Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Letter

We pray daily, “Thy kingdom come”. Part of our identity as Christians, together with faith and love, is hope. We can see beyond our present, imperfect, fallen state, to imagine the beauty and joy of God's kingdom, of which the prophets have spoken poetically. We yearn for it, we hunger for it, and even more so when our life is filled with disappointments and setbacks.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

St. Philip's Church Welcomes You This Christmas

These are uncertain and difficult times, and yet in Christmas, we are assured that a light still shines in this present darkness. A light that cannot be overcome. Jesus entered the world in weakness so that we might know God more fully and love one another more completely. The one who the universe could not contain was found lying in a simple feedbox in a stable on the outskirts of the city. Light shone in the darkness. Though the world keeps changing, God is unchanging, Gods love is unending and Gods love is for you. Wherever you come from, whoever you love, no matter what you think you have done to separate yourself from God. God still shines light into the dark places of our lives, bringing joy, forgiveness, and healing. Celebrate Gods love with us this Christmas.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Thanks and Best Wishes to Steven B. as he Embarks on a New Chapter of His Life

Last Sunday parishioners at St. Philip's said goodbye to Steven B. who is moving out west. While we wish him well we cannot help but feel some sadness. However, our spirits are buoyed by the knowledge that our loss is another church's gain.

Steven is the kind of person that represents the best of who we are as a Christian family. His quiet leadership and faithful dedication will be sorely missed.

As a warden he helped to steward our parish through some difficult times.  As one of the people who patiently yet persistently pursued me to be warden I owe him a personal debt of gratitude.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Congregational development: ‘An opportunity for a reformation’

The following is part of an ongoing monthly series on congregational development, which features reflections from Anglicans on how they are responding to the challenges facing churches today.

What is the end goal of congregational development? Some view it as preserving the institution or the business of the church, which often involves bringing in more people to achieve a certain numerical target. Others focus on mission, asking questions about the church’s identity and what it is becoming.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Congregational development: On the rediscovery of Anglican identity

The following is part of an ongoing monthly series on congregational development, which features reflections from Anglicans on how they are responding to the challenges facing churches today.

Decades of building congregations in the Anglican Church of Canada and The Episcopal Church (in the United States) have left Bishop Melissa Skelton with some expansive views on the subject of congregational development, including the creation of related training programs on both sides of the border.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Support the 125 Challenge

The "125 Challenge" is the brainchild of Anne W.  This fundraising initiative is in support of St. Philip's tower repairs. In 2016 extending into 2017, St. Philip's is celebrating its 125th Anniversary. We have designated a number of special events to commemorate the occasion and the "125 Challenge" is our biggest fundraising campaign.

Other 125th anniversary events celebrated earlier this year include the Spring Tea and a wonderful benefit concert by Manker and Friends. We also had the honour of a visit from Bishop Mary on the occasion of our patronal feast. Upcoming events include a community BBQ in August and serving at St. Micheal's Mission in September. In October we will be holding an Open House and we will also be coming together for a Gala Dinner. For the full slate of 125 events click here.

The goal of the "125 Challenge" is to help fund our tower renovations with 125 gifts of $125. In total we hope to raise around $16,000. Our community has already raised hundreds of thousands of dollars that we have used to successfully repair the outside of our tower. This new fundraiser is intended to help make repairs to the inside of the church tower.

Anne W. came up with the idea while she was brainstorming during February's vestry meeting as we were talking about the tower fund. When asked about how she came up with the idea Anne explained her thought process this way: "It just was an inspiration, so lets do something for the 125th anniversary" she said, "so I thought $125 for 125."

Anne is a pillar of our church, she was baptized here and her grandfather helped to build the church. From Sunday school to ballet classes and dances the church has been part of Anne and her family's life for decades. Thank you Anne for spearheading the "125 Challenge" and for all your dedicated years of service to St. Philip's and the wider community.

As of the end of July we have received 37 gifts of $125 so we need 88 more donations to meet our goal. Thanks to all who have contributed so far and if you have not yet done so please support Anne's wonderful initiative and contribute to this worthy cause.

To offer your gift please contact the church office at (514) 481-4871.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate on the Synod Vote to Change the Marriage Canon

In light of decisions made at General Synod 2016 concerning the solemnizing of same-sex marriage, I pray our Church can and will take to heart Paul’s plea with the Christians living in Ephesus, “I beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace”. (Ephesians 4:1-3)

Going into General Synod, the delegates knew there would be pastoral implications whether the Resolution to amend the Marriage Canon passed or not. In order to pass it would, according to the Declaration of Principles (General Synod Handbook), require a two-thirds majority in each of the three orders voting: bishops, clergy, and laity.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Christianity Anglicanism and Sexual Orientation: Bridging the Divide Through Love and Respect

This is a republication of an editorial by Richard Matthews, written in 2013. It is timely as the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada is deliberating on making changes to the marriage cannon.

