Fonds - Godfrey Philip Gower fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Godfrey Philip Gower fonds

General material designation

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description


Reference code

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1899-1971 (Creation)
    Gower, Godfrey Philip

Physical description area

Physical description

30 cm of textual records and other material

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Fifth Bishop of the Diocese of New Westminster (1951-1971) and fifth Metropolitan (Archbishop) of British Columbia (1968-1971), the Reverend Godfrey Philip Gower was born in Sussex, England, in 1899 and had wide lay training before taking orders. After serving as a pilot in the Royal Air Force during the first World War, G.P. Gower studied engineering at the Imperial College of Science and Technology, London, graduating in 1922. In 1925 he came to Alberta, Canada and he entered the School of Agriculture and later studied at Dominion Experimental Farm, Beaver Lodge, Alberta. Neither agricultural nor engineering studies were appealing to him and in 1927, G.P. Gower entered St. John's College, University of Manitoba. He graduated in 1930, was ordained priest and took his first parish in Sedgwick in 1931. He became rural dean in Camerose, Alberta and incumbent of the Christ Church parish in Edmonton in 1934. In 1941 G.P. Gower went as Chaplain with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and, returning from overseas in 1944, he was appointed rector to St. Paul's Church in Vancouver. Elected Bishop of the Diocese of New Westminster in 1951, he succeeded Bishop Francis Heathcote. Appointed Metropolitan of the Anglican Church in British Columbia in 1968, he succeeded Archbishop Harold Sexton. Archbishop Gower served the Anglican church and the public to a large extent as chairman of the Diocesan Council, first vice-president of Vancouver Council of Churches, chairman of the Committee of Social action. He was deeply involved with the proposed union of the Anglican and United churches. He strived for the merger between the two churches as a sign of vitality of the church. He found himself also involved in another controversial subject of that time - the ordination of women. Archbishop Gower approved the ecclesiastical liberation of women, but he did not extend the same tolerance to demands for the liberation movement of gay and lesbian members of the community. He considered the right on abortion as a manifestation of permissiveness and irresponsibility of today's society, a sign of disregard of the human life. He was a great believer in discipline and self-control and reminded periodically that the priest must live under the rule of canonical obedience. On his retirement in 1971, Archbishop Gower and his wife moved to White Rock. He was succeeded by Reverend David Sommerville.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of a mixture of official and personal material. Includes reports, particularly relating to aboriginal people's entitlements to the provincial land; minutes of the Provincial House of Bishops (1965-1969); correspondence; certificates and diplomas in original version; authenticated copy of the birth certificate; bulletins of services; newspapers clippings; printed material. The collection of photographs and slides includes subjects relating to meetings of General Synod; Anglican Theological College; individuals; Columbia Coast Mission;Diocese of New Westminster parishes, organizations and events; and Lambeth Conference. One album of photographs covers only the services of the General Synod held in Vancouver in 1965. Includes also an issue of Canadian Churchman (1928) which presents a synopsis of the organization of the Anglican Church in Canada and a map of missions and schools throughout the country.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

File list available. List of slides available for the Anglican Congress in Minneapolis (1954).

Associated materials

Related materials


Alpha-numeric designations

BCAUL control number: ANGSYNOD-605

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Language of description

Script of description


Accession area