It goes without saying that Canadian churches are interested in the movements towards church union south of our border.
We have, of course, our own fascinating share in such matters. Several years ago the Anglican and United Churches presented a draft basis of union, and discussions have been proceeding since then. Canon Ralph Lattimer and Dr. Robert B. Craig, representatives of the two churches, have set up a joint office with a common staff in the United Church head office in Toronto.
But there are problems. The climate has changed somewhat—this on the authority of the primate of the Anglican Church. The proposed uniting of the two publishing arms has been postponed. Originally this had been set for 1970. Now, it is to await the presentation of a definitive plan of union.
Moreover, at public meetings organized to discuss merger, there is an apparent preponderance of Anglicans who object to union. At one held recently in Hamilton, Ontario, 350 persons heard both sides of the matter presented by committed men. Anti-union sentiment was strong.
A further cause for disquiet to those who favor union as soon as possible has come from Winnipeg, where a fund has been established to assist Anglican priests who do not wish to enter any united church. The assistance planned is in the form of grants for further education or for the taking of new courses with a view to a more highly specialized form of ministry. It has been noted that in the recent trial run in England, Anglicans did not attain the necessary 75 per cent vote in favor of union with the Methodists, and there is much speculation about what percentage the essential favorable vote will be set at in Canada.
Sentiment against the merger also seems to be growing in the United Church. ...1
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