Maple Leaf Gardens is filled with an SRO audience – but not for a hockey game. Toronto’s legendary sports palace is jammed for an Anglican church service.
A long, long procession of bishops and clergy makes its stately way across the rink – with the ice safely removed – to take their place of honour in front of a massed choir numbering over 500 voices. It is religion on the grand scale.
“This is magnificent,” an American visitor whispers to his Toronto host. Then adds, “Of course, this is an Anglican town.”
Was he hallucinating? No. In 1963, it was. Then there were enough Anglicans in Toronto to host the largest world conference that denomination ever held – with delegates from five continents.
Why in 2010 is all that unthinkable? Instead of sponsoring that kind of mega-event, why do Anglican leaders in Toronto have to cope with a report recommending the closing of 15 once thriving parish churches.
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Please note that the author of this article is NOT advocating any changes in the core message, only the tailoring of worship to changing circumstances.