Society News

2012 AGM Press Release




Contact: Norris Battin

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TORONTO, October 9, 2012 -- At its annual meeting in Canterbury last week, over 100 members of the Compass Rose Society, which provides financial support to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Consultative Council, honored retiring Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, patron of the Society, with the premiere performance of "Advent Calendar" an anthem based on a poem by Dr. Williams composed by renown composer Peter Hallock. At the

annual meeting, the Society elected the Rev. Canon John L. Peterson to succeed the Rt. Rev. Philip Poole as its president and heard guest speaker the Rev. Nicholas Wheeler discuss his ministry in Rio de Janeiro.


Anthem Honors Archbishop Williams


The Canterbury Cathedral Choir performed the premier of an anthem based on Dr. William's poem, "Advent Calendar" (see note below) composed by Peter Hallock as a retirement gift from the Society to Dr. Williams at an Evensong service in the Cathedral.


Hallock is an important influence in modern Anglican church music (1). During 40 years at St. Mark's Cathedral, Seattle, he produced numerous compositions, including motets and largescale anthems with instrumental accompaniment. His three-year cycle of psalm settings for choir with congregational antiphons is the most popular Psalter in common use in both the Episcopal and Lutheran denominations in the United States.


The popularity of the Compline services he introduced at St. Mark's spawned a revival of interest in this service, now included in the prayer books of Lutheran and Episcopal denominations worldwide.


Hallock's musical accomplishments have been recognized by numerous degrees and honors:  Doctor of Sacred Music, honoris causa, from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific (the Episcopal seminary of the western United States); Associate of the Royal School of Church Music; Associate of the Royal College of Music; Master of Music in Organ Performance and Composition (University of Washington); Canon Precentor (emeritus), St. Mark's Cathedral; and Canon of Honor, Diocese of Olympia.


New Society President Elected


The Rev. Canon John L. Peterson was elected as the Society's new president succeeding the Rt. Rev Philip Poole Area Bishop of Toronto who has served as president since 2005.


Most recently, Peterson was Canon for Global Justice and Reconciliation at the Washington National Cathedral where he organized a program of education, alliance building, resource gathering and communication to address the acute global issues of violence, poverty and disease. He has been a driving force in the establishment of the Cathedral's Christian Muslim Summit initiatives.


Canon Peterson served as the Secretary General of the Worldwide Anglican Communion headquartered in London from 1995 to 2005 heading the The Anglican Communion Office which provides support and counsel to the Anglican Consultative Council, the Primates Meeting, the Lambeth Conference and the role and person of the Archbishop of Canterbury.


It was during Peterson's tenure as Secretary General that the Compass Rose Society was established.


Before his appointment as Secretary General, Peterson was the Dean of St. George's College, Jerusalem for 12 years. He is also the Anglican Canon at St. George's Cathedral in Jerusalem and is an Honorary Canon in St. Michael's Cathedral, Kaduna Nigeria, All Saints, Mpwapwa, Tanzania, as well as St. Dunstan's Cathedral, Benoni, South Africa. He is also an Honorary Canon of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Harrisburg, PA.


Among his numerous academic achievements and honors are degrees from Concordia College, Harvard University, the Chicago Institute for Advanced Theological Studies, Virginia Theological Seminary, the University of the South and Seabury-Western Theological Seminary. He has also studied at the American University and the Near East School of Theology in Beirut, Lebanon.


Canon Peterson serves as a Board Member of the Spafford Children's Center in Jerusalem and the American Friends of the Spafford Children's Center. He is a member of the American Friends of the Diocese of Jerusalem and serves as an International Advisor to the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem. In addition he is a frequent participant on the American Religious Town Hall and a member of the Planning Committee for the Religious Leaders section of the US Islamic World Forum sponsored by the Brookings Institution.


Fr. Nicholas Wheeler, Church of Christ The King, The City of God


The Rev. Nicholas Wheeler, the guest speaker for this year's meeting, discussed his work in the City of God neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro where he has spent six years with the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil through a partnership between the Diocese of Rio de Janeiro, the Diocese of London and USPG: Anglicans in World Mission.


Built in the 1960s to provide a new start for slum dwellers, the City of God had become a notorious haven of drug trafficking and gun crime and in 2002 Fernando Mireilles' award winning film "City of God" brought the community to international attention.


Fr Nicholas has been based at the Church of Christ the King engaging with the local community, opening up the church space, growing the congregation and sustaining a number of social projects. He also helps other parishes in the Diocese of Rio de Janeiro with their work with the poor.


Board of Directors


Members of the Society's board of directors are:


B. Norris Battin, Newport Beach, CA;

Robert Biehl, Houston, TX;

The Reverend Sarah Buxton-Smith, Buffalo, NY; rector St. Andrew's church Buffalo, NY;

The Reverend Canon Jan Naylor Cope, Washington, DC, vicar Washington National Cathedral;

The Right Reverend George Councell, Trenton, NJ; Bishop of New Jersey

Joey Fan, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong;

The Right Reverend C. Andrew Doyle, Houston, TX; Bishop of Texas

Robert Foltz, Bonita Springs, FL;

Constance Fraser Gray, Winston Salem, NC;

The Reverend Canon Kenneth Kearon, London, UK; Secretary General of the Anglican Communion;

The Reverend Rick Lord, Vienna, VA; rector Holy Comforter church, Vienna, VA.

Marshal McReal, Seattle, WA;

Carlos R. MuÎ‧Í‚oz, White Plains, NY;

The Reverend Canon John Peterson, Hendersonville, NC, former secretary general of the Anglican Communion and incoming president of the Society;

Janie Stevens, Houston, TX;

Della Wager Wells, Atlanta, GA;

Antonia Wong Tuen-Yee, Central Hong Kong;

Beverley Patterson Wood, Aurora, ON.


The Society's outgoing president, The Rt. Reverend Philip Poole, said, "I thank our retiring board members for their service and thank those who have agreed to continue to work with us going forward as we strive to support the work of the Anglican Communion and expand our membership throughout the Anglican world."


The Compass Rose Society with over 300 members worldwide was founded in 1997.  It takes its name from the symbol of the Anglican Communion. Its Web address is New members are welcome. 


Membership details are on the website.


Join the Compass Rose Facebook group at and follow the Compass Rose Society on Twitter at A daily aggregation of worldwide news of interest to Society members is published here


Since its founding, The Compass Rose Society has contributed over $7 million to support the mission of the Anglican Communion .


(1)  Adapted from notes to the recording, "Cathedral Anthems: premiere recordings of music for choir, organ, brass, and percussion" by Peter R. Hallock, Loft Recordings © 1995




The poem 'Advent Calendar' by Archbishop Rowan Williams was published in his first poetry collection, 'After Silent Centuries' (Oxford, 1994), and is now available in 'The Poems of Rowan Williams' (Oxford, 2002 and Grand Rapids MI, 2004).


Advent Calendar


He will come like last fall's leaf fall.

One night when the November wind

has flayed the trees to the bone, and earth

wakes choking on the mould,

the soft shroud's folding.


He will come like frost.

One morning when the shrinking earth

opens on mist, to find itself

arrested in the net

of alien, sword-set beauty.


He will come like dark.

One evening when the bursting red

December sun draws up the sheet

and penny-masks its eye to yield

the star-snowed fields of sky.


He will come, will come,

will come like crying in the night,

like blood, like breaking,

as the earth writhes to toss him free.

He will come like child.


© Rowan Williams

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