Richard Matthews is the Rector's Warden, social media coordinator and member of the advisory board at St. Philip's Anglican Church, he is also a reader, sideman, and intercessor. However, this editorial does not reflect his official capacities at the church, nor does it speak for the parish, the diocese or the rector. What follows is a reflection of his personal views and is intended as a springboard for reflection.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Message from the Primate on the Orlando Massacre: ‘Let us be gentle and then let us be bold’

As I have been travelling over the last number of days, I have watched – horrified – as once again the people of the United States of America are plunged into national mourning in the wake of yet another mass shooting. This time in the early morning hours of Sunday, the 12th of June, a lone gunman opened fire in a nightclub in Orlando, Florida. A hailstorm of gunfire has left 49 people dead, 53 seriously wounded, their families in shock and grief, the LGBTQ+ community traumatized, Muslim communities shaken, and all people of good will horror-struck.

Our hearts have gone out first to parents who lost their children, siblings who lost brothers and sisters, partners who lost their beloved and all bereft of friendships they cherished. Let us hold them gently in our prayers...

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Interview with the MSO's Brian and Katherine Manker

I had the pleasure of interviewing Montreal Symphony Orchestra (MSO) performers Brian and Katherine Manker on April 11th. They are two of the three members that make up "Manker and Friends" who will be performing a benefit concert at St. Philip's as part of our 125th anniversary festivities. The trio is composed of Brian Manker on cello, his wife Katherine on violin and WeiTang Huang on piano. The concert will take place at St. Philip's church (25 Brock North) on May 27th at 8 pm. See the full interview below.

Richard Matthews, Social Media Coordinator, St. Philip's Church.

Richard: Thank you very much for meeting with me today and for performing at our church at the end of May.

Richard: You both play with the MSO and you both teach music. Clearly music is an overarching theme for the both of you. How did music come to play such a central role in your lives?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Bishop Mary's Sermon at St. Philip's Church on the Occasion of our Patronal Feast

Here is a video recording of Bishop Mary Irwin-Gibson's sermon at St. Philip's Church on the occasion of our Patronage Feast on May 1, 2016. This is part of St. Philip's 125th anniversary celebrations.

Check out our forthcoming event, an evening of classical music on Friday, May 27th by the trio Manker and Friends. Click here for more information.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Classical Music Benefit Concert at St. Philip's by the Trio "Manker and Friends"

St Philip's is honoured to present an evening of classical music on Friday, May 27th by the trio Manker and Friends who will be performing works by Beethoven and Dvorak (see the full programme at the bottom of the page). The concert will start at 8 pm in the church which is located at 25 Brock Avenue North, Montreal West. Brian and Katherine Manker are members of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and they along with their friend WeiTang Huang have generously offered to perform a benefit concert to help celebrate St. Philip's 125th anniversary.  See their bios below.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Forgiveness and Reflections on Marriage: A Sermon by Rev. J.B. Pratt

                                                     Sermon for the 5th Sunday of Easter (Year C) April 24, 2016

It’s easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission.

We’ve all heard that said before. And it can be especially true in the church, where we are supposed to be all about forgiveness, and where we often can move and make decisions at a glacial pace.

Our first lesson this morning [Acts 11:1-18] is all about asking forgiveness for breaking the rules. The early church was a Jewish movement, and the apostles saw themselves as Jews first, Christians second. They observed the Jewish law, including the kosher requirements; they attended synagogues and worshipped at the Temple. Non-Jews who wished to become Christians had to first convert to Judaism, study Torah and be circumcised, then they could be baptized as Christians.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

St. Philip's Guidelines for Constructive Communication

These guidelines are meant to serve as a basis for comment and conduct and they are intended to facilitate constructive communications. They are derived from the Anglican Diocese of Montreal's Safe Church Policy and Email Etiquette they are deliberately brief and not meant to be legalistic.

These guidelines are a function of discussions within the corporation. They have been reviewed at the January 2016 advisory board and suggested revisions have been incorporated into the current text. The guidelines were passed almost unanimously at the February 2016 Vestry.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

St. Philip's Spring Fair and 125th Anniversary Events

We have married our Book Bake and Craft Fair with our Yard Sale to make an even bigger event that we are calling St. Philip's Spring Fair. It will take place at 7505 Sherbrooke St. West, on Saturday May 7th 2016, from 9 am to 2 pm.

