Chi Rho Fellowship 70 years young

Elaine Tucker

This year at St. George’s Guelph we celebrated the 70th anniversary of our Chi Rho Fellowship and hope to enlighten the reader by explaining the work of the organization.

We are often asked by members of the congregation, “What is Chi Rho? What does it mean? What does Chi Rho do?”. We hope the following will better acquaint you with the activities of Chi Rho members.

Let’s start with the name!

Chi Rho (XP) are the first two letters of the Greek word Christos or Christ.

Without getting too complicated, the words and logo were used as early as the second century to identify Christians. They appeared on Roman soldiers’ helmets and shields, and on coinage in the third century. Reference to it is found in the Book of Kells, an early Irish document found in Trinity College Dublin.

The symbol was adopted as the identifying logo of the Anglican Chi Rho Fellowship, which was established as a successor organization to the Anglican Young People’s Association (AYPA) for members who had succeeded to young adulthood. Chi Rho was specifically targeted for couples and singles.

In 1948, a Chi Rho Fellowship organization was started at St. George’s Guelph, with Mr. Bev Strain as its first president. The first meeting, held in the parish hall on October 8, 1948, was chaired by the then Rector Stuart Brownlee. A charter was issued by the Anglican Church of Canada commemorating this event.

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Bev Strain, Fran Strain, Lee Faulkner Allan, Jim Faulkner, Jane Parisotto and Nick Parisotto were there when Chi Rho celebrated their 25th anniversary at St. George’s Guelph. Photo: Submitted

We are especially happy to have a charter member, Lee Allen, attending our monthly meetings.

An excerpt from St. George’s Chi Rho Fellowship Constitution (article three) best describes the organization and principles as follows:

The aim of Chi Rho is fellowship in which adults, either single or married, may grow (a) in service and responsibility to the Church, (b) in their relationship to Jesus Christ, (c) in relationship to each other and (d) to meet their spiritual, intellectual and social needs.

Chi Rho meets the first Friday of each month, except July and August, at 7:00 p.m.

Some exceptions can occur if outside events are unable to be arranged to meet our schedule. Regular meetings consist of a short business session followed by interesting educational or entertaining lectures, games, barbecues, local plant visits, picnics and many other fun events.

It is also an enterprising organization, devoting much of its fellowship time to social events at the church. St. George’s Christmas Festival and spring and fall dessert card parties are key events which have contributed thousands of dollars to the church and outreach commitments.

Chi Rho’s outreach has touched many parts of everyday life in the church, the community and throughout the world.

Examples include: Sister Christine’s Welcome Inn Drop In Centre Guelph, Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (annually), St. George’s deficit, St. George’s Memorial Fund, St. George’s Restoration Fund, Rector’s Discretionary Fund, Guelph Wellington Hospice, missionary ventures, Guelph Bible Chapel Oasis Camp for Children and assistance to our associate Missionary Church in Cuba.

It is estimated Chi Rho has raised over $100,000 for church and outreach in recent years.

Chi Rho Fellowship encourages each individual to bring their unique experience, talents and perspective to our organization. Here, you are encouraged to work to the outer edge of your ability and thus participate in the growth of Chi Rho.

Our momentum is fueled by our relationship to each other and to Jesus Christ.

We always welcome new members.