“We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labour of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Thessalonians 1:2-3
On April 16, 1885, Mrs. Roberta Tilton, along with a few of her friends, approached the Synod of Bishops of the Anglican Church, meeting in Ottawa, requesting permission to form a women’s group to support missionary work, as there was very little being done across Canada. She received permission, and the Women’s Auxiliary (W.A.) was born. They held regular meetings, collected a small due, wrote a newsletter explaining their aims and goals and forwarded it to as many people across Canada as possible, with a plea to pass it on.
They worked wonders spreading the word, considering that in that era, there was no viable telephone service and no e-mail, just word of mouth and the mail service. There was very little money and women mainly stayed at home, they had no rights, at home, in the community, the Church or politically. Their purpose in forming the group was Work, Prayer and Stewardship. They were dedicated workers and spread the word, while raising amazing amounts of money over the years for missionary work.
In 1966, the ladies decided that ALL Anglican Church Women should be included, not just the dues paying, meeting going women, and changed the name to “Anglican Church Women”.
Today, many see the A.C.W.’s role in the Church as a hostess for funeral receptions, putting on “Teas” as fundraisers to support the Church in various special needs. In fact, A.C.W. exists within a Parish, but is independent, with its own officers, its own structure, its own treasurer, and its own program, which it carries out under its own authority, while co-operating fully and taking advice from the Parish Clergy. Today, many Churches find it difficult to meet its obligations without the help it receives from its A.C.W. ladies and their efforts.
Anglican Church Women at the Church of the Ascension, our ladies fundraise all year. The bulk of our monies come from a Strawberry Tea in early June and a Snowflake Tea early in December. After paying our apportionment to the Diocesan Anglican Church Women we give a donation to the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund, our Rector’s Discretionary Fund, we pay to send three delegates to Youth Synod each August, support the youth events at our Church, we sponsor a Foster Child through Parents Plan International, we donate to Primate’s World Relief and Development Plan, HIV/AIDS in South Africa, send money for bed kits to Sleeping Children Around the World, make “friendship quilts” for the homeless and the costs involved, donated to High School kids who go to Costa Rica installing solar panels. In 2008, we presented a stained glass window to the Chapel in recognition of the efforts of Anglican Church Women, past, present and future.
The first branch of the Women’s Auxiliary in the Diocese of Algoma was in North Bay in 1885 and one in Sault Ste. Marie in 1887, under the authority of Bishop Thornloe.
The Anglican Church Women is a dedicated group of women across Canada, who endeavors to keep the continuity of outreach, service and the vision of Roberta Tilton and her friends in 1885.
Anglican Church Women’s Prayer:
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who did send your blessed son into the world to become the Saviour of mankind. Grant to us a deep sense of gratitude for your grace and mercy towards us. Enable us by your Spirit to reveal your love in prayer and work and stewardship; so that your salvation may become known to all people, and your name glorified throughout all the earth, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
ACW Mission – 2013-2014 – Light up Papua New Guinea