At the Spring Fair you will find a wide assortment of items from delicious desserts to one of a kind, hand crafted works of art. In addition to baked goods and artisanal crafts, you will find books and a variety of articles too numerous to mention. There will be balloons for the kids and holy hot-dogs made by our very own Father Jim, aka Rev. James Pratt our beloved rector.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Major new report calls Anglicans to Intentional Discipleship and Disciple-Making

This image of baptisms in India has been chosen as the cover illustration of "Intentional Discipleship and Disciple-Making - An Anglican Guide for Christian Life and Formation" - a major new report from the Anglican Communion

An Anglican Communion-wide season of intentional discipleship should not be created to address poor church attendance, or to counter the challenge faced by churches with high attendance and low commitment. Instead, it should be “a response to the biblical call to make disciples to honour and glorify God, as Christians live out their faith in everyday life as faithful followers of Jesus Christ, their Lord and Master,” a major new report published by the Anglican Communion says.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

You are Invited to St. Philip's Church 125th Anniversary

We are pleased to announce that in 2016 St. Philip's Church is celebrating its 125th anniversary. As part of our celebration we are staging six special events. We cordially invite everyone to join us and celebrate this special occasion. 

The inaugural event is the Spring Tea, click here for more information.  Stay tuned for more updates and information on forthcoming events.  

See the summary of events highlighted in teal in the calendar below.

Friday, April 1, 2016

God Calls Who God Calls

I love weddings. I love working with people as they prepare for their life as a married couple. I love helping them choose the readings that will speak God’s Good News to them on their wedding day. I love witnessing their vows and speaking God’s blessing over them. I love watching the faces of those in attendance as they enter into the joy and the hope of their dear friends, seeing God’s love and faithfulness revealed in their union. I do believe that marriage is a gift from God, a vocation into which some are called as a ministry to God’s people and for their own well-being.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Easter Message from Fred Hiltz Primate of Canada - The Way of The Cross: Holy Week, 2016

The liturgy for Palm Sunday invites us to follow our Lord this week “from the glory of the palms to the glory of the resurrections by way of the dark road of suffering and death”. In making that journey, we pray “united with Him in his suffering on the cross, may we share his resurrection and new life” (p 297, BAS)

One way of drawing near to Christ this week is through participating in an ancient form of devotion known as the Stations of the Cross. This holy practice dates as far back as 381 AD when a Spanish pilgrim, Egeria, made a pilgrimage from the Mount of Olives to the Church of The Holy Sepulchre, built over the place of Jesus crucifixion and burial. To the original six stations several more have been added through time. Since the 1700’s there have been typically fourteen. Nine come from the Gospels; five others from medieval European piety—Jesus falling three times along the way, Jesus meeting his mother, and Veronica wiping his face.

Bishop Mary's Easter Message

Some years ago a film called “The Passion of the Christ” was produced. There was much furor about its graphic and violent content and about whether “real Christians” should ever watch it. I don’t like scary or violent movies and I try to avoid seeing representations of people suffering. I see enough real suffering going on around us, and the news media are only too willing to find a sensational photo or audio clip to draw us in. Nevertheless, I announced that I would go see this movie with any one in the parish who wanted to go. Several carloads made the trek from Ste-Agathe to Ste-Adele on a wintry night in Lent.

I don’t remember very much of the actual movie now because the story of (what Christians call) Holy Week has always been part of my faith life. Except for the sound track and the visual effects, I was already aware that Christ’s suffering was a brutal and tortured journey to the cross and death.

The Passion of Jesus Christ is read on Palm/Passion Sunday(this year it is Luke 22:14 -23:56) and usually again on Good Friday. Maundy Thursday celebrates Jesus’ Last Supper and his gift to us of Holy Communion or the Eucharist, and Jesus’ final commandment that we are to love one another as he has loved us. The service ends with Jesus agonizing in prayer about what is coming next and the arrival of the guards to arrest him.

Rector's Easter Letter

Warden's Easter Letter

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Easter is almost upon us and along with it Spring. This is a time of promise, of new hope, new joy and new aspirations. Easter also marks the end of Lent as we celebrate the risen Christ. This is a blessed time of renewal for all of us as Christians and for our church as we celebrate our 125th anniversary with a full slate of activities.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Christ's Prayer at Gethsemane: "Let this cup pass from me"

Christ’s prayer at Gethsemane, “let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want” (Matthew 26: 39), has been a point of contention for theologians for over a thousand years. How could Christ, as God, even waver? This question goes to the heart of our soteriology, anthropology and Christology. By the 6th Ecumenical Council (681) it was affirmed that Christ having two natures (human and divine) also had two wills (human & divine). The realization that unfolds is that Christ’s natural human will is transcended: its desire for self-preservation is eclipsed by its desire for the divine.

