Dioceses Elect Three Bishops: Toronto Chooses Canada's Second Woman Bishop

By Larmondin, Leanne | Anglican Journal, September 1997 | Go to article overview

Dioceses Elect Three Bishops: Toronto Chooses Canada's Second Woman Bishop


Larmondin, Leanne, Anglican Journal


STAFF WRITER

It was a summer of elections in Canada - with new bishops elected in Niagara, Toronto and Western Newfoundland.

In the first of the summer series, Archdeacon Ralph Spence was elected on the third ballot as co-adjutor bishop of the Diocese of Niagara. (A co-adjutor bishop is an assistant bishop with rights to succession as diocesan bishop, unlike suffragan bishops, who serve a particular region.) He will eventually succeed Bishop Walter Asbil, who turns 65 in October.

Bishop-elect Spence, 55, will be consecrated bishop Sept. 21.

Considered one of Canada's foremost experts in vexillology (the study of flags) and heraldry, the bishop-elect is said to have the largest personal flag collection in North America. One of his better-known creations is the official flag of the governors general of Canada.

Ordained in 1968, Mr. Spence is rector of one of Niagara's largest parishes, St. Luke's, Burlington, Ont., and archdeacon of Trafalgar.

Also elected on the third ballot in the summer was Rev. Ann Tottenham as suffragan of the Diocese of Toronto. She was elected from a slate of seven candidates, including three other women. She will be consecrated Sept. 22.

Incumbent of the parishes of St. George's, Newcastle, and St. Saviour's, Orono, Ont., bishop-elect Tottenham becomes Canada's second female bishop. She fills a spot vacated by Bishop Victoria Matthews, who was elected diocesan bishop of Edmonton.

Ms. Tottenham studied at Trinity College, Toronto, and New York's Union Theological Seminary before being ordained a priest in 1983. …

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