By Rt. Rev. William Cliff, Bishop of Brandon
Late in 2018, a process began which has benefitted the Council of the North in wonderful ways. I was handed a letter in which the Diocese of Huron had detailed a process by which they had found trust funds in their portfolio whose terms and conditions could not easily be met. Bishop Nicholls got in touch with the Council of the North and asked if we might be able to fulfil the terms of the trust which had long been held, but not disbursed.
Every diocese has a series of trusts which are gifts that have built up over time. The purposes for each gift are duly recorded and kept on file so that the diocese can faithfully meet the terms of the trust. In this case, the trust was to see to the housing needs of retired missionary clergy or for housing needs for missionaries in general. After many years the Diocese of Huron did not have a situation that could meet the terms of that trust, so the money sat and grew.
Naturally the Council of the North said “Yes! We can help you with that!” and decided to divide the $100,000 gift between the nine supported dioceses in order to make improvements to housing for the clergy who are serving in the north. Each Diocese will use these funds to make changes and improvements to the mission houses and rectories in the isolated communities we serve. New laundry machines, repaired roofs, siding repairs and all manner of projects will proceed and these will make a profound difference both to the parishes and the Dioceses that have been given this gift. Simple improvements to buildings can cost much more than in populated areas and anything we can do to improve the lives of our clergy and lay leaders in the north is gratefully accepted.
Since the beginning of this process, the Diocese of Huron has seen some significant change. Bishop Todd Townshend of Huron, when asked about this gift, said “I was delighted to learn that this resource would be so well used and we are grateful for the opportunity to support those who are responding to God’s mission in the north. May their homes be places of health and strength.”
The Council of the North is grateful for the vision and generosity of the Diocese of Huron and their confidence in the Council of the North to put this money to work in a way that honours the wishes of the donor so long ago.
Perhaps your Diocese has a trust set aside for purposes that can no longer be honoured within an individual diocese, but could still be put to work in line with the wishes of visionary donor. The Council of the North is extremely grateful for the resources which we steward on your behalf. Our hope is that we can continue the witness of the Lord Jesus Christ all through this country, and especially in our case, in the north.
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