Western Canada fires forced evacuations and destroyed a church camp; primate’s fund to help

Posted Sep 7, 2023

[Anglican Journal (Anglican Church of Canada)] Wildfires in western Canada this summer forced residents to evacuate from Yellowknife, disrupting ministry in the already logistically difficult diocese of the Arctic, and all but destroyed an Anglican summer camp in the Okanagan Valley. In response, the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) created a new fund for emergency responses inside Canada, which received $22,000 in donations in its first week.

Fires in the Northwest Territories forced about 19,000 people to evacuate Yellowknife on Aug. 18, sending out a long line of cars to the south towards Alberta.

The vast majority of the Okanagan Anglican Camp, north of Kelowna, was destroyed. A pastoral letter from Archbishop Lynne McNaughton, bishop of the diocese of Kootenay, announced that the diocesan council would begin discussing the process of rebuilding at its next meeting in September. The first steps would be damage assessment, cleanup and insurance work, she wrote.

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