In 1870, Winnipeg had a population of under 300. To-day it numbers nearly 200,000 inhabitants. Places which a few years ago were only inhabited by wild animals are to-day flourishing towns.
During 1910 the number of immigrants was about 350,000, a large proportion of these being English, Scotch, and Irish. The vast majority of these people are going out in order to find the means of livelihood for themselves and their families. It is not the rich who are going there, with money to spend on their needs and luxuries, but those who have to earn before they can spend.
There are no churches waiting to minister to their spiritual needs. Those whose needs in this direction are very great are absolutely unable to make adequate provision for themselves.
A fear has been expressed that it may some day be found " that the reconversion of English heathens in Canada will prove a more formidable task than that with which St. Augustine and his fellow-workers were confronted when they first landed in England." Children may be born and may die without ever having seen a minister of religion. Mothers in England who send their sons out to make their way in the new country will, when they realise the need, be the first to rouse their fellow-women to think of ways and means of providing Church privileges for the new country which they themselves enjoy in the old.
A parish in Canada is often as large as a diocese in England. More clergy and more churches are urgently needed. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have inaugurated a fund for Western Canada. In a letter issued by them in January, 1911, they refer to the appeal they put forth in February, 1910-an appeal " unusual in its form and urgency." They add: " Western Canada-the region, that is, which lies east of the Rocky Mountains and west of the older Canadian Provinces-is being peopled with a rapidity which has no parallel in history. Ere long the new nation will be able to make provision for all its needs. Meanwhile, neither the immigrants nor the resources of Canada itself can cope with the overwhelming task of providing for the spiritual well-being of so great a people."
The Importance of Immediate Help
"As the Archbishop of Rupertsland wrote: 'it is to supplement the efforts of the Canadian Church, and to fill up what is lacking in its power to help at this crisis in the history of the Canadian West, that I desire to see the Church in the Motherland make a supreme endeavour just now.' That endeavour we are making; for, as we said in our former letter, the future history
A parish in Canada is often as large as a diocese in England, and the churches are few and far between. Built simply, the church of St. Thomas, Naseby, Sask., is typical of Canadian churches of the world will largely depend upon what this multitude comes to be in character, in faith, and in life."
His Majesty the King, when Prince of Wales, was among the first to contribute towards the fund.
Many societies at work in Canada, and hampered for want of means, have received grants from the Archbishops' Fund. Further information with regard to it will be gladly given to those interested, and leaflets will be sent them on application to the secretary, Archbishops' Western Canada Fund, Church House, Dean's Yard, Westminster.
The splendid work of Archdeacon Lloyd in Saskatchewan has been assisted by this fund. The Archdeacon is a well-known worker in connection with the Colonial and Continental Church Society. When in England, in 1907, in search of men and women to carry on the Church work in Canada, Archdeacon Lloyd was asked repeatedly whether there was no field for women workers. He replied that there was any amount of work waiting to be done, but that there was no way of paying even the expenses of maintenance for such workers, as more money was needed to provide clergy alone than was forthcoming.
A Field for Church Workers
Four ladies then offered to go out at their own charges, and were accepted by the Colonial and Continental Church Society as members of their colonial staff. The Ladies' Association of this society undertook, with the help of Miss E. L. Newnham, sister of the Bishop of Saskatchewan, to raise the money to provide a central Deaconess House in Saskatchewan, which would be the headquarters of the women's work; £400 was raised through the efforts of the association, and £100 was given by one of the deaconesses, so that the house has not cost the diocese a single penny. It is under-: stood that all the work of the deaconesses and women workers is primarily of a diocesan character; but help is given in the different parishes in parochial matters as well, in conjunction with the Woman's Auxiliary of the Canadian Church. It is difficult for those who are acquainted with the manifold activities of women in every branch of parish work in England to realise the difficulties of the vicar, who, unless he has a wife, is left to work single-handed in a parish which, even with a fast horse, he is unable to traverse in a day. There is any amount of work waiting to be done which only a woman can do. Every town in England contains numbers of Churchwomen possessing the necessary qualifications-i.e., devotion to the Church of her forefathers, organising ability, good health, and an income of at least £100 a year.
