Category Archives: Three Streams

The Winnipeg Scheme

the Rt. Rev. Machray Primate of Canada

Although Canada claims the earliest North American prayer book service held at Frobisher Bay in 1578, the Canadian church itself was relatively late in making, not formed on a national basis until 1893. In between these dates, Canadian Anglicans struggled in the back-woods as a wilderness church. When Bishop Robert Machray arrived from London in 1865 at Rupert’s Land,  he confronted the problem of ordering Hudson Bay colonial churches in such a way to best “secure the ground for the Church of England”. Bishop Machray’s reforms began at the Red River camp where a model for greater British North America developed. Church order increasingly gained ground, and by 1890 the Winnipeg Conference proposed an episcopal structure for Canada. Crucial to this proposed national church was Machray’s Solemn Declaration of 1893. The Declaration would be the capstone of Machray’s work, and from its example Anglicans who face a similar tundra of vacuous faith and order today may gleam valuable pointers.

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