, Fr. Arthur Millward of St. John’s Cathedral, Winnipeg, Fr. Gregory (Moizeivsky) of the Russian Orthodox Church and Fr. Malinowski of the Polish National Catholic Church. [57] In 1978, there was a serious fire in the sanctuary of St. Michael and All Angels and the people of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Holy Resurrection sent a sympathy letter containing the following sentiments:

They remember with deep affection their first spiritual shelter in Winnipeg—your parish hall. Therefore they hope you will accept a cheque for a small token of their love for Father William and their appreciation of your generosity when they came as strangers to their new homeland, to be used for the restoration of your windows or in any other way you think fit. [58]

Another letter in the same archives speaks of the Russian Orthodox Parish’s gratitude for “your truly Christian love” and remembers fondly that you “gave us shelter and surrounded us with limitless protection.” [59] This letter testifies to the friendship between the two parishes. Unhappily the close friendship of the 1950s has come to an end.

St. Philip’s Anglican Church & Orthodox Mission of the Life-Giving Spring

The Parish of St. Philip, Norwood, Winnipeg, began in 1900 as a Mission of Holy Trinity Parish, Winnipeg. [60] By November 1900, they had acquired a small wooden church. On 27 June the parish was formed by the Most Reverend Robert Machray, Archbishop of Rupert’s Land. In the same year, they began to build their present Church which was dedicated on 19 February 1905 and completed in 1907. This Church was consecrated on 25 October 1944 by the Most Reverend Louis Ralph Sherman, Archbishop of Rupert’s Land. [61] The parish also acquired a rectory, a memorial hall which contained a hall, kitchen, offices, nursery and guild room and finally St. Philip’s Court, an apartment building for seniors. The rectory and St. Philip’s Court have since been sold.

In recent years, St. Philip’s has welcomed an Orthodox mission who rent the lower level of the Church for their services. [62] The Mission began as a mission of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church with Father Andrew Jarmus as their priest. It became in time a mission of the Orthodox Church in America with Father Anthony Eastabrooks as their priest. It is a small congregation most of whose members are converts to Orthodoxy. They have Liturgy on Sunday morning, Vespers on Saturday evening and special services during Holy Week. All of their services are in English. The relationship between the two congregations began as a commercial arrangement. The Anglicans had space to rent and the Orthodox needed to rent space. Although there is as yet not much in the way of “mutual meeting,” a friendship is beginning to grow especially among the clergy of the two congregations. One describes “a congenial relationship” and the other “a friendly relationship.” There is much hope for ecumenical relations in this.

St. Mary the Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral & Unknown Anglican Church

Little is known of the relationship between this Orthodox Church and an unnamed nearby Anglican Church. Two authorities state that the Orthodox Parish held their first liturgies in a nearby Anglican Church but do not name it. [63] The Orthodox parish used the facilities of the Anglican Church for only a year between the founding of their parish in 1924 and the building of their own church in 1925. I have speculated that the nearby Anglican Church may have been Old St. Peter’s on Selkirk. Avenue. This church was demolished in 1931 and few records remain. The answer to the question may lie within the records of St. Mary the Protectress Orthodox Cathedral.


I have presented five case studies of relations between Orthodox and Anglican congregations. In each case the major focus has been on the practical matter of a building, a church. In three cases the church building was shared by an Anglican congregation and an Orthodox congregation. In two cases the church building was sold by one congregation and purchased by another. The church is essential for the spiritual life of a Christian congregation because it gathers the people together and provides the place where God is worshipped, the Sacraments are administered and the presence of God is found. [64] In the two cases where a building was sold and bought, there was a willingness to help one another and hence friendship. In the three cases where the building was shared, there was a greater opportunity for friendship between Anglicans and Orthodox as they come to know one another in the practical issues of sharing a building and providing for worship. These five case studies demonstrate that the friendly relations between Anglicans and Orthodox which are present in other parts of Canada, the UK and the USA are also present in Manitoba. Moreover these five case studies demonstrate that sharing buildings may provide opportunities for stronger ecumenical relations. This was certainly true of the friendship between St. Michael and All Angels Parish and Holy Resurrection Parish.