From one district came a request for "a deaconess of a good all-round parish-work type-something of the good, level-headed female curate kind." Another of the same sort was required for another parish, and in a third a small band of Churchwomen badly wanted a leader who was not one of themselves, able to do what a good rector's wife ought to do. This was in 1908, but little response to these requests has as yet been forthcoming. Hundreds of workers are needed in places where only one can be sent.
A Noble Work
One of the most important pieces of work undertaken by the deaconesses-or, rather, by one of them-has been meeting the immigrant trains at Saskatoon in order to provide a friend in need for the numbers of girls arriving from the Old Country with practically no knowledge of the new-a country, we are told, being filled up so fast by new inhabitants that there has been no one with time and leisure and power to arrange for their finding even suitable lodgings, which are often, indeed, not to be found by strangers in the place.
Miss Simcox, who has undertaken this work single-handed for two years, but who now has an assistant in Miss Field, tells us that herday in summer begins by meeting the 5 a.m. train, which may be up to time, or may be many hours late. The trains are often hours behind time. It is quite impossible to get letters and telegrams to some of the homesteads, as the farmers only come in for letters about once a week. A girl's chance.of being met is remote, even on the right day. Where is she to wait until she is called for, or sent for? Saskatoon is by no means the only place needing a "receiving house" for such girls along the 13,000 miles of railway, but it is one of the specially important ones. Four railway lines now pass through Saskatoon, which ten years ago consisted of one long street.
Miss Simcox has opened a registry and inquiry office in the town, which is proving an inestimable boon to hundreds of women and girls. On Sundays she entertains any girls who care to go to the Deaconess House to tea. They sing hymns afterwards, and often go with her to the evening service.
Sunday-school by Pest
A splendid piece of work among children is carried on by Miss Bolton - "Sunday-school by post." Many of the immigrants who arrive at Saskatoon are on their way to lonely farms miles from any place of worship. The children's names and addresses are taken, and each month they receive "lessons" by post. Prizes are offered for answers to questions, and the competition is very keen among these scattered children, who have never seen each other.
Boys and girls in England can help with this work by joining the Log Hut League. They are then provided with collecting-boxes in the shape of little log huts, and some of the money they collect pays for the lesson papers, Catechisms, etc. Many of them send various magazines when they have finished with them themselves. It does not matter in the least if they are a month or two old, the children are just as delighted with them. Each child is sent a Christmas-card, timed to arrive as near to December 25 as possible. Many of these are also contributed by members of the Log Hut League.
Openings for Teachers
The secular education of children in Western Canada is well looked after. The Government opens a school on the prairies for every twelve children of school age. In one province alone schools are being opened at the rate of over three hundred annually. The demand for teachers increases almost daily. The field is thrown open to:
1. Properly certified teachers from Great Britain.
2. Those who can easily be trained.
English teachers are preferred by the Canadians to American ones. The salaries are good, being about £10 a month, rising to £25. This money has the purchasing value of about t wo-thirds of English money. Teachers usually board with farmers, paying from £4 to £5 a month.
The Committee of the Ladies' Association will be glad to hear from any
Church of England girl over twenty years of age, not trained already as a teacher, but holding either:
1. Oxford Senior Local Certificate.
2. Cambridge Senior Local Certificate.
3. London Matriculation Certificate.
N.B.-No others are eligible.
The Canadian Education Department requires all candidates untrained in teaching to pass through a normal training (of about two months duration) before being placed in the field. Teachers must pay their own passage out (about £20) and their board during training (about £5 a month, including books and stationery).
Bursaries of £20 each will be lent by the Ladies' Association to a limited number of Church of England girls who satisfy the Committee that they are suitable for this work, but are unable to pay for their own maintenance during training.
The Education Department of Saskatchewan will accept certificated teachers who have taken a full two years' course at a recognised training college in England. Churchwomen who are already certificated, and who wish to take up teaching in North-west Canada as a directly missionary work, may have the great advantage of the guidance and help of the Bishop of Saskatchewan, Principal Lloyd (late Archdeacon), and Miss Simcox. The Bishop desires that all such should apply to and be accepted by the Women's Work Committee of the C. C. C. S.
All further particulars can be obtained from the secretary, Women's Work Committee, C. C. C. S., 9, Serjeants' Inn, Fleet Street, London, E.c.
Interior of St. Thomas' church, Naszby, Sask. Western Canada is in great need of the erection of churches to provide for the fast-growing population