From the Bishop:
12 February 2023
Dear People of the Parishes of St. Matthew, Abbotsford and St. Thomas, Chilliwack,
I am writing to honour and give thanks for the ministry of the Reverend Allen Doerksen as he moves to be the Rector of St. Philip’s Church in Victoria. Allen has been at St. Matthew’s since 2011 and at St. Thomas since 2019. In all that time, and in both places, he has brought such wisdom, faith and kindness to his role as Priest-in-Charge and has enriched and enlivened both parishes in a variety of ways; he will be greatly missed.
Allen brings many gifts to ordained ministry, and I am well aware that all of you know this and appreciate this. He is a talented priest with experience in different parts of the Christian Church and in the Anglican Church of Canada. This wealth of experience has brought wisdom, clarity, trust, and dedication to his ministry. You will all know of Allen’s deep faith and his commitment to be a life-long learner. He is committed to building up the Church and inspiring others to follow in the ways of Christ. You will know that Allen understands the role of a priest to be a pastor, preacher, teacher and administrator.
Allen has been part of our Diocese for many years and is well known in the Diocese as a whole. He took on the difficult role of restarting the parish of St. Matthew’s when the building was returned to the Diocese and the Anglican Church of Canada. This was complicated and stressful work and was appreciated locally and across the country.
On this Sunday when you celebrate Father Allen’s ministry among you, may you acknowledge, too, Allen’s faith and trust in God. Allen is a wonderful example of a priest who has heard God’s call to him in a variety of times and places. He has responded with strength and courage when God has asked much of him. We are all very grateful for his example and dedication.
As you share in Communion this Sunday, may it be an ongoing sign of God’s continuing call to Allen but to all of you to be the Church of 2023. To live out the gospel in the place in which God has placed you. To be salt and light in this world as an ongoing sign of Christ’s presence in the world of our times.
Thank you to all of you of the parishes of St. Matthew’s and St. Thomas for the great support you have shown Allen. Your encouragement and hard work in both parishes has been a great gift to him. At the same time he has taught you much as well about what God now hopes of you. May God bless all of you, but in particular on this day, may God bless, hold and keep Allen as he begins a new chapter of ministry.
The Right Revd John R. Stephens, Bishop