Ecumenical relations are built upon friendship. Practical matters such as buildings may lead to greater understandings in other matters such as liturgy, theology and spirituality. They have the potential of leading to better ecumenical relations. Perhaps I may leave the last words here to the late Most Reverend Walter Heath Jones, one-time Archbishop of Rupert’s Land. He was a member of a regular gathering of Bishops in Winnipeg. Over the last thirty years or so, these Bishops, Anglican, Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Ukrainian Catholic and Ukrainian Orthodox, had formed an informal but friendly network. Commenting on the work of the meetings of the Bishops, he said, “I have found here, as I did in other places, a great feeling of unity, particularly with Roman Catholics, Lutherans and Orthodox, and we have built up in Manitoba a very solid ecumenical community.” [65]


1. I wish to thank Dr. Roman Yereniuk of St. Andrew’s College, University of Manitoba, Mrs Gloria Romaniuk, Archivist of the Diocese of Rupert’s Land, Mrs. Diane Campbell, Archivist of the Anglican Parish of St. Michael and All Angels, Winnipeg, The Rev. Canon A. M. L. Klassen, formerly rector of the Anglican Parish of St. Michael and All Angels, Winnipeg, Mr. Jim Blanchard, Mr. Peter Clarke and Mrs. Dorothy Kealey for their help with various aspects of this project.

2. I saw the Icon when I visited York in 1992. I do not know the identities of the saints.

3. For the establishment of the Muscovy Company, see A. L. Rowse, The Expansion of Elizabethan England, New York, 1955, pp. 168, 191 & 227.

4. There is a considerable literature on the subject of Anglican-Orthodox relations. In this country, we have an important article by Trevor Powell, Archivist of the Anglican Diocese of Qu’Appelle in southern Saskatchewan, which describes that Diocese’s response to the presence of Christians from Eastern Europe: ‘The Church of England and the “Foreigner” in the Diocese of Qu’Appelle and Saskatchewan,’ Journal of the Canadian Church Historical Society, Vol. 28 (1986), pp. 31-43. Owen Chadwick’s biography of Archbishop Ramsey, Michael Ramsey: A Life, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990, contains a chapter, ‘Eastern Christendom,’ pp. 287-312, which describes the warm relations of an admittedly pro-Orthodox English bishop with the Eastern Orthodox Church. Other useful titles on the subject of Anglican-Orthodox relations are V. T. Istaurides, Orthodoxy and Anglicanism, translated by Colin Davey, London: SPCK, 1966, Michael Ramsey, The Church of England and the Eastern Orthodox Church, London: SPCK, 1946, and P. E. Shaw, The Early Tractarians and the Eastern Church, London: A. R. Mowbray & Co. 1930.

5. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, p. 1026. For Palmer’s interest in Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church, see his two books, Dissertations on Subjects Relating to the “Orthodox” or “Eastern Catholic” Communion, London: Joseph Masters, 1853 and Notes of a Visit to the Russian Church in the Years 1840, 1841, J. H. Newman (ed.), London: Kegan Paul, Trench 1882.

6. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, pp. 778-779. Palmer’s correspondence with Khomiakoff was published in W. J. Birkbeck (ed.), Russia and the English Church during the last Fifty Years, Volume One: Containing a Correspondence between Mr. William Palmer, Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, and M. Khomiakoff, in the years 1844-1854, London: Rivington, Percival & Co. 1895.

7. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, p. 958.

8. The Venerable Bede describes Theodore’s time as Archbishop of Canterbury as ‘such happy times feliciora fuere tempora’: Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People iv.2 V, pp. 334-335 in B. Colgrave and R. A. B. Mynors (eds.), Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969.

