A group of five Anglican parishes in Regina are merging in a bid to ensure the long-term sustainability of their congregations.
The combined parishes of St. Luke’s, St. James, St. Matthew, St. Phillip and All Saints Anglican Church—representing five of the seven Anglican parishes in the city—will henceforth be known as Immanuel Anglican Parish.
Archdeacon Cheryl Toth, representing the archdeaconry of St. Cuthbert that administers Anglican churches in Regina, said in an interview with the CBC that the merger’s aim is for congregations “to bring together resources of all kinds, people and otherwise, and be able to work together to engage in the ministry they want to have.”
Bishop Rob Hardwick of the diocese of Qu’Appelle initially brought together leaders from seven Regina parishes in 2018 to consider some form of restructuring. The move was prompted by declining congregational membership, financial difficulties and clergy vacancies.
Five parishes opted to merge in early 2020. That process will culminate in the first months of 2021 as the combined parish starts to worship together at a new central location.
Remaining church buildings will be used as temporary worship spaces to accommodate physical distancing during COVID-19 lockdown measures. A recommendation for an interim main location was being considered in late February.
Toth told the CBC that while the pandemic has slowed down the merger, with parish representatives having to meet online, “in some ways it’s also focused people on why they’re doing this and enabled them to build relationships together in these online working groups.”
—With files from the CBC