Get to Know the Primatial Candidates: The Five Bishops Nominated for Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada Share Visions for the Future

By Kidd, Joelle | Anglican Journal, June 2019 | Go to article overview

Get to Know the Primatial Candidates: The Five Bishops Nominated for Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada Share Visions for the Future


Kidd, Joelle, Anglican Journal


AT THE MEETING of General Synod in July, the 14th primate of the Anglican Church of Canada will be chosen by votes of the orders of Clergy and Laity. At their March meeting, the Order of Bishops nominated five bishops to stand for this election.

According to Canon III, the primate's role is to "lead the Anglican Church of Canada in discerning and pursuing the mission of God."

The primate exercises "pastoral and spiritual leadership" throughout the national church by visiting parishes, dioceses and provinces, subject to the invitation of diocesan bishops.

The primate also represents the church internationally and ecumenically, and part of the primate's ministry is to "speak and write prophetically to the Anglican Church of Canada"--and, on behalf of the church, to the world.

In the March issue of the Anglican Journal, current primate Archbishop Fred Hiltz noted that the primates authority is "not based on jurisdiction," as the primate does not have the power to discipline (this power falls to the diocesan bishops and metropolitans). Instead, the primate is a "first among equals" and acts as a "locus of unity" for the church, Hiltz said.

"People feel like they see in the face and the heart of the primate--one hopes--a visible expression of their belonging to the wider church."

The primate also serves as president of General Synod, chair of Council of General Synod and chair of the House of Bishops, as well as the CEO of General Synod staff. Primates serve until age 70 unless they resign the position.

The Anglican Journal asked the five primatial candidates to share how they would serve the church, and where they see God leading the Anglican Church of Canada.

To read the candidates' complete responses to primatial nominee forms, visit the General Synod website at gs2019.anglican.ca.

Jane Alexander

Bishop of the diocese of Edmonton

Hometown

Stroud, U.K.; living in Edmonton since 1990

Ordained

Nov. 30, 1998 (deacon)

Nov. 1, 2001 (priest)

Consecrated

May 11, 2008

Favourite Scripture verse

Matthew 25:35-40 (from The Message)

Favourite hymn

"For all the Saints"

How would you serve the church as primate?

I would do my best to be a servant of the church, understanding the primacy as a role which relies on faithful relationships and shared vision for Christ's church. It is also a role that is defined by the ordinals and for me finds its roots in the call to serve all people regardless of position or status, to interpret the needs and concerns of the world to the church, to speak into the confusion of the world the saving words of Christ, and to be one with the apostles in proclaiming Christ's resurrection. I would endeavour to encourage a focus on intentional discipleship and growth of the church and to rejoice in the many ways people are finding to be church in the world. I would try to reflect back to the Canadian community what is happening in the Communion, and share in Communion the incredible work of the Canadian church.

Where is God leading the Anglican Church of Canada?

I think that God is leading us into a time of change where we have to be open to the many ways of being church outside of the traditional Sunday service. It is also a challenging time because our attendance figures show us that we need a very different strategy for reaching younger people and more flexibility in forming church communities for our local contexts. If we truly believe that God is doing a new thing (and I do), then God is leading us into a time of growth and opportunity. Change can be nerve-wracking, but I believe that the glory days of the church always lie ahead of us. I believe that God is calling us to re-examine our existing structures to see if they enhance or hinder the spread of the gospel.

Ronald (Ron) Cutler

Bishop of the diocese of Nova Scotia and P.E.I, and metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of Canada

Hometown

Montreal

Ordained

May 17,1981 (deacon)

Nov. …

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