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PWRDF (Primate World Relief Development Fund)

The Primate is the head of the Anglican Church in Canada, being the first among equals in the Canadian House of Bishops. He is elected from among those Bishops and presides over General Synod, held every three years. The current incumbent is Fred Hiltz from New Brunswick.

The Anglican Church is divided into 31 Provinces world-wide. Each of these Provinces is autonomous in and of itself and is presided over by the equivalent of our Primate. However each Province understands itself to be part of the world-wide Anglican Community. All Provinces meet collectively at the Lambeth Conference every ten years, and at the Anglican Consultative Council in between.

The Fund was initially set up to respond to the mining disaster in Springhill, Nova Scotia on October 28th, 1958. At that time 174 men were trapped below ground at depths of nearly 4,000 feet. Thanks to feverish rescue attempts 99 of those men were saved. Anglican parishes throughout Canada raised over $100,000 in aid for the miners and their families. At that time a nice house cost $1,000 and the sum raised was equivalent to more than $750,000 today. At General Synod in 1959 the Primate’s World Relief Fund was formally created and continued to offer initial response to disasters at home and abroad. You can read more about the beginnings of The Primate's World Relief and Development Fund and the Springhill mining disaster here: Born Out of Tragedy

Ten years later it had become understood that a long term response was also needed in conjunction with the initial relief grant to address natural or human caused disasters. It was also understood that those affected by such disasters were very equipped to knowledgeably engage in the long term solutions. Thus was born the Development component of what now became known as The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund. The primary focus after initial relief aid is to help affected populations to become self sufficient through their own efforts and the efforts of those working alongside them.

Since 1995 PWRDF has been actively involved with indigenous issues in Canada as well as with projects world-wide.

PWRDF is replenished by funds donated from parishes all across Canada. It is often one of the first to respond to a call for help. PWRDF works in co-operation with ACT (Action by Churches Together) to maximize the impact of their involvement, both short and long term.

Since the turn of the century youth have been actively involved in the life of PWRDF.

In 2000, for financial protection, PWRDF became a separately incorporated charitable organization whilst maintaining its strong links with the Anglican Church of Canada.

The Fund is proud that its administrative costs are low compared to other charitable institutions - only approximately 13-15% of its total budget. And these administrative costs are taken only from undesignated donations. Donors may specifically request their donations are used only for relief and development work.

This year PWRDF celebrates 60 years of responding to the needs of others - and allowing each and every one of us the opportunity to participate in improving the living conditions of our brothers and sisters around the world through our donations.

You can assist by making a donation to PWRDF, or buying Christmas cards, which helps PWRDF to become more widely known, or by buying someone on your gift list an item from the wide range available in the Gifts for Mission brochure.


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