Flint, Maurice Sydney

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Flint, Maurice Sydney

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  • Maurice Flint
  • Maurice Sydney Flint
  • Maurice S. Flint

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Maurice Sydney Flint was born in London, England on June 5, 1913 to Randolph Rymer Flint, a stereotyper, and Kate Elizabeth Wood. In 1936, he concluded his studies at Tyndale Hall at the Bible Churchmen’s Missionary and Theological College in Bristol, and was ordained a Deacon at St. Paul’s in London. He immediately left for missionary work in the Canadian Arctic and served at Pond Inlet on north Baffin Island, from 1936 to 1941. After learning the language, he translated many biblical books, expositions, catechisms, and a dictionary of difficult New Testament terms into Inuktitut. He also wrote the English lesson book for Eskimo children (1946) and the Revised Eskimo Grammar Book: from the work of Rev. E.J. Peck (1954), and translated Pilgrim’s Progress (1956), which was published accompanied by Inuit drawings. In addition to his missionary work in this region, Flint is recognized as the first white man to cross Baffin Island by dog sled, and Flint Lake, located in central Baffin Island, is named in his honour.

During World War II, Flint was commissioned as a Squadron Leader and served as Chaplain for the Royal Air Force, stationed throughout Canada from 1941 to 1944, and in Nassau, Bahamas, from 1944 to 1945. On June 5th, 1943, he married Honora Chew Atkins, and they had two daughters: Elizabeth Norah Chew Flint in 1944, and Kathryn Louise Flint in 1949. After the war, Flint served as Scripture Union Director and the Canadian representative for the Children’s Special Service Mission, from 1945-1947. He was Assistant at Toronto’s Church of Messiah from 1947 to 1950, and studied at the University of Toronto, earning a BA from University College and an L.Th (Certificate of Licentiate in Theology) from Wycliffe College, both in 1950. He then moved to Massachusetts, where he served as Priest in Charge at St. James in Roxbury and earned an STM (Master of Sacred Theology) from Boston University in 1951.

Flint returned to Toronto in 1951 and was appointed Priest-in-Charge (and later Rector) of Little Trinity Church, which he helped revive and save from closure. He left Little Trinity in 1956. From 1953 to 1962, Flint ministered to convicted female narcotic addicts as part-time Chaplain at the Mercer Reformatory in Toronto. He also served on the Mayor of Toronto’s Citizens’ Committee for the Investigation of Narcotic Addiction and Vice in Metropolitan Toronto in 1959. In 1964, Flint received his PhD in the Psychology of Religion at Boston and in 1967, he received the Governor General’s Centennial Medal,

Flint’s teaching career began in 1961 at Wycliffe College, where he lectured on pastoral counselling, pastoral psychology, and the psychology of religion until 1980. He also lectured on urban sociology at the Ecumenical Institute, from 1962 to 1969. Flint continued his ministry, serving as Director of Chaplaincy in the Ontario Department of Reform Institutions (later the Ministry of Correctional Services) from 1963 to 1972 and as Co-ordinator of Chaplaincy Services for the Ontario Civil Service Commission, from 1972 to 1978. In 1978 he received a citation from the Premier of the Province of Ontario, for twenty-five years of public service on behalf of the government and people of Ontario. That same year, Wycliffe College conferred him the honourary degree, Doctor of Divinity.

In the 1980s, Flint developed “A Course in Pastoral Counseling,” a series of written and audio lectures, which he used to promote international improvement in clergy education, especially in Antigua, Jamaica, and Malaysia. In 1987, he started the Flint Trust at Wycliffe College, to promote teaching missions in parishes.

In addition to his books of Inuktitut translations and grammar, Maurice Sydney Flint wrote the following published works: The Arctic: land of snowmen (1948), Operation canon: a short account of the life and witness of the Reverend John Hudspith (1949), Treasure within: the influence of the church upon the penal system in England (1968), and A touch of heaven: thirty-five years of the Chapel-By-The-Sea 1949-1984 (1984). In 1991, he finished A work book for the study of Innuktetut, a volume of over 800 pages.

Flint never finished working on his autobiography, No Greater Privilege, and died in his home in Oakville, Ontario, on August 13th, 2000.


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