Saturday, March 12, 2016


Sunday March 20 10:00 am Palm Sunday Procession and Eucharist
Tuesday March 22 7:30 pm Trinity Memorial Church (Stations of the Cross)
Wednesday March 23 7:30 pm Tenebrae (Service of Darkness)
Thursday March 24 6:00 pm St. Thomas Church (Maundy Thursday)
Friday March 25 12:00 pm Liturgy of Good Friday
Saturday March 26 7:00 pm Children’s Easter Vigil

Friday, March 11, 2016

Looking for Artisans / Artisans Recherchés

St. Philip's Church welcomes artisans to take part in its upcoming Spring Fair to be held on Saturday, May 7th, 2016. Artisans who create handmade jewelry, painting, greeting cards, wood-working, and pottery are welcome to display their wares. We are located on the border between Montreal West and NDG. This well-attended event is a unique opportunity to promote and sell your crafts.

Contact Mark R. at for more details on how you can secure a table.

Deadline for receipt of applications is April 22, 2016.

Please forward this to anyone that may be interested. ___________________________________________

L'Église St. Philip invite les artisans à participer dans la Foire du Printemps, notre nouvelle vente annuelle de livres, pâtisseries et objets faits à la main qui aura lieu samedi, le 7 mai, 2016. Les artisans et artisanes qui fabriquent les bijoux, peintures, cartes de voeux, boiseries, poteries, etc sont invités à offrir leurs créations. Nous sommes situés entre les frontières de Montréal Ouest et NDG. Cet événement attire plusieurs acheteurs et présente une opportunité unique pour promouvoir et vendre vos créations.
Pour plus de détails ou pour vous procurer une table, communiquez avec Mark R.,

La date limite pour nous remettre les formulaires est le 22 avril, 2016.

Faites parvenir cette invitation à tout ceux qui peuvent être intéressés.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Kingdom Fellowship Demands Grace and Forgiveness

Every month I go to see my Spiritual Director, Father Bob. We sit. We pray. We talk about all sorts of matters of faith life and ministry. Father Bob always gives me a verse for the month, a verse which I am supposed to reflect on every day. I must confess that I don’t always do this. I often start out very well, but then lose my momentum as I progress through the month.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Black History Month - Meet the Community

This is a republication of “Meet The Community” from 2014 in celebration of Black History Month. Like many Anglican and Episcopal churches, Black people are an important part of St. Philip's parish family. This series is offered in respectful appreciation of their esteemed place in our Parish as well as an acknowledgement of the important role of Black people in churches across North America.

Black History Month (BHM) takes place in February each year and it is an opportunity for all people to celebrate those who have championed civil rights, to remember some very disturbing facts about the past and to acknowledge the social justice work that still needs to be done.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

First Female Bishop Elected in the Diocese of Huron

Linda Nicholls, who has served since 2008 as suffragan bishop of Toronto and area bishop of Trent-Durham, was elected coadjutor bishop of the diocese of Huron Saturday, February 13.

“It’s a bit overwhelming, frankly—joyful, wonderful, exciting and quite remarkable—to be elected in a diocese that I have never served in, and to be entrusted with the responsibility to be coadjutor bishop,” Nicholls told the Anglican Journal February 16.

Nicholls was chosen out of eight candidates, winning on the third ballot. As coadjutor bishop, she will automatically become bishop of Huron—the first female to hold the title—when the current bishop, Robert Bennett, retires.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Churches that love their model more than the mission will die

This is the passage tweeted by Bishop Mary on January 29, 2016. It is excerpted from an article called 10 predictions about the future Church and shifting attendance patterns. These predictions were offered by Carey Nieuwhof, a Christian Week columnist. The Bishop also Tweeted the following from the same article: "As the church reformats and repents, a more authentic, more selfless church will emerge."

Churches that love their model more than the mission will die

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Children's Ministry in a Changing World

Here is an article on the changing realities in the church as it applies to children's ministry. This is a particularly important subject for a number of churches including St. Philip's which relaunched its Sunday School Program a year and a half ago. The article was written by Lee-Ann Matthews, Youth Coordinator at St. Thomas in the Anglican Diocese of Montreal.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Fred Hiltz on the Meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion

A Reflection on the Meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion in Canterbury, England, January 11-15, 2016

The following is a modified version of the Primate's text which was sent out earlier today. It has been edited for clarity.

“Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it”
(1 Corinthians 12:27)

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Prayer for a New Year

We give you thanks for this new year, together, as your people.

We give you thanks for new beginnings.

As each new year is like a blank page in our book of life, may we carefully choose how we fill that page.