Community and the colonial church: an examination of the Church of England's establishment of its first mission in Southern Labrador, 1848-1876

Ralph, Rebecca Faye (2014) Community and the colonial church: an examination of the Church of England's establishment of its first mission in Southern Labrador, 1848-1876. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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In 1849, Tractarian Anglicanism appeared on the coast of Southern Labrador with the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel missionary Rev. Algernon Gifford. Gifford was sent by Bishop Edward Feild to the fishing hub of Forteau to service a territory of approximately seventy miles. The purpose of building missions in Labrador was rooted in Bishop Feild’s (the second bishop of Newfoundland and Bermuda) desire to fulfill his colonial role of expanding and reinforcing Anglicanism in British North America. The communities of Southern Labrador were actively integrated culturally into the British Empire through the Church of England. Inhabitants wanted the services of a minister and especially schools for their children. This study explores the nature of the Anglican Church’s colonial identity in relation to the social and economic situation in Southern Labrador. It seeks to contextualize the establishment of the Labrador missions. By exploring the rich archival collection of S.P.G. records held at Rhodes House Library, Oxford University, as well as materials from the Maritime History Archive, The Rooms’ Provincial Archive of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Archdeacon Buckle Memorial Archive, this thesis recovers the stories of life in the Anglican missions of Labrador. Through focusing specifically on the missionaries’ narratives, this study will explore the multiple colonial relationships that formed between inhabitants and the church and how these relationships shaped social bonds affecting the nature of community. Building on the discussion about relationships through evidence in the missionary correspondence and academic literature, this study will examine how factors like the Tractarian theology of Bishop Feild and colonial political considerations further affected communities in Southern Labrador. Through a historical analysis of missionary correspondence, this study will open a window on Southern Labrador and colonial Anglican history by demonstrating how and why the Church of England established itself in communities and how that integration affected the lives of Labradorians.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 8277
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 117-131).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Religious Studies
Date: September 2014
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Labrador (N.L.)
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Church of England--History--19th century; Anglicans--Newfoundland and Labrador--Labrador, Southern; Church of England--Missions--Newfoundland and Labrador--Labrador, Southern; Oxford movement--Newfoundland and Labrador--Labrador, Southern; Labrador (N.L.)--Religious life and customs--History--19th century

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