On July 10, 2011 clergy of the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) who since May 2008 had been occupying the Anglican Church of Canada building on Guilford Drive in Abbotsford left that building to conduct worship in Grace Church a few blocks away.
Worshippers who support those ANiC clergy also left the Anglican Church of Canada building to worship with those clergy.
The formal name of the Anglican Church of Canada parish in our city is The Parish of St. Matthew, Abbotsford. This Anglican Church of Canada parish is the owner of the building on Guilford Drive. So the courts have confirmed.
For the 27 months of May 2008 to August 2010, ANiC excluded The Parish of St. Matthew, Abbotsford from using its own building.
On Aug. 29, 2010 ANiC relented, and allowed Anglican Church of Canada worshippers to use the parish hall for two hours on Sunday mornings. On 45 Sundays since then, Anglican Church of Canada Anglicans have worshipped in the parish hall of the building owned by the Anglican Church of Canada parish.
Now that the ANiC clergy and their followers have left that Anglican Church of Canada building, Anglican Church of Canada worshippers will be able to emerge from the parish hall to resume worship in the normal worship space in the building.
The Parish of St. Matthew, Abbotsford will be able to offer ministry for more than two hours per week.
Rev. Allen Doerksen, an Anglican Church of Canada priest raised in Abbotsford who has returned to our city, is now on the job on a permanent full-time basis. He and the parishioners of The Parish of St. Matthew, Abbotsford, with resumed full use of the Anglcan Church of Canada building on Guilford Drive, are now offering Sunday 10 a.m. Anglican worship and ministry to all residents of our city.
On July 10, 2011 The Parish of St. Matthew, Abbotsford did not move to another building. What happened on July 10, 2011 is that ANiC clergy and their supporters moved to Grace Church, there to get a fresh start on their important and valuable ANiC ministry.
And what also happened on July 10, 2011 is that The Parish of St. Matthew, Abbotsford, with resumed use of the whole of its building, got a fresh start on offering Anglican Church of Canada worship and ministry in our city. Two fresh starts on one day. We rejoice.
The Parish of St. Matthew