Reopening of St. John’s Postponed

Diocese of Rupert’s Land
The Birthplace of the Anglican Church
in Western Canada

28 August 2020

“If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together with it.  Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.”
I Corinthians 12:26-27

Dear sisters and brothers of our beloved Cathedral parish,

From myself and from both Wardens I greet you in the grace and peace of our risen Lord Jesus Christ, who is, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, the source of all health and life.

Willy Slipetz, Rector’s Warden, and Mary Stanger, People’s Warden, were kind enough to accept my invitation to a ZOOM conversation yesterday.  It was a fruitful meeting and I give thanks to God for their partnership in leadership in this wonderful congregation during these trying times.

Just over six weeks ago, on July 12th, we had one active case of COVID-19 in our province, and total infections that far were at 325.  Seven people had died, seven beloved human beings.

Today, August 27th, we stand at 1064 total cases, more than triple our earlier total of 325!
Instead of one active case, we now have 407 active cases!  You can do the arithmetic.
Our current death total has doubled, to 14 as of today.

Yes, many, if not most, current cases are outside of Winnipeg, but we have seen recently how quickly numbers can change completely and dangerously.  Soon, our schools will open, apparently, and I pray that cases do not increase everywhere in the province, including Winnipeg.  I fear they may.

Therefore, your Wardens and I, the Cathedral Corporation, have made the executive decision, effective immediately, to postpone our reopening at least until Sunday, October 25th, the Sunday following our virtual Synod weekend. We believe that, until our active cases begin to decline again, and we know for sure the results of back to school, it is most prudent not to resume communal, public worship within the Cathedral.

We understand there may be differing feelings about our decision.  We hope that, whatever your feelings, for or possibly against, you will feel free to share them with us, Willy, Mary, and me (our emails are below).  We pray also that we are wrong, that cases will not increase, and that there will be no more deaths from COVID.  In fact, we will be delighted if we are wrong!  But we believe that for us, for this congregation, with many older people, including older people with serious health vulnerabilities, the most cautious decision is the one we have made.  Our Sunday morning livestream of worship will continue on the Cathedral Facebook page.  Remember, you do not need to be a Facebook member to join us; here is the link:


This email is being sent to everyone who has an email address, and will be sent hardcopy via regular mail to all those who don’t have email.  We will also post it on the Cathedral blog and via Facebook and Twitter.  Once you have received this letter, please feel free to share it with other members of the Cathedral, anyone you think may not have received this news, despite our best efforts.  Thanks very much.

[Jesus said]“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.  No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
John 15:12-13

With you in Christ’s glad service,

Dean Paul
Willy Slipetz, Rector’s Warden
Mary Stanger, People’s Warden

cc:       The Rt. Rev. Geoffrey Woodcroft, Bishop of Rupert’s Land
The Venerable Simon Blaikie, Executive Archdeacon