9. Not all Canadian Anglicans shared a positive approach to Orthodox immigrants to Canada. Bishop George Exton Lloyd, a graduate of Wycliffe College, Toronto, strongly urged the assimilation of Galicians/Ukrainians into a Protestant British and Canadian society. For a summary of his views, see Marilyn Barber, ‘The Fellowship of the Maple Leaf Teachers’ in Barry Ferguson (ed.), The Anglican Church and the World of Western Canada 1820-1970, Regina: Canadian Plains Research Centre, 1991, p.156; see also R. Douglas Francis, The Prairie West as Promised Land, pp. 294-304.

10. For an account of the arrival of Ukrainians in Manitoba and the establishment of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada, see Roman Yereniuk, The Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Lviv, 2010, pp. 191-278.

11. Holy Trinity Orthodox Sobor in Winnipeg is an example of a Church built with the financial assistance of the Russian Government.

12. The Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St. John Suchavsky, Winnipeg, was originally the McDougall Memorial Methodist Church, Basil Rotoff, Roman Yereniuk & Stella Hryniuk Monuments to Faith, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1990, p. 94.

13. I have visited all four and worshipped in three of them. The services were all Orthodox services.

14. This Church is on Second Street between First and Second Avenues. When I visited this church for Vespers, I was told that the Orthodox parish purchased the building for much less than it was worth because the Episcopalians were anxious to help their Orthodox friends. When I left the Church, I saw a body lying on the pavement surrounded by police and emergency people. I was told that the body had fallen from a nearby building and had been helped to fall.

15. For an account of the acquiring of All Saints Church by the Russian Orthodox community, see Gillian Crow This Holy Man: Impressions of Metropolitan Anthony, Crestwood, NY: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2005, pp. 113-114,152-153.

16. Ibid. p. 98.

17. For the history of St. Cyprian’s Anglican Church, see their parish history, A Book of Memory and Challenge on the Occasion of the Sixtieth Anniversary of the Parish of Saint Cyprian, Toronto, September 1951 and for the history of the Russian Orthodox parish, see their website, Christ the Saviour Russian Orthodox Cathedral,

18. The website contains a history of the parish by Olga Lawes Melikoff. St. Luke’s Anglican Parish had been founded in 1854.

19. Trevor Powell, archivist of the Anglican Diocese of Qu’Appelle, in a letter (19 October 2014), writes, ‘during the early-to-mid twenties as manpower restrictions became a thing of the past, reports are made to Diocesan Synod indicating use of Anglican churches by Orthodox priests in various parts of the diocese’. The Orthodox Mission of St. Gregory of Nyssa, Kingston, Ontario, holds its services in an Anglican Church. Anglican services have also been held in Roman Catholic churches. There are three examples in the Diocese of Rupert’s Land. In Gimli the Anglican Parish of St. Augustine of Hippo held their services in St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church. In Transcona, the Anglican Parish of St. George held their services in Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church. In Winnipeg the Anglican parish of St. Chad shared a building with Pope John XXIII Roman Catholic Church. This last was a partnership between the two parishes that jointly built and maintained a complex of Church, Chapels and parish hall. All three arrangements have come to an end.

20. For a discussion of the Theotokos of the Life-giving Spring, see Dr. Andreas Andreopoulos, Gazing on God: Trinity, Church and Salvation in Orthodox Thought and Iconography, Cambridge, UK: James Clarke & Co 2013, pp. 92-101.

21. Roman Yereniuk, The Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Lviv: Litopys, 2010, p. 292. Unfortunately Dr. Yereniuk does not identify the Anglican Church. It may have been St. Peter’s which was on Selkirk Avenue in the 1920s and was closed and demolished in 1931.

