On Sunday evening Mar. 26, Christopher Mahon (who I think is the first paid up “life member” of the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society) and I attended the induction ceremony of Canon Brent Stiller, the new pastor of St. Peter and St. Paul Anglican Church in Ottawa. St. Peter and St. Paul is part of the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) which broke away from the Anglican Church of Canada more than a decade ago.
Shown here is ANiC Bishop Charlie Masters, Canon Brent Stiller, his wife Karen, and sons Eric and Thomas. Their daughter Holly was unable to be present.
It was a joyful occasion, attended by several hundred people.
Christopher and I attended to share our best wishes, both as members of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter‘s Canadian deanery, but also as members of the Society.
Before joining ANiC, as part of the Anglican Church of Canada, the parish was called St. George’s. During my transition from the Baptist Church to traditional Anglicanism, I used to attend the daily weekday communion service at noon. I knew and still know several people who attend there. Fr. Doug Hayman, our priest at Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, once served at St. George’s during his Anglican Church past.
St. Peter and St. Paul comes from the more evangelical and even charismatic stream within the Anglican world. We have a lot in common with them in their love of Scripture, their belief in a supernatural God, and their pro-life and pro-family stance. They are a joyful, Christ-loving community.
I remember taking a picture of Bishop Masters and another ANiC bishop at the National March for Life. They were there in their purple cassocks on Parliament Hill–Anglican Bishops for Life and what a welcome sight! Alas, I can’t find it right now or I would post it.
ANiC’s chancellor Mike Donison, father of the previous pastor Paul Donison who has gone to Plano, Texas to pastor the largest ANCA parish, likes to say. “We’re Anglicans who believe in the Resurrection.”
We’re Catholics who believe in the Resurrection! And, as former Anglicans, we appreciate much of the same Anglican patrimony. And, for us at Annunciation, we also know what it is like to leave everything behind to start afresh with new episcopal oversight. Though St. Peter and St. Paul managed to keep its building, many ANiC parishes across Canada must use borrowed space as do many Ordinariate parishes.
The worship during the ceremony was a mix of traditional hymns, some traditional choral music offered by the New Song Chancel Choir from Port Perry, Ontario where Canon Stiller served previously, and contemporary praise and worship music.
The distinctly Anglican prayers such as the Collect for Purity and the Prayer of Humble Access were in contemporary English. You can read about ANiC’s theological stance here.
Our parish has forged close ties with a nearby Roman Catholic parish, St. George’s. We have joined them in sponsoring a Syrian refugee family and every year we have a joint-Corpus Christi Mass and Eucharistic Procession. This year, Bishop Steven Lopes is our celebrant. I hope we can build similar ties with St. Peter and St. Paul. Here I am with Canon Stiller at the cordial reception after his induction and institution.