"Bishop Michael Ingham has announced that he will be retiring from his position as bishop of the diocese of New Westminster on Aug. 31, 2013. The diocese 'has been at the forefront of positive change in the Church for decades', Ingham said in an announcement on the website of the diocese. 'From the ordination of women, to support for indigenous peoples, to the dignity of gay and lesbian Christians, to inter-faith dialogue -- it has been a privilege to serve a Diocese living and growing at some of the leading edges of the Anglican Church of Canada'. Bishop Ingham will lead the diocesan delegation to the General Synod in Ottawa in July . He has served as the bishop of New Westminster since 1994 and is currently the longest-serving active Anglican bishop in Canada". [Text of entire article.]
"The primacy has evolved throughout the history of the church. In 1893, the church's first primate was a diocesan bishop chosen from among the metropolitans whose only specific duties were to serve as president of General Synod and of the House of Bishops. Since that time, the office of primate has steadily grown to encompass a national episcopal ministry, in which the primate serves as a figure of unity and a reflection of the diversity, challenges and ministries of the church" (p. 8). "Misunderstandings about the primate's role are common, according to Archdeacon Paul Feheley, who has served as principal secretary to the last two primates. Anglicans on different sides of various debates will often send letters to [the Primate Archbishop] Hiltz asking for him to intervene in order to resolve an issue. But, Feheley notes, metropolitans actually have far more influence over matters than the primate. ... 'If you're looking for a whole ton of power, it's not the position to go for', he adds" (p. 8). "'Many of our early primates died from overwork', says [retired Bishop Michael] Ingham. 'The job is just too large for an incumbent to exercise responsibilities as a diocesan bishop as well. This has only become more true over time, rather than less. In 1969, General Synod adopted the model of a detached primacy, in which primates were no longer burdened by the responsibilities of a diocesan bishop" (p. 9). "[Former Primate Michael] Peers traces the seeds of reform to the 1830s, when Thomas Fuller proposed a synodical model of church government, in which dioceses would be led by a synod, or governing body of licensed clergy, lay representatives from the diocese's parishes, ex officio members, and the bishops. Over the following decades, this became the model the church follows today" (p. 9). "An 1893 [Solemn] Declaration which established the Church of England in Canada as a separate and independent body described the church as being 'in full communion' with the Church of England (as opposed to 'an integral portion'), Peers noted. ... 'In a time when there has been pressure to make the Communion more monolithic, more a single entity presided over by primates, I continue to look to this foundational document'" (p. 9). "'Our primates have been and are people of exemplary faith and integrity, asked to hold together the wide diversity of our Anglican Church of Canada with its challenges of geography, cultural and theological differences', [Bishop Linda] Nicholls says. 'Our primate is a mirror for the life of our church, and deserves our deepest commitment of prayer and support'" (p. 9).
Article includes a large colour photo of the primatial cross with caption: "The primatial cross is the only official symbol of the primate of the Anglican Church of Canada. It was presented to General Synod in 1937 after the submission of numerous designs. The cross is made of silver gilt and features the arms of General Synod and of the four original dioceses of the Canadian church".
Canadian Anglican bishops have voted to strike a task force to study what the church should do to provide spiritual care for members who dissent from church policies.
The bishops spent a good part of their four-day meeting discussing the situation in the diocese of New Westminster which has authorized the blessing of same-sex unions. A group of Anglicans in the diocese have declared that they cannot accept this and have asked another bishop to assume "Episcopal oversight" of their parishes.
Despite a prohibition by New Westminster Bishop Michael Ingham, Terry Buckle, Bishop of the Yukon, has offered the dissenting parishes this oversight. As a result, Archbishop David Crawley, Metropolitan of British Columbia and Yukon, has begun disciplinary proceedings against Bishop Buckle.
Following is the text of two motions adopted by the House of Bishops meeting in Mississauga, Ont., last week.
"That in response to the 'Statement by the Primates of the Anglican Communion' (October 16, 2003) the Primate be asked to establish a task force of the House of Bishops to draw up terms and conditions for 'adequate provision for Episcopal oversight of dissenting minorities' in the Anglican Church of Canada, to consult through the Primate 'with the Archbishop of Canterbury on behalf of the Primates', and to report to the April 2004 meeting of the House of Bishops."
That this House, to enable the work of the Task Force on Episcopal Oversight for Dissenting Minorities,
1. Request that the Bishop of Yukon refrain from exercising Episcopal ministry in the Diocese of New Westminster;
2. Request that the Metropolitan of British Columbia and Yukon stay proceedings against the Bishop of Yukon;
3. Request that the Bishop of New Westminster seek a stay of proceedings against the priests of his diocese against whom such proceedings have been initiated;
4. That a mediator be appointed by the Task Force to negotiate an interim role for the person exercising Episcopal oversight mutually acceptable to the diocesan Bishop and the dissenting parishes.
