Company of the Cross

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The Company of the Cross was a lay religious order which was affiliated with the Anglican Church of Canada when founded. It operated under the authority of the Anglican bishops in Winnipeg (diocese of Rupert's Land), the diocese of Edmonton and the diocese of Toronto [1]

It was founded in 1962 by Frank Weins and Ted Byfield who later also published magazines, and was originally named the Dynevor Society.[2] The name Company of the Cross came from Byfield's reading of some of C.S. Lewis' works. It ran three boys' boarding schools: Saint John's School of Alberta near Stony Plain, Alberta (closed in 2008), Saint John's School of Ontario (closed in 1989) and Saint John's Cathedral Boys' School (closed in 1990). It also operated St. John's Edmonton Report until it was renamed the Alberta Report (defunct). Originally, the staff of the schools and the magazine were paid $1.00 per day, plus living expenses.

The religious and social viewpoints of the Company of the Cross were conservative. Its principles and ideas have been controversial, e.g., advocating physical discipline of the school boys with wooden paddles for minor infractions and for not meeting standards on assignments and exams. ,[3] a belief that young boys should be pushed to their psychological breaking points, writing articles that attracted the attention of Alberta Human Rights,[4] lawsuits regarding abuse of students at its schools, and improper preparation for arduous wilderness excursions. One child died at Saint John's Cathedral Boys' School while on a lengthy snowshoe march and 12 boys and one teacher from its Saint John's School of Ontario died while canoeing on Lake Temiskaming in 1978. Its formal operation appears to have run its course, having ended its magazine publishing operations and closed the three schools. Its affiliation with the Anglican Church of Canada may have been reduced over time, with the last school describing itself as "nondenominational" before it closed in 2008. The Company of the Cross was unincorporated in Manitoba on 17 Nov 1990.[5] but individual members in Alberta still meet and renew their vows.[6]


  1. Company of the Cross (1971). "St. John's/Company of the Cross Annual Report". In legal fact the company is ... operated under the auspices of an Anglican bishop. Since the bishops renew the members in the company’s service annually, they could presumably dissolve the company by refusing to admit new members.... Each time the one of the company’s activities raises public question or controversy ... the bishops find themselves assailed with the same questions: Are these people part of the church, or are they not, and if they are what controls does the church have over them? 
  2. Saint John’s School of Alberta: Company of the Cross – What Is It and Why did it come to be?
  3. Calgary Herald newspaper article 08 Feb 2003
  4. Albert Courts appeal document
  5. "S.M. 1990-91, c. 2, Bill 17, 1st Session, 35th Legislature (Manitoba), The Private Acts Repeal Act". 1990-11-17. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  6. Saint John’s School of Alberta: Company of the Cross Vow Service

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