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St. Martin’s Parishoners write to the Editor re: Bishop Ingham

St. Martin’s Parishoners write to the Editor re: Bishop Ingham

With regard to your article entitled "Dissident Anglican Parish back in fold", I wish to clarify the situation. Bishop Michael Ingham, through his appointed wardens, is forcing the parish to rejoin the diocese. The last parish vestry meeting clearly instructed the elected trustees and wardens, who have since been dismissed by the Bishop, to continue allegience with the ACiNW. The Bishop will not hold another vestry meeting because he knows that a clear majority of parishioners would vote against him. He must be held accountable for his actions.

Florence Wilton,
St. Martin's Parishioner

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As a member of St. Martins for the past 25 years, none of Bishop Ingham's appointed wardens speak for my wife and I or the majority of members of St. Martin's. Bishop Ingham has disobeyed the House of Bishops, the worldwide Anglican Communion, and breached the obligations he swore to when Consecrated - specifically, to be an instrument of unity in the church, and uphold the teachings of the church. He answers to no one. He has portrayed the "dissenting" parishioners of St. Martins as homophobic and divisive rebels, even thouigh we are in keeping with what Anglicans believe around the world.

Gordon & Erica Barrett

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I am rarely moved to write letters to the editor, but I find that I simply must protest Douglas Todd’s article today. Regardless of what the Diocese of New Westminster may be claiming, the majority of parishioners at St. Martin’s have NOT agreed to the things which the bishop’s warden may be suggesting. They have not been allowed to express any opinion in a democratic fashion since the bishop took over, so how these claims can be made as though they were the will of the parish defies any definition of “truth”. It is quite clear, if the facts are investigated, that a handful of diocesan appointees are making unilateral decisions on behalf of the diocese, and claiming that these are the decisions of the parish. The diocese may make whatever claims it wishes, using whomever may be willing to be used as their spokespersons, but that does not establish those claims as true.

In fact, the leaders chosen by the legitimate vote of the parishioners have been systematically removed and replaced since the diocesan takeover. Every person in any position of leadership or authority (right down to the Sunday school teachers) who do not agree with the bishop or the diocese have been removed or barred from exercising ministry in the parish. The parish has not been consulted regarding their wishes, nor have they been afforded any opportunity to make decisions about the future of the parish.

It is difficult to imagine how this could be construed as a “way forward”. When the expressed wishes of the people are being ignored, when their right to be consulted about the future of their own parish is being denied, and when they are being dictated to by unelected leaders appointed to do the will of the diocese it is difficult to imagine how any sort of “wonderful sense of community” can possibly be built.

Sincerely, Linda Seale
chairperson of the ACiNW media committee.

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For Douglas Todd to say that the 'lay leadership' of St. Martins has decided to return to the fold by restoring relations with the Diocese of New Westminister is to imply that Lindsay Buchanan (cited in the article) and the other wardens appointed by Bishop Michael Ingham somehow have the moral and legal authority to make such a decision. However, these wardens do not enjoy the support of the majority of parishioners of St. Martins. If they think they do, they should call a vestry meeting to see if they can persuade others to their point of view. Fat chance.

Gerry & Linda Taunton
St. Martin Parishioners
North Vancouver, BC

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"For Douglas Todd's report in the Vancouver Sun, Fri. Jan. 16, to truly be
factual & complete, the following items must be included. I presume this to
be your mandate to your readers."

On Sept 7, the Bishop FIRED the the entire elected Church Committee, as well
as the Newsletter Editors, Roster of Collection Counters, Telephone
Coordinator & even the Youth Pastor. He then imposed a form of MARTIAL LAW.

How could these actions help St. Martin's?
On Sept. 28, an ALL Parishioners Vestry meeting was held. Trustees were
confirmed, Wardens, Treasurer and a full slate of committee members
democratically elected, but are ignored.

The Lay leadership consists of an Interim priest & the three (3) imposed
Wardens. This in spite of the fact they represent 22% of the Parish, while
78% Orthodox/Conservative Parishioners are being told "follow me or leave".

Since when does the Minority rule - only in the Diocese of New Westminster
you say!

John Hopkins
North Vancouver B.C.

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