Diocesan Church Society

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Diocesan Church Society

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Description area

Dates of existence



In the late 1700s, as the Church of England became established in Canada, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (S. P. G.) supported clergymen, providing funds to support living costs and to assist with other expenses. in the early 1800s, the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (S. P. C. K.) took on the task of supplying books for use of churches in different parts of the country, working alongside the S. P. G.

A "Church Society of the Archdeaconry of New Brunswick" was formed in 1837 to take over the duties of the S. P. G. and S. P. C. K, such as to carry out missionary visits, establish scholarships for study, provide aid for Sunday Schools and other schools, supply books and tracts, and aid in the building and expansion of churches. In 1847, that society was renamed "The Diocesan Church Society of New Brunswick" and expanded its mission to provide support for the construction of parsonages and to create a fund to help with incapacitated clergy, widows and orphans of clergy, and the children of clergy. A comparable society was founded in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, in 1840, and incorporated in 1852. Other societies were formed in other parts of Canada, apparently often in response to diminishing financial support from the Church in England. The Society was still in existence as of 2007.


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Information about the Diocesan Church Society comes in part from the Provincial Archives and Records Office of Prince Edward Island, as part of its description of Diocesan Church Society archives in its custody. See http://www.gov.pe.ca/paroatom/index.php/diocesan-church-society. A pamphlet on "The Origin and Work of the Diocesan Church Society" in New Brunswick was published in 1883 by the Diocese of Fredericton as Occasional Paper No. 5 and is available in digital form through Canadiana.org at http://www.canadiana.ca/view/oocihm.06125/8?r=0&s=1. Additional archives from Diocesan Church Society offices can also be found in the Archives of the Anglican Diocese of British Columbia. See https://archivescanada.accesstomemory.ca/diocesan-church-society-sous-fonds.

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