22. There are three sources for the history of the former Anglican building. They are Peter J. Koltusky, Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox Congregation of St. Michael, Sandy Lake, Manitoba: Past Half-Century 1927-1980, Sandy Lake, Manitoba: The Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox Parish of St. Michael, 1983, pp. 38-39, Our Roots: District Heritage: A History of Sandy Lake and District, Sandy Lake: Sandy Lake Historical Society, 1984, pp. 21-22, and Dr. Roman Yereniuk, op. cit., p. 315.

23. Peter J. Koltusky, op. cit., pp. 4 & 6.

24. I have consulted the archives of the Anglican Diocese of Rupert’s Land which included the district of Sandy Lake within its boundaries until 1924 when the Anglican Diocese of Brandon came into existence and assumed jurisdiction for that district. I have not yet consulted the archives of the Diocese of Brandon. There is, however, no mention of Sandy Lake or of the nearby communities in Wilma MacDonald, Guide to the Holdings of the Archives of Rupert’s Land: Records of the Anglican Church of Canada No. 1, 1986, Winnipeg, MB: St. John’s College Press, 1986.

25. Our Roots: District Heritage: A History of Sandy Lake and District, Sandy Lake: Sandy Lake Historical Society, 1984, p. 3.

26. For the evidence of the Anglo-Saxon population, see the list of names of the people buried in the Pioneer cemetery. A local person described the people as ‘Métis’.

27. The Reverend Canon Edwyn S. W. Pentreath, 16 December 1892, Archives of the Diocese of Rupert’s Land, Old Christ Church file, Transcript of a handwritten account of St. Mark’s Mission apparently written by the Rector of the day and kept in the Parish Register for the Mission. All the material concerning Old Christ Church can be found in Archives of the Diocese of Rupert’s Land W.003 Old Christ Church, Winnipeg, and St. Mark’s Mission is in Box 3 file 6. This document gives Canon Pentreath’s first name as ‘George’.

28. Ibid.

29. Ibid.

30. Synod Journal 1905, p. 76. St. John’s College used to award the Cassap prize in Church History. I won it twice.

31. Synod Journal 1909, p. 64.

32. Synod Journal 1911, p. 71. This is an example of the long-standing custom of the professors and students of St. John’s College accepting the responsibility of ministry in rural and urban missions.

33. Christ Church Minute Book, Printed Annual Report Easter 1906, p. 2. Mr. Warwick was subsequently Rector of St. Andrew’s on the Red and he and his wife are buried in the graveyard there.

34. Christ Church Minute Book Printed Annual Report Easter 1907, p. 2.

35. Christ Church Minute Book Printed Annual Report Easter 1908, p. 1.

36. Christ Church Minute Book Printed Annual Report Easter 1909, p. 1.

37. Ibid.

38. Similar changes in population affected two other Winnipeg parishes, Old St. Peter’s and St. George’s. In 1931 St. Peter’s Church on Selkirk Avenue was demolished; their people had moved to other parts of Winnipeg. See S. C. Sharman, ‘Old St Peter’s ,Winnipeg’, The Rupert’s Land News 29.7 (September 1993), p. 8. The original St. George’s Church, Winnipeg, was at Lydia Street and William Avenue (1884) followed by a larger building at Isabel and Bannatyne (1894). By the First World War, the Anglican population was leaving this neighbourhood and the church decided to follow the people. A new building was built at the corner of Grosvenor and Wilton in 1916 and the old church was closed in 1918. See Mary Lile Benham, Once More Unto the Breach: St. George’s Anglican Church 1883-1983, Winnipeg, 1983, pp. 3, 11, 14, 16-17 & 20). The shifts in population may be traced by examining the parish statistics which were published at times in the Synod Journals of the Diocese of Rupert’s Land.

39. Archives of the Diocese of Rupert’s Land, Christ Church, Minute Book, 15 May 1917. This is an example of the resources of one mission being used to support the ministry of a new mission in a developing part of the Diocese.

