Planning for the agenda of the 25th Session of General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada at Niagara Falls, Ontario, from January 25th to February 2nd, 1971, has moved into its final phase under the direction of the General Secretary, the Venerable E.S. Light.
Archdeacon Light and his staff, are assisted in their work by two task forces of the Church's Organization Committee: the Program Task Force which plans the agenda; and the Arrangements Task Force which looks after the physical arrangements of General Synod. Each of these task forces has representatives from across the country, and the local members have met frequently over the past six months.
General Synod will convene at 9:30 am, Monday, January 25th, in the Sheraton-Brock Hotel, with the opening Eucharist and the opening address, to be given by the senior Metropolitan and Acting Primate, the Most Reverend W.L. Wright. That afternoon, the Lower House of the Synod (clergy and lay delegates) will reconvene in Christ Church, Niagara Falls, as an Electoral College to elect a new Primate. At the same time, the Upper House of Synod (the Bishops) will meet at the Church and nominate candidates from amongst their number to submit to the Electoral College. When a new Primate has been elected by a majority vote from both clerical and lay delegates, the delegates will return to the Sheraton-Foxhead Inn, where the meetings of General Synod will begin that evening. It is expected that there will be approximately 270 delegates in both Houses.
For the first time in the history of the Anglican Church of Canada, the meetings of the regular sessions of General Synod will be presided over by a woman. Her title is Deputy Prolocutor, and she will be acting in the place of the Prolocutor elected at the last General Synod, who has since been made a Bishop. The Prolocutor fulfills the same functions as the Speaker in the House of Commons, and is elected by the Lower House (clergy and lay delegates) at each General Synod. The Deputy Prolocutor is Miss Betty Graham, who has been prominent in the affairs of the Church in the Toronto area. Since 1966, Miss Graham has been the Director of Child Welfare, in the Province of Ontario Department of Social and Family Services.
The last General Synod met at Laurentian University in Sudbury, in 1969, from August 18-26. At that General Synod, a new Canon on the Primacy was passed releasing the Primate from particular diocesan responsibilities, and locating his office in Toronto. The election in January will be the first one under this Canon. Other work at the Sudbury General Synod concerned a report on Theological Education across the country, and a report on Manpower in the Church, from which came resolutions establishing a national office for Personnel Resources. The General Synod also accepted new guidelines for Inter-Communion.
Under the general theme of "change," the General Synod heard reports on the Changing World, the Changing Church and the Changing Ministry.
Perhaps the single, most significant action taken by the 1969 General Synod, was the acceptance of the Hendry Report which redirected the Church's attitude towards the Native Peoples of Canada. A report on the implementation of this report will be one of the most interesting features at the General Synod to be held at Niagara Falls.
That Section 2 Electoral College (Handbook, p.66) of Canon III reading as follows: "The Primate shall be elected by the General Synod, acting through an Electoral College, as hereinafter provided," be repealed, and the following be substituted therefor:
"2. The Primate shall be elected by the Synod, acting as an Electoral College, as hereinafter provided." CARRIED in both Houses.
That Section 3 of the said Canon (Handbook, p.66) reading as follows: "3. The Electoral College shall consist of the Bishops of the Upper House and the other members of the Executive Council elected or appointed under the provisions of the Constitution of General Synod," be repealed. CARRIED in both Houses.
That Section 4 of the said Canon (Handbook, p.66) now reading as follows:
"1. On a vacancy occurring in the office of Primate, within twelve months before the next meeting of the General Synod, a meeting of the Electoral College shall be held for the election of a Primate, either during the next ensuing meeting of the General Synod and after the election of the Executive Council, or immediately following said Synod, at a time and place to be fixed by the Senior Metropolitan.
2. On a vacancy occurring at any other time, the Senior Metropolitan shall summon a meeting of the Electoral College to elect a Primate, such meeting to be held immediately prior to the next annual meeting of the Executive Council," be repealed, and the following substituted therefor:
"1. On a vacancy occurring in the office of Primate within twelve months before the next regular session of the Synod a meeting of the Electoral College shall be held for the election of a Primate either during such Session or immediately following such Session at a time and place to be fixed by the Senior Metropolitan.
2. On a vacancy occurring at any other time, the Senior Metropolitan, following consultation with the Executive Council, shall summon a Special Session of the Synod to act as an Electoral College at a time and place to be fixed by him for the election of a Primate, unless the Executive Council determines that such Special Session should not be called." CARRIED in both Houses.
Canadian Anglican bishops have nominated four from among their number to be candidates in the election of a successor to Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada.
Archbishop Hutchison, who was elected 12th Primate in 2004, has announced that he will retire after the Anglican General Synod in June . The synod, the Anglican church's chief governing body, will choose the next primate on June 22  in Winnipeg.
The procedure to elect a Primate, or national leader, is that bishops nominate no more than five candidates at their last meeting before a General Synod. The bishops, however, do not vote in the actual election. Primates are elected by clergy and lay members of the synod.
