November 19, 2018

Episcopal Cross & Ring of Bishop Evans Presented to Diocese

Below is the text of the presentation made by Gwynneth Evans on behalf of the Evans family, to the Diocese of Ontario on the occasion of the Farewell Eucharist for Bishop George Bruce, August 27 2011.

Presenting the Cross and Ring of Kenneth Charles Evans
to the Diocese of Ontario
Saturday, August 27, 2011
St. George’s Cathedral, Kingston
 

On behalf of the five children of Kenneth and Marjorie Evans, I would like to begin by saying how very pleased and privileged we are to be a part of this diocesan celebration of the ministry of Bishop George Bruce. It is Bishop Bruce who responded so positively to our question about the possibility of giving Father’s episcopal cross and ring to the diocese; we believe the timing of this gift is propitious.   [Photo, L to R, Gwynneth, Kitty & David Evans]

As many of you know, the Diocese of Ontario was established in 1862 from eastern parts of the Diocese of Toronto. When Kenneth Evans was consecrated bishop on June 11, 1952, five bishops had preceded him during the previous 90 years. As sixth bishop, he presided over the centenary of the diocese in 1962 and was instrumental in setting up the archives. Since his death in office on February 13, 1970, five bishops have succeeded Kenneth, and now 41 years later, the twelfth bishop is soon to be installed. Each bishop has brought his unique knowledge, talents and experience to the office and together with the clergy and laity, the Anglican Church has witnessed to God’s love and compassion in these parts.

Four decades is a long time in the lives of individuals. While we Evans have returned to Kingston and this Cathedral from time to time since 1970, our lives have taken us to different dioceses. But we feel very close to you, because we grew up among you.  Ninety (90) Johnson Street was bought to be Bishop’s Court in 1952. From that home, we went to Sydenham Public School, ran to KCVI, sometimes bumping into Margaret Austin and her dog along the way, and three of us graduated from Queen’s, where Father had received an honorary degree with Adlai Stevenson in 1954. One of us, Kitty, was married in the Cathedral and her first child, Andrea, was baptized at the font; and to our home clergy and laypeople came until the mid-60s, when the plans for a diocesan centre took shape.  Two of us were members of the Choir who sang in Westminster Abbey in 1954 and York Minster in 1965; these same boys, David and Ross, also played hockey in the church league at the Jock Harty Arena, under the watchful eye of their Father. In other words, our childhood and young adulthood are filled with the memories of our family and our friends –including, very directly, some of you. And in a material sense, our parents remain here; they are buried in Cataraqui Cemetery.

As we enter the 150th anniversary year of the diocese, we think back to some of the major changes since the fifties and sixties when we grew up in Kingston. The services were certainly more formal and male-dominated; the Cathedral was less open and accessible; the city and diocese as a whole were more homogenous, more conscious of the cultures and values of its dominant populations, less diverse. Much has changed.

Yet, if we consider for a moment the first Four Marks of Mission of the Anglican Communion, we see that they lay out for our Christian community, responsibilities that have been followed in various ways and to different degrees in every age. They are:

  • To proclaim the good news of the Kingdom;
  • To teach, baptize and nurture new believers
     
  • To respond to human need by loving service;

 

  • To seek to transform the unjust structures of society;

Looking back and forward, we recognize both continuity and change. But above all we celebrate and give thanks for the community of Christians who share in the abiding love of Jesus Christ for his people. We have God’s help; we are not alone.

In Father’s office at 90 Johnson, there was a large detailed survey map of eastern Ontario, dotted with different coloured pins. He created this visual map, as he visited every parish and every church; the red, yellow, black and white tacks identified and categorized every settlement, where there were Anglican families.

The episcopal cross and ring, given to Kenneth Evans by the congregation of Christ Church Cathedral, Montreal, are outward and visible signs of the relationship of a bishop to Christ’s church. We hope that, as the Diocese of Ontario prepares to celebrate its anniversary, you will draw strength from the past to commit yourselves in hope, faith and love to fulfill the Marks of Mission across the eastern stretches of Ontario and beyond. We hope that 2012 will also bring opportunity for us to celebrate our shared heritage and commitment to a mission-centred church. Mission was and is a strong legacy of Kenneth Evans’ ministry.  

Gwynneth Evans

August 29, 2011