Anglican Primate announces retirement

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 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, 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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