Bishops nominated for the election of the 13th Primate are:
- Bishop George Bruce of the diocese of Ontario
- Bishop Fred Hiltz of the diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island
- Bishop Bruce Howe of the diocese of Huron
- Bishop Victoria Matthews of the diocese of Edmonton
Earlier, the bishops considered two motions on the future of the primacy from a task force they previously established. The bishops defeated a motion that would have suspended part of the Canon on the primacy requiring a newly elected bishop to resign his or her diocese. They approved a second motion asking June's General Synod to establish a task force to undertake a "detailed and comprehensive study of the nature, role, duties and authority of the Primate."
The Anglican General Synod, which convenes at the Marlborough Hotel in downtown Winnipeg on June 19, is the church's chief legislative and governing body. It is made up of more than 300 delegates, including lay people, deacons, priests and bishops elected from each of the church's 30 dioceses. General Synod meets every three years.
The primatial election will he held at a nearby church on June 22. The new Primate will be officially installed in office the evening of June 25 .
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For more information, please contact: Vianney (Sam) Carriere, Director of Communications, 416-924-9199 ext. 306; firstname.lastname@example.org OR Josie De Lucia, Assistant to the Director, 416-924-0199 ext. 294; email@example.com
The man whose name most commonly springs to mind when anyone says "Anglican" in Canada, is Ted Scott. The beloved and controversial "Archbishop Ted" will step down as Primate of the Church in June, after more than fifteen years as senior Archbishop of the country's approximately one million Anglicans.
His successor will be elected and installed at the thirty-first session of the Church's General Synod to be held in Winnipeg at the University of Manitoba from June 14 to 22.
The General Synod meets every three years and is the highest parliament and policy-making body of the Canadian Church. Reports will be received on all national and international work of the Church, and future policies and plans will be discussed. One major decision to be made concerns the future Anglican involvement in the Canadian Interfaith Television Network (CIN).
There will be a fully equipped and staffed Media Centre for the use of all accredited journalists throughout the Synod, the sessions of which are all open to the media.
Detailed releases on subjects to be discussed, format and agenda will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead, but make plans now to cover this highly significant event.
Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has announced that he will retire next year following General Synod and the election of a successor.
Archbishop Hutchison, who was elected Primate at the last General Synod in St. Catharines, Ont., in 2004 made the announcement at a meeting of the Canadian House of Bishops in Niagara Falls, Ont., after privately notifying the four Canadian Metropolitan Archbishops of his decision.
He reminded the bishops that he had said right after his election in June, 2004, that his would be a one-triennium primacy. (General Synod meets every three three years.) Since then, he said, there have been discussions about whether or not that term of office should be extended. But "despite a good deal of urging for me to do so, I believe the best answer is for me to stick to my original statement," he said.
Archbishop Hutchison, former Archbishop of Montreal and Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada, had been ready to retire at the time he was elected Primate.
He told the Niagara Falls gathering of bishops that his decision was based primarily on personal and family reasons.
The announcement means that the next General Synod, which convenes in Winnipeg next summer [19-25 June 2007], will elect a successor. The process for that election is that the House of Bishops submits a list of no more than five nominees to General Synod, where clergy and lay members elect a Primate.
Archbishop Hutchison noted that this timing will allow a new Primate time to prepare for the next meeting of the Lambeth Conference of all Anglican bishops in the world, which will be held in 2008.
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For more information, please contact: Vianney (Sam) Carriere, Director of Communications, 416-924-9199 ext. 306; firstname.lastname@example.org
More than 400 people including delegates, partners and staff will gather in Winnipeg next week for the Anglican Church of Canada's 38th General Synod -- a crucial assembly that will elect a new national leader or Primate and once again tackle the difficult and divisive issue of the blessing of same-gender relationships.
The General Synod meets every three years and consists of bishops, clergy and lay people elected as delegates locally in each of the church's 30 dioceses. It is the Anglican church's chief governing body, dealing with everything from changes to church laws and practices to finances and the membership of committees that oversee church programs in years when General Synod does not meet.
The synod is being held at the Marlborough Hotel in downtown Winnipeg, with the diocese of Rupert's Land acting as host.
The seven-day synod will be chaired by Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, the current Primate, who has announced his retirement, effective June 22 . On that day, clergy and lay delegates will elect a new primate. Church practice is that Canadian Anglican Bishops nominate candidates for the primacy but do not participate in the actual election.
At their spring meeting, the bishops nominated bishops George Bruce of Huron, Fred Hiltz of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, George Bruce of Ontario and Victoria Matthews of Edmonton as candidates for the primacy. It is possible for electors to ask the bishops for more nominees after the electoral process has begun.
The new Primate will be formally installed in office at a special service the evening of Monday, June 25 .
General Synod delegates will also be dealing with the issue of the blessing of same-gender relationships, which has deeply divided the Canadian Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion. When the synod last met in St. Catharines, Ont., in 2004, a decision on same-gender blessings was deferredd until 2007.
One full day of the General Synod -- Thursday, 21 June -- will be spent in a joint gathering with the National Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. In 2001, Canadian Anglicans and Lutherans signed a declaration in which they proclaimed themselves to be in full communion with each other. The Winnipeg event is a celebration of this close partnership.
