Fonds 007 - Women's Auxiliary and Anglican Church Women archives

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Women's Auxiliary and Anglican Church Women archives

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  • Textual record

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Fonds

Reference code

CA PEI SPCA 007

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  • 1900-2017 (Creation)
    Creator
    Anglican Church Women of Prince Edward Island

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Physical description

43 cm of textual records.

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1897-2017)

Administrative history

The following background information is adapted from the Anglican Church of Canada Archives website at https://www.anglican.ca/archives/holdings/fonds/womans-auxiliary-fonds/

The constitution for the Anglican Church Women outlines its mission as follows: "Anglican Church Women of Canada is a loosely knit fellowship of all women of the Anglican Church of Canada and others who agree with and support the purpose of the Anglican Church Women of Canada. The purpose is to give the women of the Anglican Church the opportunity to unite in a fellowship of worship, study and service which will lead them into Christian service in the parish, community, diocese, nation, and world."

The Woman’s Auxiliary was founded in April 1885 “for the promotion of missionary effort”. The first president was Margaret Medley, wife of the Bishop of Fredericton and Archbishop of the Province of Canada. Roberta E. Tilton of Ottawa was the major force in organizing both diocesan and parochial branches and in promoting the affiliation of existing groups and societies.

The “Letter Leaflet” was a monthly publication first produced in the Diocese of Toronto. It expanded and became the W.A.’s official publication and in 1923 it was renamed “The Living Message”.

The W.A. was reorganized in 1908 following the founding of the Missionary Society of the Church of England in Canada (MSCC) to conform to the structure of General Synod. Caroline M. Patterson Hall was elected president and the first meeting of the General Board was held in Winnipeg.

Initially the work of the W.A. included mission education among Girls; Juniors and Little Helpers (Babies) branches; support of women working as missionaries and assistants in Japan (later China and India) and on Indian Reserves; Dorcas work and financial support for the education of missionaries children. A pension fund for women missionaries was established in 1910. In 1912 after several years of discussion the W.A. agreed to assume responsibility for work with women and children overseas. This included additional budgeted expenditures for evangelism, schools and hospitals. This agreement was extended to the Canadian mission field in 1919.

In 1928 the general meeting became annual. Recognizing an expanded social service role in 1931 the W.A. added a clause to its Constitution governing its cooperation with the General Board of Religious Education (GBRE) and the Council for Social Service (CSS).

In 1966 the constitution was amended and the Woman’s Auxiliary became the Anglican Church Women (ACW). Integration with General Synod was agreed as a national goal and took place in 1973. Since that time the organization exists by choice at the diocesan and parish levels.

According to E. M. Malone and Major T. E. Mcnutt, The Church in the Island Province (1932), p. 118, the first branch of the Women's Auxiliary in the Maritimes was established in 1897 at St. Peter's Cathedral.

As noted in the Anglican Church Women archives, the Prince Edward Island branch of the Anglican Church Women was dissolved in June 2017. Since then St. Peter's Cathedral has maintained the Binney Group and Inglis Group as active women's groups within the church.

Custodial history

The archives of the Women's Auxiliary and Anglican Church Women were maintained as part of St. Peter's Cathedral Church archives, which were relocated from the church bell tower to the church basement and then into a purpose-built archival room. The records had been stored in boxes and bags at one point and original order was lost. Archives related to the Women's Auxiliary and Anglican Church Women were boxed together in several large clamshell boxes until they were appraised, arranged, and described in 2019.

Scope and content

The archives includes the official records of the Women's Auxiliary and the Anglican Church Women, along with records related to the Guild of St. Mary the Virgin of St. Peter's Cathedral and the Women's Guild. Also included is documentation related to the Girls' Auxiliary, Junior Women's Auxiliary, and Afternoon Branch. The records include: historical information, constitution and bylaws, handbooks and guidebooks, minutes and agendas, attendance registers and membership records, annual reports, correspondence, meeting programmes, financial account books, receipts, and expenditure records.

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Arrangement

During the first arrangement of St. Peter's Cathedral Church archives, after the records were moved from the church bell tower, the Women's Auxiliary and Anglican Church Women's records were brought together into clamshell boxes as one group. The records themselves overlap, in some instances with Women's Auxiliary and Anglican Church Women documented in closely related files. Given the history of the two groups, with the Women's Auxiliary as a predecessor to the Anglican Church Women, it was deemed appropriate to keep the records of the two entities together in one archival unit. Arrangement of the materials was chronological by unit, and the transition from Women's Auxiliary to Anglican Church Women can be seen in a review of the records over the decades.

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NO RESTRICTIONS ON ACCESS

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A file list is available.

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General note

LOCATION: SPCA BOX 31, SPCA BOX 32, SPCA BOX 33, SPCA BOX 34

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Canada

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PEI SPCA

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