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For more information, please contact: Michael Thompson, Principal Secretary to the Primate, 416-924-9199 ext. 277, firstname.lastname@example.org, OR Vianney (Sam) Carriere, Director of Communications, 416-924-9199 ext. 306; 416-540-3653 (Cell); email@example.com
TORONTO (Jan. 16) -- The Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada has expressed support for a bishop who has decided to delay action on the blessing of same-sex unions for two years.
Archbishop Michael Peers said that the decision by New Westminster Bishop Michael Ingham to delay his decision pending further dialogue was a responsible one which is characteristic of his desire to hear all voices, consistent with the policy of the Anglican church and faithful to Anglican tradition.
Last May , Bishop Ingham was asked, after a close vote by the governing body of his diocese, to approve the blessing of same-sex unions. He delayed his decision until he could seek advice from fellow bishops in Canada and abroad.
He announced this weekend that he would ask all parishes in his diocese to study the question some more and said that he would place the issue on the agenda of his diocesan synod meeting in 2001. If that synod, or diocesan governing body, confirms the previous decisions by a "substantial consensus", Bishop Ingham said, then he will ratify it.
In his statement, Archbishop Peers said he knows of several other cases where a bishop has acted similarly under circumstances that are "potentially divisive".
The establishment of a commission to enable biblical and historic church teaching to be explored and shared embodies a faithfulness to the Anglican commitment to scripture, tradition and reason," Archbishop Peers said.
The full text of Archbishop Michael Peers' statement follows:
Statement by Archbishop Michael Peers
Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada
Earlier today, Bishop Michael Ingham announced his response to a motion of the diocese of New Westminster, requesting that he permit the blessing of same-sex unions. My response to Bishop Ingham's statement is positive. I believe he has acted responsibly in withholding his consent, pending further dialogue, in a situation where the subject is potentially divisive and in which the motion passed by a narrow majority.
I am personally aware of several precedents in which bishops have withheld or postponed consent in similar circumstances.
It is especially responsible to combine the postponement with a commitment to place the motion on the agenda of the diocesan synod in 2001 and require '"substantial consensus" as Bishop Ingham has done. The process of study in which church members are challenged to meet with people of other views is characteristic of Bishop Ingham's concern throughout his leadership that all voices be heard. This will create the best conditions for genuine dialogue.
Bishop Ingham's concern that the voices of gay and lesbian people be formally represented in the dialogue is completely consistent with the mind of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada which "affirms the presence and contribution of gay men and lesbians in the life of the church".
The establishment of a Commission to enable biblical and historic church teaching to be explored and shared embodies a faithfulness to the Anglican commitment to scripture, tradition and reason.
I am grateful that Bishop Ingham is inviting the contribution of Anglicans from beyond the Diocese of New Westminster in the work of the next two years, and I pledge my support to that enterprise. My prayers and blessings go with the Diocese and its synod in the days ahead.
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For a copy of Bishop Michael Ingham's statement, please contact Lorie Chortyk, Diocese of New Westminster, (604) 684-6306; firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Sam Carriere Editor, Print Resources 416-924-9199 ext. 256 or Doug Tindal, Director of Information Resources, 416-924-9199 ext. 286; 905-335-8349 (residence)
" These two actions concern disputes over church property. They have been combined for trial.  The plaintiffs are 22 in number. They are Anglican clergy and lay leaders from four incorporated parishes geographically situated in the Diocese of New Westminster (the "Diocese"). The plaintiffs are also trustees of their respective parish corporations, and bring the current proceedings in that capacity.  The defendants are the Anglican Synod of the Diocese of New Westminster (the "Diocesan Synod") and Michael Ingham, the current Bishop of the Diocese. [4} These proceedings arise from Bishop Ingham's decision in June 2002 to accept the recommendation of the Diocesan Synod that he authorize a rite for the blessing of same-sex unions. The plaintiffs view this as an abandonment of Christian Scripture, and their respective congregations have left the Diocese as a consequence. They contend that church properties in their four parishes are held pursuant to a trust for "historical, orthodox, Anglican doctrine and practice", and that the blessing of same-sex unions is inconsistent with such doctrine and practice. Accordingly the plaintiffs seek to have the church properties turned over to their congregations pursuant to the exercise of this Court's inherent jurisdiction over trusts and charities.  The defendants counterclaim for a declaration that the plaintiffs are not entitled to possession or control of the properties in question, and other ancillary relief.  If the plaintiffs are not successful in the main part of their action, it will be necessary to consider a discrete dispute over a bequest by the late Daphne Wai-Chan Chun to the Church of the Good Shepherd". -- Intro., p. 4.
Contents: Introduction -- Factual Background -- History of the Issue of Same-Sex Blessings -- Position of the Plaintiffs -- Position of the Defendants -- Analysis -- The Bishop's replacement of Parish Trustees -- Chun Bequest -- Summary -- Counterclaim.
In a commentary written for his on-line service, conservative writer David Virtue has accused Michael Ingham of suggesting that African bishops at Lambeth were "bought off" on the issue of homosexuality.