For A Time Like This: Bishop Geoff – March 14th, 2020

This is the first of several special editions of the saint benedict’s table podcast. As we all face the uncertainties of a global pandemic, we sense that For A Time Like This we need to come closer as the body of Christ, even if we are not able to do so in person.

In this episode, the Right Reverend Geoff Woodcroft, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Rupertsland in central Canada, delivers a brief message to the church. He outlines his directives to the parishes of his diocese and offers words of hope and challenge.


Stay up to date on how the church is dealing with these unprecedented events on our For A Time Like This web page. There you will find resources, words of encouragement and more podcasts that are being created even now.

Comment on this episode below. Subscribe to the show wherever you listen to audio and we invite you to rate us or write a review of what we are doing on Apple Podcasts. Reviews help others join the conversation.

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This podcast is created at saint benedict’s table, a congregation of the Anglican Church of Canada in Winnipeg, where we’ve been making great audio since 2006. Listen to other recent episodes on our website and see our entire catalogue of almost 500 shows on our hosting page.

Bishop’s Directive – March 16, 2020

Diocesan Office: 935 Nesbitt Bay
Winnipeg, MB Canada R3T 1W6
Bishop’s Office: (204)992-4212
General Office: (204) 992-4200 Fax: (204) 992-4219

Draw your Church together, O Lord, into one great company of disciples, together following our Lord Jesus Christ into every walk of life, together serving him in his mission to the world, and together witnessing to his love on every continent and island. We ask this in his name and for his sake.  Amen.

Our hard line to follow –
I have issued Directives to the Diocese (March 12 and 15) and an urgent email message on March
13th to suspend all gatherings in Anglican worship spaces in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Presently, I am not in a position, nor willing, to make exceptions to these directives. Suspension of
all gatherings in Anglican worship spaces applies also to non-church users of your building,
including renters. I invite parishes to think creatively and imaginatively to continue to provide
pastoral response and care to their parishioners and their community, and consider use of electronic communication, social media, and video-conferencing.

Flattening the Curve –
These actions – ‘Social Distancing’ stance by cancellation of all gatherings in Anglican buildings– are being taken to “flatten the curve” which, in World Health Organization and epidemiologists terms, means to ‘slow the spread of the virus’. A quick google of the term ‘flatten the curve’ will provide additional information.

When the influenza epidemic of 1918 infected a quarter of the U.S. population, killing hundreds of thousands nationally and millions across the globe, seemingly small choices made the difference between life and death. As the disease was spreading, Wilmer Krusen, Philadelphia’s health commissioner, allowed a huge parade to take place on September 28; some 200,000 people marched. In the following days and weeks, the bodies piled up in the city’s morgues. By the end of the season, 12,000 residents had died.

In St. Louis, a public-health commissioner named Max Starkloff decided to shut the city down.
Ignoring the objections of influential businessmen, he closed the city’s schools, bars, cinemas, and
sporting events. Thanks to his bold and unpopular actions, the per capita fatality rate in St. Louis
was half that of Philadelphia. (In total, roughly 1,700 people died from influenza in St Louis.
In the coming days, thousands of people across the country will face the same choices.

Existing Food Ministries:
For those who rely on food banks, living paycheck to paycheck, our food ministries are now more
important than ever. We recommend all food bank providers consult with their local Regional
Health Authority and/or food providers like Winnipeg Harvest (for those in the City of Winnipeg), to obtain the latest protocol, and then adapt these protocols creatively, imaginatively to enable this ministry to continue. A major thrust will be to enable this ministry for both providers’ and patrons’ safety.

Responding to local health authorities:
We have been in conversation with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and other municipal
Health Authorities. We may be asked to make our church buildings available for emergency or
necessary services. If so required, calls will come to this office and will be re-directed accordingly.

Guaranteed Basic Income:
Please refer to the link below to Dr. Robert James, a foremost advocate in ‘guaranteed basic income.
As we discern God’s justice in this extra-ordinary time,may this initiative be fore front in our minds to provide opportunity for a healthy populous.

An opportunity to bring out the very best in all people:
This health crisis provides a ministry of opportunity to bring out the very best in all people. We are setting up a COVID-19 tab on our website where we will post creative and imaginative initiatives being taken by parishes as a way of sharing faithful responses in this extraordinary time. Please share these initiatives with our office.

