Skip To Content
From Our Bishops

Letter to the Diocese from Bishop Andrew

Dear Friends,

A few years back, I made a personal testimony in front of hundreds of guests at the 54th annual Bishop’s Company Dinner. I spoke of a terrible accident that my sister-in-law experienced while on holiday in Europe that required sudden hospitalization far away. I was able to travel to my brother’s side quickly and be with them both through their ordeal thanks to financial assistance provided by the Bishop’s Company.

Each year, my colleague bishops and I receive numerous requests for help from our clergy. Some requests may be small, like travel assistance to a conference or help with paying for an online theology course. Others, not so small: counselling, dental reconstructive surgery, and speech and occupational therapy for children. Most years we get more than $100,000 in requests. The Bishop’s Company has provided larger financial grants as well for Indigenous ministry programs, annual bursaries for theological students and postulants, and annual gifts to clergy widows at Easter.  The Bishop’s Company provided the seed funding for our employee assistance program, and last year we were able to expand that program in response to the extra stresses of COVID-19.

For over 60 years, the Bishop’s Company, a fellowship network to provide financial support for clergy, has hosted an annual fundraising dinner. It has proven to be an important fundraising event in the Diocese, generating more than $4.5 million. Due to the pandemic, however, in 2020 we shifted our annual dinner to an online cabaret featuring talent from across the Diocese. Last year’s event raised more than $110,000, thanks to our sponsors and your donations.

For a third year – tonight! – we have set aside our annual fundraising dinner for a virtual cabaret. It gives me immense pleasure to invite you this year’s event, which will be broadcast this evening at 8 p.m. Access is free, though you need to pre-register. A free-will offering will be requested during the performance that can be made online, through QR code or by mail, so that you too can support the Bishop’s Company.

We are happy to welcome some familiar performers to the Cabaret, including pianist Valentin Bogoludov, the Nathan Hiltz Jazz Quintet and Rachel Colman, as well as some exciting new acts. The setlist includes worship and praise music, contemporary and classical favourites, and instrumental and vocal performances that will appeal to the young and the young at heart. Our feature presentation is from the Marion Singers of Greater Toronto.

Tonight’s MCs are two young people from Grace Church, Markham: Ashley Bazzano and Marae Zarifa. They are so impressive!

I am grateful to the Bishop’s Company for giving me the ability to support clergy and their families in need. And I give thanks for the generosity, witness and support of all who will join us in this special fundraiser: all the performers, sponsors, donors and members of our Anglican church family in the Diocese of Toronto. Your attendance tonight and financial support to the Bishop’s Company demonstrates your appreciation, love and care for our clergy.

Enjoy the show!

Yours in Christ,

The Rt. Rev. Andrew Asbil
Bishop of Toronto