St. Matthias - Igloolik, Nunavut

The community of Igloolik dates from the late 1950s, with the federal government's increasing administrative interest in the Arctic. By the mid-1960s, a school, nursing station and RCMP detachment were permanently established, as well as the Anglican mission (1959) and the Igloolik Cooperative (1963). As with other settlements in the eastern Arctic, Igloolik grew rapidly as Inuit families from surrounding camps moved into the community to avail themselves of services offered by government agencies.

The first rectory in Igloolik was built in 1959 and a newer house was purchased in 1996 as a replacement. The church was built in 1962.


St. Silas Church - Hall Beach (outstation)

Hall Beach was created when a Distant Early Warning (DEW) site was built in 1957. On beaches at one end of town are many Thule winter houses. Flagstone floors, stone sleeping platforms massive bowhead whale skulls that formed doors, rafter and walls are still visible. In the 1950s and 1960s, Inuit moved from surrounding camps to work and settle around the DEW Line site. (Sanirajak, meaning "one that is along the coast" in Inuktitut, refers to the broad region around Hall Beach.) Despite changes that have occurred over the years, Hall Beach remains one of the most traditional communities in Nunavut.

An Anglican Church was built in the community in 1970/71. The community is an outstation of the parish of St. Matthias in Igloolik.

From Arctic News 1997 - Unique Trilingual Service at Hall Beach

The church in Hall Beach was spotless. The paintwork sparkled and the freshly laid new linoleum shone. The people filled all the benches and others, unable to find a seat, were standing at the back. Outside, the blizzard, which had started to blow just as darkness fell, reduced visibility to a few yards, but that had not in any way reduced the congregation.

One of the candidates for Confirmation presented to the bishop kept her eyes fixed upon her priest, the Rev. Dana Dean. Rebecca is deaf, but her priest knows and uses sign language to speak with her. At the time of the presentation of the candidates Dana spoke in English whilst signing the words for Rebecca, then David, the Inuk layreader, who had prepared the other candidates, presented them in Inuktitut. This trilingual format continued throughout the worship as the bishop conducted the service in Inuktitut and Dana's hands kept flying to help Rebecca feel truly a full partner in all that took place. At the time of the sermon the bishop spoke to the congregation in Inuktitut then translated for himself into English so that Dana could in turn convey the message to Rebecca. It took slightly longer than normal but the look of happiness on Rebecca's face gave testimony to her joy at being a part of this wonderful occasion.

I feel fairly confident that this was the first time that this trilingual combination of Inuktitut, English and Sign Language has been used in the north. Praise God for Dana's gift that was used to make this a wonderfully special day for Rebecca.

Tommy Evic.jpg
Rev. Tommy Evic is currently in charge of this parish.

lay readers igloolik (2).jpgRecently trained lay leaders for the parish.