40. Archives of the Diocese of Rupert’s Land, Christ Church, Minute Book, 24 July 1918. In an Anglican Diocese, the purchase and sale of buildings and properties requires the consent of the Archbishop and Executive Committee.

41. Synod Journal, 1919, p. 71. A Synod Journal records the proceedings of the Diocese’s Synod, a meeting of the Bishop, clergy and lay representatives of the parishes and includes the reports presented to the meeting.

42. It would be interesting to know what became of this money after Christ Church Parish was disestablished.

43. Basil Rotoff, Roman Yereniuk & Stella Hryniuk Monuments to Faith, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1990, p. 95.

44. Ibid. Lemko is a region in the Western Ukraine whose churches have a distinctive style. For a description of the style and pictures of churches of that style, see Roman Yereniuk, The Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Lviv 2010, pp. 283-285.

45. Rotoff et al., op. cit., p. 95.

46. Cheryl Girard, ‘Pioneer Church has history behind its beauty’, Winnipeg Free Press, Saturday, 2 August 2014, p. D15.

47. Ibid.

48. Ibid.

49. A brief history of the Parish of St. Michael and All Angels may be found in S. C. Sharman, ‘The Parish of St Michael and All Angels, Winnipeg’ Rupert’s Land News 38.5 (May 1992), p.2; for the history of the Russian Orthodox Parish, see Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia: The Church and Parish of the Holy Resurrection, Winnipeg.

50. Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia: The Church and Parish of the Holy Resurrection, Winnipeg, p. 14.

51. Fr. Turney’s ecumenical friendships were honoured at his funeral on 19 August 1962. On the evening before the funeral (18 August 1962), the prayers were sung in Polish by Fr. D. Malinowsky of St. Mary’s Polish National Catholic Church, Winnipeg.

52. Matthew 25.25 RSV.

53. This account is drawn from their parish history, Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia: The Church and Parish of the Holy Resurrection, Winnipeg, pp. 12-15 & 21-22.

54. The Russian Orthodox Church outside of Russia is now in communion with the Moscow Patriarchate.

55. Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia: The Church and Parish of the Holy Resurrection, Winnipeg, p. 14. It would be good to know more about this group and the history of their Church. Did they build it themselves or did they purchase it from another group of Christian people?

56. The description of the Iconostasis and the Icons is found on Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia: The Church and Parish of the Holy Resurrection, Winnipeg, p.14.

57. Archives of the Parish of St. Michael and All Angels, Winnipeg, Volume One Book B.

58. Archives of the Parish of St. Michael and All Angels, Winnipeg, Volume One Book B, letter dated 26 November 1970.

59. Archives of the Parish of St. Michael and All Angels, Winnipeg, Volume One Book C.

60. Material relating to the history of St. Philip’s Parish may be found in the Archives of the Diocese of Rupert’s Land W.037 St. Philip’s Parish, Norwood, Winnipeg.

61. It is the custom of the Anglican Church to delay the consecration of a Church until the building is paid for.

62. I am grateful to Father Anthony Eastabrooks, the parish priest of the Mission, the Rev. Donald McKenzie, the Incumbent of St. Philip’s and Matushka Diane Kennaugh for information about the relationship between St. Philip’s and the Mission of the Theotokos of the Life-Giving Spring.

63. Basil Rotoff, Roman Yereniuk & Stella Hryniuk, Monuments to Faith, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1990, p. 47, and Roman Yereniuk, The Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Lviv, 2010, p. 292.

64. S. C. Sharman, ‘The Church Building’, Canadian Journal of Orthodox Christianity, Vol. IX No. 3 (Fall 2014).

65. Cited in S. C. Sharman, ‘Archbishop Walter: Reflections on the Past Decade’, Rupert’s Land News, Vol. XXIX No. 10 (December 1993), p. 15.

We thank Clara Bachmann for assistance in preparing the online version of this article.

We thank S. Goldsborough for assistance in preparing the online version of this article.

Page revised: 23 July 2020