Monday, May 05, 2008

Cathie Nicoll

I wrote about Cathie Nicoll the other day, but it was absorbed into the larger context,

    In the local church that I attended women had also been welcome in the pulpit. One occasional speaker was Cathie Nicoll, a long-time Inter Varsity worker who received the Order of Canada. She was a mentor of my mother and a much respected Bible teacher.

    However, about 10 years ago the local congregational climate changed toward women. The priest was from the diocese of Sydney and Jim Packer was an honourary assistant.

    After Cathie Nicoll passed away, I believe that no other women ever stood in the pulpit on a Sunday morning. This was a deliberate decision of the priest although I am not sure that the congregation was ever consulted on this practice. It is contrary to the expectations of Canadian Anglicans.

A reader of this blog emailed me,
    I just read your post about Cathy Nicoll. Interesting. She led my late mother in law to Christ as well. My late mother in law grew up in Winnipeg. She became a believer while in college (nursing) and was a great dear friend of Cathy Niccol.
Then yesterday on the phone a friend told me about how she went to the hospital every day to stay with Cathie in the last few days of her life before she died in Calgary at the age of 93, in 2004. It made me happy to think that such a warm and loving person was with Cathie during that time.

We also talked about Cathie's sermon planning before she came from Calgary to preach at St. John's Shaughnessy for the last time. My friend was in Calgary and discussed the sermon before hand with her and I was in Vancouver to hear her sermon. It was well accepted. I missed hearing women preach after that.

Cathie worked with Inter-Varsity and Pioneer Camps all her life. She mentored many young people, both men and women, and preached with the bishop in the audience.

Here are a couple of links for Cathie Nicoll. Leading Women, and Imago.
    Cathie Nicoll, or “Nicky”, as she was known to thousands of students and friends from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island, left us peacefully on May 3, 2004. Born of Scottish missionary parents in Chefoo, Shantung, China. In September of 1930, Noel Palmer, Inter-Varsity’s first full-time General Secretary, hired a half-time secretary to assist him in the office for the grand sum of $10 a week. And so, Cathie began her half-century of work with Inter-Varsity, a fledgling student mission. Cathie was instrumental in beginning Inter-School Christian Fellowship, Varsity Christian Fellowship and Teachers’ Christian Fellowship in Jamaica. As mentor and Bible teacher, she influenced a generation of students and campers. In 1987, her remarkable role among youth in Canada was recognized by the Rt. Hon. Jeanne Sauve when she received the Order of Canada. Her contribution to Inter-Varsity’s work and her profoundly biblical leadership principles were demonstrated in the 1990 video “This May Be Your Life’s Work”.
This is one more installment in my series, (so far unlabeled, sorry) of "faithful women." Previous faithful women featured here are Grace Irwin, Elizabeth Wilson, Florence Li Tim Oi, Catherine Booth and Marie Dentiere.


Jane said...

Thank you so much for this post.
Some years ago three women in my own tradition in BRitain spent nearly a decade piecing together the story of women's ministry within our denomination (The United Reformed Church. It was published as "Daughters of Dissent".
Even once ordination of women is an accepted practice of the church, it takes a long time to work for acceptance. The first woman in my church was ordained in 1917. This year we will have a woman general secretary for the first time - just in time to oversee the denomination dying...

Ruth J Lewis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ruth J Lewis said...

I am the Executive Director of Alberta Pioneer Camp. Cathie Nicoll had a huge impact here. I knew Cathie and am working on keeping her memory and influence alive here. Nicky's Chalet here is named after Cathie in honour of her long work with IVCF and Pioneer. thanks for the write up.

Neil Morrison said...

Lovely to read this - Cathie was my aunt. My mother was her youngest sister - also born in Cheefoo.

Neil Morrison
Scottish Borders