Posted on July 18, 2016
Diocese of the Arctic – Rebuilding St Jude’s Cathedral
In 2005, much of St. Jude’s Cathedral in Iqualuit, NWT was destroyed by arson. A world-wide fundraising initiative immediately began, and in 2008 the foundation for a rebuilt cathedral was laid. To complete the structure and retire the debt, an additional $60,000 is needed. Residents of the Parish of St. Aidan and St. Bartholomew who wish to contribute to this ministry should contact Bob Johnston at 604.886.1512. Please make cheques payable to the Diocese of the Arctic and ensure your address is on the cheque as donations over $20 will receive a tax receipt. Cash donations should be in an envelope with your name and address clearly marked. Donations under $20 are welcome, but will not receive a tax receipt.
The iconic St. Jude’s Cathedral, shaped like an igloo, stood as a reminder of the unique Arctic heritage of both Inuit and incomers. Its interior hangings and tapestries created by women of the Diocese pictured stories that reflected the Inuit peoples’ early history and their relationship one to the other; the part the Church plays in their lives; and emphasizes their relationship to God as His people.
The Cathedral was not a museum, but a reminder to Inuit and English-speaking alike, of the ancestry and skills of the Arctic peoples, and the wonderful part they have played in the Church.
The Cathedral seems low when viewed from the outside, and the spire, which has no Cross, reminds us of one of the beacons that are found in Inuit country. Beacons that have a message for travelers who understand what they mean.
In the original cathedral, the cherry red carpet contrasts beautifully with the lovely purple background of the curtains made by the Inuit women. The narwhal Cross which hung over the Bishop Fleming Memorial Holy Table is unique even in a Northern background, but one’s eyes are drawn up to the converging laminated beams which have a symmetry and gracefulness all their own. They meet beneath a lantern through which the light softly settles down over the whole interior, very much like the soft light inside a real igloo.