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Order honours laity at cathedral service

The first members of the Order of the Diocese of Toronto have their pictures taken by family members and friends at St. James Cathedral on Jan. 1. Photos by Michael Hudson

By Bob Bettson

During a Christmas season when many Anglicans in the Diocese of Toronto lost both heat and electricity due to an ice storm, Anglicans of all ages flocked to St. James Cathedral on New Year’s Day to celebrate the contributions of lay people.

Archbishop Colin Johnson presented medals to the first members of the newly created Order of the Diocese of Toronto. Forty-eight people were named to the order.

Archbishop Johnson said that while Hollywood movies seemed to be preoccupied by superheroes, the Order of the Diocese of Toronto recognized the everyday good deeds of ordinary folk in the Anglican Church.

 “These 48 people are being honoured because someone saw in them the gifts of God, the face of Jesus,” he said. Their work at the parish, area or diocesan level provided the church with the capacity to do good things, he added. 

Many of the members said they were surprised and honoured to receive the award.

Jenny Salisbury, wearing her new medal, shakes hands with Archbishop Colin Johnson.

“It’s very humbling and exciting,” said Jenny Salisbury, who was recognized for her work in youth ministry at both the parish and diocesan levels. “I’m entirely surprised.”

The award had a special meaning for Peter Tovell, an architect and a member of Church of the Redeemer, Toronto. “I’ve never received an award. It means a lot to have my skills and gifts recognized. I never expected it and I’m very thankful.”

Heather MacGregor, a churchwarden at St. Mary Magdalene, Toronto, called the award a “complete surprise” and said she was touched to be honoured. As the chief executive officer of the YWCA Toronto, she has received recognition in the secular world, but to be acknowledged for her volunteer work for the parish is “wonderful,” she added.

All the recipients gathered in the east aisle of the cathedral and came forward one by one as their citations were read. After the presentation, the members gathered for a group photo and also to have their pictures taken individually with the bishops.

New medals of the Order of the Diocese of Toronto.

The following were named to the order:

  • Mr. Chris Ambidge, ODT, Church of the Redeemer, Bloor Street
  • Mr. James Norman Baker, ODT, Church of the Advent, Toronto
  • Mrs. Karen Barnett, ODT, St. John, York Mills
  • Mr. William Barnett, ODT, St. John, York Mills
  • Mr. Bill Benson, ODT, St. Aidan, Toronto
  • Ms. Barbara Broadbent, ODT, St. Timothy, Agincourt
  • Mr. Albert Chandler, ODT, St. Patrick, Willowdale
  • Mrs. Joanne Colbourne, ODT, All Saints, Kingsway
  • Mrs. Marjorie Fawcett, ODT, St. Andrew, Scarborough
  • Mrs. Evelyn Fitzakerley, ODT, St. Bede, Scarborough
  • Mr. Rogers Gardham, ODT, Grace Church, Markham
  • Ms. Anita Gittens, ODT, St. Paul the Apostle, Rexdale
Anita Gittens, president of the diocesan ACW, receives her medal.
  • Mr. Blake Goldring, ODT, St. Clement, Eglinton
  • Mr. Terry Grier, ODT, St. Margaret, New Toronto
  • Mrs. Vivien Harris, ODT, Holy Trinity, Guildwood
  • Ms. Ena Hordatt, ODT, St. Stephen, Downsview
  • Mr. William Humphries, ODT, St. Matthias, Etobicoke
  • Mr. Stuart Hutcheson, ODT, St. Peter, Erindale
  • Mr. John Lawer, ODT, Church of the Transfiguration, Toronto
  • Ms. Delores Lawrence, ODT, St. Matthew the Apostle, Oriole
  • Ms. Suzanne Lawson, ODT, St. Peter, Cobourg
  • Dr. Wilson Loo, ODT, St. Elizabeth, Mississauga
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Loweth, ODT, St. Clement, Eglinton
  • Ms. Nancy Mallett, ODT, St. James Cathedral, Toronto
  • Mr. Kennedy Marshall, ODT, Epiphany and St. Mark, Parkdale
  • The Hon. Margaret McCain, ODT, St. Paul, Bloor Street
  • Mr. Ward McCance, ODT, St. Peter, Cobourg
  • Ms. Heather McGregor, ODT, St. Mary Magdalene, Toronto
  • Ms. Gloria McLean, ODT, Church of the Nativity, Malvern
The cathedral is full for the Order presentation and the Archbishop’s Levee that preceded it.
  • Mrs. Malynda Montgomery, ODT, St. Philip, Etobicoke
  • Mr. Charles Parker, ODT, Christ Church, Stouffville
  • Mrs. Dorothy Peers, ODT, Epiphany and St. Mark, Parkdale
  • Mr. Keith Pickett, ODT, St. John the Evangelist, Port Hope
  • Mr. Eric Pollard, ODT, St. Peter, Erindale
  • Mrs. Julie Poore, ODT, Parish of Washago-Price’s Corners
  • Mr. Robert Poulton, ODT, St. Paul, Newmarket
  • Mr. David Ptolemy, ODT, Diocesan Archives
  • Ms. Audrey Riley, ODT, St. David, Lawrence Avenue
  • Ms. Jenny Salisbury, ODT, St. Clement, Eglinton
  • Ms. Libby Salter, ODT, Church of the Redeemer, Bloor Street
  • Mrs. Ann Sim, ODT, St. Matthew, Islington
  • Mrs. Sylvia Slemmestad, ODT, Grace Church in Scarborough
  • Mr. David Taylor, ODT, Grace Church, Markham
  • Mr. Peter Tovell, ODT, Church of the Redeemer, Bloor Street
  • Mrs. Denise Whalley, ODT, All Saints, King City
  • Mrs. Cara Wigle, ODT, St. Margaret, New Toronto
  • Ms. Beverley Wood, ODT, Trinity Church, Aurora
  • Ms. Marilyn Yeung, ODT, St. Christopher, Richmond Hill

The medal presentation took part during choral evensong at the cathedral. The service was preceded by the Archbishop’s Levee, which included the traditional greeting by the bishops, a ringing of the bells and refreshments.