We, as the Body of Christ, are called by God to be continually proactive in all parts of life. Last
Sunday’s Gospel offered a choice: Jesus had the choice not to speak to the woman at the well, or to speak to the woman at the well. He chose to speak to her.
O God, it is your will to hold both heaven and earth in a single peace. Let the design of your great love shine on the waste of our wraths and sorrows, and give peace to your Church, peace among nations,peace in our homes, and peace in our hearts; through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

God, bless and keep us. May your face shine upon us, and be gracious to us; may you lift up your
countenance upon us, and grant us peace. Amen.

Bishop of Rupert’s Land

Response to COVID-19

Important Notice:

Due to the ongoing threat of

#COVID19, #CoronaVirus, #pandemic,

the Cathedral is closed

for all events and meetings

until further notice.

 If you have an emergency request,

please contact us by phone at 204-586-8385

or by email at

or for the Dean at 204-479-5367

or by email at

We will be monitoring the phone

and emails as regularly as possible.

God bless you;

stay safe, stay smart, stay home!


Join us for worship every Sunday morning on the Cathedral YouTube page.
We begin with an organ prelude at 10:25 a.m. (CST) and the Liturgy begins at 10:30 a.m.

Bishop’s Directive March 15, 2020

Building and Changing Protocols in Uncertain Times

To The Diocese of Rupert’s Land Lay leaders and Clergy:  From Bishop Geoffrey Woodcroft


Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. May the following directive and expectations equip you for the journey ahead.

O Lord our creator, by your holy prophet you taught your ancient people to seek the welfare of the cities in which they lived. We commend our neighbourhood to your care, that it might be kept free from social strife and decay. Give us strength of purpose and concern for others, that we may create here a community of justice and peace where your will may be done; through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

  • Health and Wellness of the Body – My first priority in this communication is to ensure your complete health, and that of the communities you represent.
    • If you are a bishop, priest, deacon or lay leader over 60, and/or have pre-existing medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, heart disease), DO NOT put yourself in harm’s way. Ask for assistance, advice and care.
    • If you are feeling unwell, make every effort to seek wellness, and should you exhibit any of the symptoms of the virus, immediately call authorities for testing and treatment.
    • Presently younger healthy people are not at serious risk (but like everyone should practice careful social distancing). This matters. As leaders we must actively exhibit and promote calmness and reason, by assuring that social distancing/separation is proactive and healthy, and does not lead to isolation.
    • I discourage all leaders, and in turn the diocesan membership, from participating in all activities that put you at risk…

      READ THE FULL TEXT HERE…Bishop’s Directive March 15 2020

** Urgent Communication**

Bishop Geoff has suspended all gatherings  and public worship of Rupert’s Land Anglicans as of Monday morning, March 16, 2020.  All Anglican churches in the Diocese, including the Cathedral, are closed.  THE CHURCH, the body of Christ, is alive and well and hard at work.  Thanks be to God!

The Bishop’s concern is for the health and wellness of all of us and prays for those in our cities, towns and provinces as we adjust to this every-changing Pandemic.

In the peace of Christ,

Dean Paul

Art Braid, requiescat in pace:

Funeral service for Art Braid will be this coming Friday, March 6th, at 10 a.m, here at St. John’s Anglican Cathedral in Winnipeg. We are at 135 Anderson Avenue in the North End of Winnipeg, between north Main and the Red River, just north of St. John’s Park. There is street parking all around the Cathedral; gates on all sides will be open.

May he rest in peace and rise with Christ in glory!

Requiescat in pace, Arthur Braid, CM, QC


The Diocese of Rupert’s Land
The Right Reverend Geoffrey Woodcroft
Bishop of Rupert’s Land
Diocesan Office: 935 Nesbitt Bay
Winnipeg, MB Canada R3T 1W6

February 27, 2020


To all members of the Diocese of Rupert’s Land,

It is with deep sadness and compassion that I tell you that our Diocesan Chancellor, Mr. E. Arthur Braid CM, QC, has died.

Art has served God faithfully and well in so many ways, especially as a long-standing parishioner of St. Mary, Charleswood and as our current Chancellor. Our prayers are required for Art’s family as they live through this loss and prepare for his funeral.

May we share our memories and relationship of Art with one another. May he rest in peace, and rise in glory.

Details of arrangements will be published as Anglican Lutheran Centre receives them.

