One recent illustration of the ways in which ethnicity and religion are intertwined comes from the geographically central if culturally and economically marginal small Québec city of La Tuque
, where the Anglican (Church of St. Andrew Apostle and Martyr
is about to be closed down.
St. Andrew is a parish in the Anglican Diocese of Quebec
, which covers most of the province of Québec outside of the city of Montréal, i.e. the almost wholly Francophone regions of Québec where the English--ethnic English, not Anglophone since that language community also includes Scots and Irish and English of various non-Anglican Protestant backgrounds--have always composed a very small minority. Even the Diocese of Montreal
, seat of Québec's Anglophone minority, is itself isn't doing very well at all. The English population in the Deanery of Quebec
has been declining that much more quickly, likely through a combination of out-migration from the former mill town and assimilation (cultural and religious) into the Francophone Roman Catholic majority. And so, the parish is being wound down. Perhaps fittingly, the only article on the parish's closing that I found on Google News came from the French-language Le Nouvelliste
. See the translation below.
Resigned, the faithful Anglicans La Tuque have accepted the disappearance of their place of worship for one hundred years, a leading institution in the Anglophone community of Haute-Mauricie.
The church will finally desanctified on October 2 during a ceremony to be chaired by the Anglican Bishop of Quebec, the Right Reverend Dennis Drainville.
"All the faithful of the Church of St. Andrew have accepted this reality. We are no longer numerous enough to sustain our church, "says the warden of the Anglican community of La Tuque, Anthony Hudon.
"There remains no more than thirty faithful Anglicans in La Tuque."
Activity has been slowing down nearly a year at St. Andrew's. The last religious service was held October 21, 2009. What was the last mass of the small wooden church was celebrated by the Rev. Jason Pollick.
[. . .]
Built between 1910 and 1911, the Church of St. Andrew reveals the past strength of the Anglophone community in Upper Saint-Maurice.
"The Anglican community in La Tuque is very limited and in steady decline for several years. The parish and the diocese can do no more and no more in the future can deploy the necessary financial resources to ensure the protection and conservation of the church or the rectory adjoining. Repair costs are very high. Far too high for us," explained last March the archdeacon of the Anglican Diocese of Quebec, Garth Bulmer.