Historic Peace Church Council of Canada

Classification scheme: 

Title: Historic Peace Churches Council of Canada fonds

Dates of creation: 1957-1963

Physical description: 11 cm of textual records

Administrative history: In 1957, representatives of various historic peace churches in Canada held a meeting to discuss matters of mutual interest. This was the first signficant national gathering of these churches in peace time.

In February 1959, just before an audience with Prime Minister Diefenbaker, a group of representatives met in Ottawa to form the Historic Peace Church Council of Canada (HPCCC). Representation at that initial meeting was from the Evangelical Mennonite Brethren, the Mennonite Conference of Ontario, the General Conference of Mennonites in Canada, the Church of God in Christ (Holdeman), the Evangelical Mennonite Conference, the Brethren in Christ, and Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church.

From 1959 to 1963, the council co-ordinated Mennonite representations to the Canadian government and supported the formation of the Mennonite Disaster Service. Other tasks included forming responses to the Civil Defense program, discussing the issue of nuclear disarmament, promoting peace education in churches and witness to the larger society, and advocating for conscientious objectors who were refused citizenship. The council organized a peace booth at the Canadian National Exhibition in 1962.

In 1962, talks began to bring the peace, relief and service agencies of Mennonites and related groups in Canada under one co-ordinating body. At a meeting of these agencies hosted by HPCCC in April 1963, this direction was affirmed; and Mennonite Central Committee (Canada) was formed in December of that year.

Custodial history: Records were donated to the Archives by various individuals associated with HPCCC; in particular, Elven Shantz and J. B. Martin. Contents of the Mennonites in Canada collection file "1950 - Historic Peace Church Council of Canada" were transferred to this fonds in 2010.

Scope and content: The fonds contains reports, minutes and correspondence of the formation and functions of the HPCCC.

Note: For photographs related to this fonds, see Hist.Mss.10 - Photograph and slide collections.
The following newspaper articles were withdrawn from the fonds and can be found in the CGUC library: "The church witness in the market place" / Aaron Klassen. --Canadian Mennonite, 7 Sept 1962, pp. 1,4, ill.; "Proposals for a Canadian Mennonite Council" / Editor. --Canadian Mennonite, 11 Apr 1963, pp. 5,12.

File List:

Series 1: Minutes and Reports

1960-1961 (many missing)

Series 2: Correspondence

Correspondence re Eckardt Wiebe and Alfred Janz citizenship problems because of their C.O. stance, 1960-1962

Last modified 09-Dec-2010 by Laureen Harder-Gissing

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