Diocese of The Arctic
|Diocese of The Arctic|
|Ecclesiastical province||Rupert's Land|
|Cathedral||St. Jude's Cathedral, Iqaluit|
|Bishop||David W. Parsons|
The Diocese of The Arctic is a diocese of the Ecclesiastical Province of Rupert's Land of the Anglican Church of Canada. It is by far the largest of the thirty dioceses in Canada, comprising almost 4,000,000 km2 (1,500,000 sq mi), or one-third the land mass of the country. As the name indicates, the diocese encompasses the Arctic region of Canada including the entirety of the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and the Nunavik region of northern Quebec. The See city is Iqaluit, Nunavut, and its approximately 18,000 Anglicans (over one-third of the total population) are served by thirty-one parishes. The administrative offices of the diocese are located in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.
The diocese is well known for its igloo-shaped cathedral, St. Jude's, which was destroyed by fire in 2005 but subsequently rebuilt and opened in 2012. It maintains a theological school, the Arthur Turner Training School in Pangnirtung. In 1996, Paul Idlout became the first Inuk bishop in the world (as suffragan bishop).
Originally, the region was part of the vast and sprawling Diocese of Rupert's Land, which at the time encompassed all of present-day Canada west of Ontario. Anglican activity in the Far North primarily took the form of missionary work among the Aboriginal First Nations and Inuit, undertaken for the most part by the evangelical Church Mission Society. In 1874, the Diocese of Rupert's Land was split into four dioceses one of which, Athabasca, included the present-day Diocese of The Arctic. In 1892, this territory was further divided into the Diocese of Selkirk (coterminous with the Yukon) and Mackenzie River (coterminous with the Northwest Territories). The first Bishop of Mackenzie River was William Bompas, a legendary figure in the history of Christian expansion in northern Canada. The Diocese of The Arctic subsumed the Diocese of Mackenzie River when it was created in 1933, also carving northern Quebec from the Diocese of Quebec, where—like Nunavut and the Northwest Territories—the majority of the population is indigenous. The first constituted synod was not convened, however, until 1972.
Both the missionary history of the diocese and its particular cultural context contributes to its theology, which tends towards evangelicalism and conservatism. For instance, the diocese sparked controversy in 2005 when it banned the employment of "homosexuals, lesbians and bisexuals", as well as those who engage in sexual activity outside marriage, and its bishops have been outspokenly critical of what they perceive as the liberal tendencies of many southern dioceses.
List of bishops of The Arctic
|Bishops of The Arctic|
|1950||1973||Donald Marsh||Died in office.|
|1991||2002||Chris Williams||Suffragan bishop since 1987; coadjutor bishop since 1990.|
|2002||2012||Andrew Atagotaaluk||First Inuit diocesan bishop. Retirement announced for 31 December 2012.|
|2012||present||David W. Parsons||Consecrated coadjutor bishop at New St Jude's Cathedral, Iqaluit on 3 June 2012; expected to succeed as diocesan 1 January 2013.|
List of suffragan bishops
|Suffragan bishops in The Arctic Diocese|
|c. 1976||2010||Larry Robertson||Translated to Yukon.|
|1987||1991||Chris Williams||Coadjutor bishop from 1990; diocesan bishop, 1991–2002|
|1996||?||Paul Idlout||First Inuk to become a bishop.|
|2002||2010||Ben Arreak||Was the team coordinator of the Inuktitut translation of the Bible, completed in 2012.|
|2012||present||Darren McCartney||Consecrated 3 June 2012 at New St Jude's.|
- Map of the diocese
- St.Jude's Anglican Cathedral
- Arthur Turner Training School
- Anglican Journal: Arctic diocese bans gays from employment
- ANiC Newsletter: 11 November 2013
- CBC News – Anglican Arctic diocese to elect new bishop Wednesday
- "Parsons elected bishop". Threshold Ministries. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
- Diocese of Down & Dromore – Knocknamuckley rector is elected Suffragan Bishop in Arctic Diocese