In Christ,

+ Geoffrey

The Rt. Rev. Geoffrey Woodcroft
Bishop of Rupert’s Land


Red River Fat Tuesday Festival

This Tuesday, February 25…

We are Celebrating God’s Faithfulness through 200 years…
Pancake Supper at 5:30 p.m. Entry by donation, either/or
(Please confirm numbers for the meal; call 204.339.7259)
House Concert at 7 p.m. Entry by donation, either/or
(Story, music, dance, and song… come and have fun with us)

The concert includes early Settlers’ songs researched and sung by Simpson’s Folly, featuring musicians Frederick Carsted, Darrell English, Johanna Handford, and Dorothy Long; Scottish dances with piper Heather Purvis, Gaelin McGregor and others; Scottish songs performed by Nancy and Don Phillips as well as by the Cathedral Dean, Paul Johnson: brief stories of the early settlement leading toward the celebration of the 200th anniversary of St. John’s Cathedral read by Mike Penner, Sharlene and Felix Farrell, Paul Johnson, and others; concert pianist, Valerie Pearson performing a piece on the grand piano and leading a community sing-song; and a grand finale by choir director and organist, Helen Suh, conducting a choir anthem and performing an organ postlude on one of the great pipe organs of Winnipeg.

Proceeds will go to the Cathedral Refugee Fund.
Thank you for your generosity, as you are able to give.

Requiescat in pace, Norma Mullan

Our sister Norma Mullan died last Saturday evening, 11 January 2020, about 8 p.m.
She had been living at Actionmarguerite in St. Boniface, where she died, surrounded by family.

The Funeral Liturgy with Holy Communion will be held here at St. John’s Cathedral, Winnipeg,
this coming Friday afternoon, 17 January 2020, at 1:30 p.m.  The Very Rev. Paul N. Johnson will preach and preside.  The Cathedral Music Director, Helen Suh, will play and offer a solo.
Rest in peace and rise with Christ in glory.

From the Winnipeg Free Press, Wednesday, 15 January 2020, ‘PASSAGES’:

March 7, 1934 – January 11, 2020

It is with extreme sorrow that we announce the passing of our mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Norma, passed away peacefully at Actionmarguerite.
She was predeceased by her husband, John and leaves behind her five children: Chris, Kara, Carolyn, Scott and Sean. She is survived by 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Please join us in a celebration of Norma’s life on Friday, January 17, 2020 at 1:30 p.m., at St. John’s Cathedral, 135 Anderson Ave.
Flowers are gratefully declined, but a donation to or to the Canadian Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation would be appreciated.


200th Anniversary Anthem Composition Competition – CANCELLED, so very sorry

ADVENT SUNDAY, December 1, 2019 (Revised 26 March 2020)


The Cathedral Church of St. John the Evangelist in Winnipeg (Diocese of Rupert’s Land, The Anglican Church of Canada) is pleased to announce the 200th Anniversary Anthem Composition Competition. Using our theme ‘Celebrating God’s Faithfulness’, entrants are invited to submit unpublished anthems on or before March 31, 2020. Three monetary prizes ($2200 for first, $1200 for second, $800 for third) will be awarded by a panel of judges. The three pieces will be premiered in Winnipeg on May 31, 2020, as part of a choral festival at St. John’s Cathedral celebrating 200 years of God’s faithfulness in the life of the Anglican Church in Western Canada.  The composer will bear in mind the desire for a broadly accessible anthem for use in many places other than St. John’s Cathedral, Rupert’s Land.

• The composer must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
• The anthem text must be, in some form, a proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
• The anthem may be written for up to 4-part choir, SATB voicing.
• The anthem must include organ accompaniment.
• The anthem’s length is to be 3-5 minutes.
• The composer must secure rights to any texts not in the public domain.
NB:  The three winning compositions will belong to the composers (copyright), with performance rights given only to the Cathedral Church of St. John the Evangelist, Winnipeg, Manitoba – Diocese of Rupert’s Land
• Scores must be submitted as a PDF file, including complete contact information.

A single composer may submit two, but no more than two, anthems.
Each composer is eligible for only one prize.

Please send completed scores to:

Cathedral Church of St. John the Evangelist
135 Anderson Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R2W 5M9
Office: 204.586.8385
Facebook: Cathedral Church of St. John the Evangelist
Twitter: @deanrupertsland (Saint John’s Cathedral)

2020 VISION – 200 years,
“Celebrating God’s faithfulness”
Serving Red River people since 1820
Churchyard (cemetery) since 1812
Bicentenary of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Evangelist
and the Anglican Church in Western Canada

We worship and live gratefully on Treaty One Land (since 1871),
the traditional territory of the Cree, the Dakota, and the Anishinaabe,
and the homeland of the Métis Nation.
We are all treaty people.