Get to know the primatial candidates
BY JOELLE KIDD AND MATTHEW TOWNSEND - June 3, 20191719
The five bishops nominated for primate of the Anglican Church of Canada share visions for the future
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 the 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 primate’s 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.