In other business, the General Synod will deal with a host of resolutions on a wide range of church and social issues and with reports from the committees and councils which normally oversee church programs and activities. Among these reports is one from a special task force that has been reviewing how the church is governed.
Also scheduled are a number of "conversations" during which General Synod members will get detailed presentations on different aspects of church life and activities.
Synod members will also receive detailed information on church finances. The Anglican Church has been in a precarious financial position for several years, as a result of declining church membership and the church's involvement in litigation concerning Indian Residential Schools.
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Note to Media Representation
Media representatives wishing to cover some or all of General Synod are advised that there will be a Newsroom at the Marlborough Hotel reserved for accredited journalists. All journalists wishing access to General Synod facilities will have tor register and obtain identification at the Newsroom. Key media contacts on site are Ms. Josie De Lucia and Rev. Keith Nethery.
All documents available to General Synod delegates, including the General Synod Agenda (called the Convening Circular) are available online at http://www.anglican.ca/gs2007/rr/index.htm
For more information, contact: Vianney (Sam) Carriere, Director of Communications, 416-924-9199 ext. 306; email@example.com OR Josie De Lucia, Assistant to the Director, 416-924-0199 ext. 294; firstname.lastname@example.org
Canadian Anglicans have elected a new Primate. On the fourth ballot, more than 300 members of General Synod, the church's chief governing and legislative body, elected Archbishop Andrew Hutchison of Montreal.
Archbishop Hutchison, 65, is also Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada and Bishop Ordinary of the Canadian Forces.
Members of General Synod took almost six hours and four ballots to reach their decision, at one point, asked the Order of Bishops to send more names from which they could choose. Under church law, the Order of Bishops nominates candidates to the primacy while the orders of clergy and the laity elect.
Other candidates for the primacy nominated by bishops last month were Bishop Ron Ferris of Algoma and Bishop Caleb Lawrence of Moosonee. A fourth nominee, Bishop Victoria Matthews of Edmonton withdrew shortly after her name was put forth for health reasons. She is to undergo surgery for breast cancer this week.
To be elected to the primacy, a candidate must receive 68 of 117 clergy votes and 97 of 144 lay votes. Bishop Ferris received 44 and 41 votes.
Bishop Lawrence's name was removed from the slate after the second ballot.
In response to the request for more names, the bishops nominated Bishop Ralph Spence of Niagara. He received 25 and 40 votes on the third ballot, after which his name was removed.
Andrew Hutchison was ordained a priest in 1970 and elected bishop in 1990. In 1999, he was awarded the Jerusalem Prize by the Canadian Jewish Congress for his support of the non-use of the Good Friday Collect, which is seen as offensive to the Jewish community because of its reference to Jews as "lost sheep".
He received his licentiate in theology from Trinity College, University of Toronto in 1969. He also received honorary doctorates from Montreal Diocesan Theological College, Trinity College and Bishop's University, Lennoxville, Que.
He has chaired the national stewardship and financial development committee, was a member of the National Executive Council of the Anglican Church of Canada and president of Montreal Diocesan Theological College. He has served on the Communications and Information Resources Committee and the Board of Directors of the Anglican Journal.
The Primate is the spiritual and corporate head of the Anglican Church of Canada, acting as a symbol of unity and pastoral care and the ambassador to the church overseas. He directs national staff and chairs meetings of General Synod, the Council of General Synod and the House of Bishops.
At a news conference shortly after his election, Archbishop Hutchison said that "one of the great challenges for this church in the next triennium will be unity. But unity isn't important for its own sake. We need unity so that we can reclaim our purpose and so that the world may see and believe."
He said his main priority would be "for our church to redirect its energy, rediscover our purpose and reclaim our mission. Circumstances outside the church have forced us in recent years to become introspective and to focus on who we are as a church and on our church structure. I want to see us look outward and refocus our attention on our mission so the world will see our church and say `see those Christians, see how they love one another' and want to be part of it. The church exists for the world, not for the church".
Asked about his views of same-sex blessings, one of the most controversial topics General Synod members are grappling with during their nine-day meeting in this Southern Ontario city, Archbishop Hutchison said that the concept of such blessings were much less of a problem for him than the idea of same-sex marriages.
Nonetheless, he added, the diocese of Montreal has abided by bishops' guidelines that do not condone such blessings.
In a "vision of the primacy" prepared by all candidates, Archbishop Hutchison described the Primate as "the servant of the whole church ... both an agent and a symbol of its unity".
Archbishop Hutchison and his wife Lois have a son and a grandson.
He will be formally installed as Primate at a service at Christ's Church Cathedral in Hamilton on Friday.
Archbishop Hutchison succeeds Archbishop Peers who served as Primate for 18 years and retired in February.
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For more information, please contact: Vianney (Sam) Carriere, Director of Communications, OR Brian Sarjeant OR Lorie Chortyk, Media Relations, at the General Synod Media Room: 905-984-4868. Mr. Carriere's cell phone is 416-540-3653; Mr. Sarjeant's cell phone is 613-558-5023