The Most Rev. Edward W. Scott, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has announced his intention to resign as primate on June 15, 1986.
"When I was elected, I said that I would remain in office for about 10 years," said Archbishop Scott in informing the Church's National Executive Council that he had presented a letter of resignation to Archbishop Lewis Garnsworthy of Toronto, the senior archbishop by appointment. "In fact, by June 1986, I will have been Primate for more than 15 years.
"I am making the announcement now," he added, "to enable careful planning for the June 1986 General Synod, which will have to become an electoral synod."
Archbishop Scott was elected "Primate of All Canada" on January 25, 1971, at the General Synod held in Niagara Falls, Ontario. As such he is considered the "presiding bishop of the Anglican Church of Canada" and is "charged with giving leadership in initiating and developing the policy and strategy of the Church, including the implementation of decisions of the General Synod throughout the Canadian Church." In this connection he can also speak for the Church, after consultation with either the National Executive Council or General Synod.
Primate Scott, 66, was ordained to the priesthood in 1942; his first parish was Seal Cove in Prince Rupert, B.C. He was consecrated Bishop of the Diocese of Kootenay in British Columbia in 1966 and was elected primate only 5 years later.
During his primacy, Archbishop Scott also served as Moderator of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches, and member of the Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council, the worldwide communion of Anglican churches. He is respected for a deep and quiet spirituality that has expressed itself in a commitment to ecumenism and to social justice, as well as to deepening and developing the life of the church at all levels.
"The last 15 years have been exciting and demanding, yet they have been years of growth within the Anglican Church," said the primate after the announcement.
Significant developments in the church during Archbishop Scott's primacy have included the decision in 1975 to ordain women to the priesthood, the Vancouver hosting in 1983 of the Sixth Assembly of the World Council of Churches, and the launching in 1982 of the Anglicans in Mission Appeal, which raised more than $50,000,000 from Anglicans to support the mission of the Church in the north and overseas, to upgrade pensions and for diocesan development. In addition, the Primate has presided over a growing commitment in the church to support native rights' claims, and many issues of public social responsibility.
"One of the things I will be doing to prepare for my final address to General Synod - and which I expect to expand into a book after my resignation - is to reflect on the developments that have taken place during those 15 years," he said.
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Attachments: Statement by Archbishop Scott; Biographical information.
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600 Jarvis Street
May 9, 1985
Statement by the Most Rev. Edward W. Scott on the occasion of announcing his intention to resign.
"I am announcing today my intention to resign as Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada effective June 15, 1986. I am making the announcement now to enable careful planning for the June 1986 General Synod, which will have to become an electoral synod.
"When I was elected, I said that I would remain in office for about 10 years; in fact, by June 1986 I will have been Primate for more than 15 years.
"I had considered resigning before the 1983 General Synod, but after consultation with other people, I felt that there were a number of things that I could accomplish if I remained until the 1986 Synod. These included: carrying through to completion the Anglicans in Mission undertaking; working on the development of a continuity program to build on Anglicans in Mission and planning for the work of the church when the money collected through AIM has been used; being at the Sixth Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Vancouver in 1983 as the primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, and being at the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in 1984 as primate, when I would be able to present the evaluation report of the international committee on the work of the council which I had been heading up.
"The longer stay also gave me time to concentrate more attention on the Canadian scene than had been possible when I had to give a substantial proportion of my time to the work of the WCC.
"I feel now that these things will all have been accomplished and it is a logical time for me to submit my resignation.
"The last 15 years have been exciting and demanding, yet they have been years of growth within the Anglican Church. One of the things I am doing to prepare for my final address to General Synod - and which I expect to expand into a book after my resignation - is to reflect on the developments that have taken place during those 15 years. I also expect to remain continually involved in the life of the church, but with more emphasis on the local parish level; and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to give more time to ecumenical concerns in the church in Canada and elsewhere."