Magazine article Anglican Journal

Emotional End for Cariboo (Diocese)

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Emotional End for Cariboo (Diocese)

Article excerpt

ON DEC. 21, three people sat in a small circle on wooden chairs in an empty, stripped office in Kamloops, B.C. and noted the passing of an era with sad smiles and prayers of thanksgiving for the past.

For Bishop Jim Cruickshank of the now-closed diocese of Cariboo, his part time secretary Marianne Boak and the diocese's administrative assistant of 27 years, Betty Gore, this was their last weekly staff eucharist together.

Forever.

"It was very clear that something very beautiful was coming to an end," said Bishop Cruickshank in a recent interview. "We knew that our relationship as a staff who respected and enjoyed each other, was over."

The diocese decided to wind up its affairs rather than sink under the weight of further residential schools lawsuits.

(In a pastoral letter read in the diocese's churches in September, the bishop wrote that the diocese "will have reached the point when damages claimed against exceed our assets.")

Cariboo, a mostly rural diocese, had an Anglican population of just more than 4,700. It had 45 congregations, 11 full-time clergy and nine more on a part-time basis, according to the Anglican Church Directory 2001.

Bishop Cruickshank said he worked with Mrs. Gore for 10 years and with Ms. Boak for almost as long. However, he quickly added that there was also a sense of "following Christ into a new future. Almost every parish without exception improved their property in recent years as a sign of hopefulness and moving forward."

Mrs. Gore, who has since retired but was still working in January to tidy up administrative details and pay December's office bills, said she could have retired two years ago, "but it didn't seem right to leave. Would you bring somebody new into something that's not going to be?"

There was no dramatic final locking of doors at the office, located in an office building in Kamloops, and no sign posted at eye level like a final poignant slap. …

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