Mary Margaret Newitt was a faithful Anglican and a lifelong employee of Bell Canada, who worshipped in the parishes of St. James Dundas and St. Paul’s Westdale in the Diocese of Niagara where she served on the Altar Guild and as a Warden. When she died in late 2016 she left bequests that honoured her values as a Christian who deeply cared for others. She made bequests to a number of organizations including substantial gifts to the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund and to the Anglican Church of Canada. This latter bequest was designated “for work in Northern Canada, at the discretion of the Primate”. The bequest received by General Synod in 2019 was in the amount of $1.13 million dollars.
Over the past months I have considered how this legacy might best be designated for ‘work in Northern Canada’. In consultation with Archbishop Mark Macdonald and in light of General Synod’s affirmation of the emerging self-determining Indigenous Church and the current need to develop new forms of ministry for northern, isolated communities I have directed that the bequest be administered by the Indigenous Ministries department of General Synod for use in the North, with input from and in consultation with the Council of the North.
One woman’s remarkable and generous legacy will shape the life and faith of Indigenous communities for the future. I am deeply grateful to Mary and her thoughtful generosity.
With thanksgiving to God for the ways in which our life is enriched by others.
The Most Rev. Linda Nicholls
Archbishop and Primate
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