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The first reformed Church of England service recorded on North American soil was a celebration of Holy Communion at what is now Frobisher Bay in the last days of August or early September 1578. The chaplain on Martin Frobisher's voyage to the Arctic was Robert Wolfall.
In the fleet of "fifteen sayle of good ships" which left Harwich on the 31st of May, 1578, under the command of Martin Frobisher, one of the most stirring spirits of the times, was, as Richard Hakluyt quaintly tells us, "one Maister Wolfall, a learned man, appointed by her Majestie's Councell to be their Minister and Preacher,who had been charged by Queen Elizabeth "to serve God twice a day." Truly a man of God, Robert Walfall, who,"being well seated and settled at home in his owne countrey, with a good and large liuing, hauing a good, honest woman to wife, and very towardly children, being of good reputation amongst the best, refused not to take in hand this paineful voyage, for the onely care he had to saue soules and to reforme these infidels, if it were possible, to Christianitie."
This worthy man was the first missionary of the reformed Church of England who ministered on American shores. The record of his services among the ice-fields at the North, as given by Hakluyt in his Divers voyages touching the discovery of America and the islands adjacent ,reveals the spirit in which these adventurers essayed the settlement of the Meta Incognita they had found:
"Maister Wolfall on Winter's Fornace, preached a godly sermon, which being ended, he celebrated also a Communion vpon the land, at the partaking whereof was the Captain of the Anne Francis, and many other Gentlemen, and Souldiers, Mariners, and Miners with him. The celebration of the diuine mystery was the first signe, seale, and confirmation of Christ's name, death, and passion euer knowen in these quarters. The said M. Wolfall made sermons, and celebrated the Communion at sundry other times in seuerall and sundry ships, because the whole company could neuer meet together at any one place." — William Stevens Perry, The History of the American Episcopal Church 1587-1883 (Boston, 1885) vol.1, p. 7
The ship depicted in the background is one of Frobisher's "good ships." This particular background was selected to commemorate the arrival of the Protestant faith of the reformed Church of England in North America.