Bishops select candidates for primatial election

Canadian Anglican bishops have selected four from among their own number to be candidates for an election to the office of Primate, which will be held next month in St. Catharines, Ont.

The election of a successor to Archbishop Michael Peers, the 11th Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, is one of the tasks awaiting more than 300 members of the Anglican General Synod when it convenes May 28 – June 4 [2004].

Archbishop Peers, who was primate or leader of the Anglican Church for 18 years, retired in February.

Under church law, Canadian bishops nominate as many as five candidates for the primacy, and General Synod members vote to elect one of them.

The following bishops were nominated at a House of Bishops meeting here on the weekend:

– Ronald Ferris, Bishop of the Diocese of Algoma, Bishop Ferris, 55, has been Bishop of Algoma since 1995 and served as Bishop of Yukon before then, from 1981 to 1995.

– Andrew Hutchison, Bishop of the Diocese of Montreal and Archbishop of the ecclesiastical province of Canada, Archbishop Hutchison has been Bishop of Montreal since 1990 and Bishop Ordinary to the Forces since 1997.

– Caleb Lawrence, Bishop of the Diocese of Moosonee.  Bishop Lawrence, 59 [sic i.e. 63] has been Bishop of Moosonee since 1980.

– Victoria Matthews, Bishop of the Diocese of Edmonton.  Bishop Matthews, the Anglican Church of Canada’s first female bishop, was first elected suffragan bishop of Toronto in 1993 and has been Bishop of Edmonton since 1997.

The Anglican General Synod, which convenes at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ont., next month 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 be held at the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre at Brock University on May 31.  The new Primate will be formally installed at a service at Christ’s Church Cathedral in Hamilton, Ont., in the diocese of Niagara on June 4 [2004].

On May 30, General Synod members will bid farewell to Archbishop Peers at a dinner in Niagara Falls, Ont.

– 30 –

This is one of a series of official news releases that will be made before the Anglican Church of Canada’s 37th General Synod.  Between now and the end of May, releases will be issued about once a week.

For more information, you may also consult the following Web sites:

A draft agenda is available at

Canon on the primacy

Because of limited space for media at General Synod, journalists who wish to cover the event are encouraged to register in advance.  You may register at:

or contact Josie DeLucia, assistant to the Director of Communications, at 416-924-9199, ext. 294,  [email protected]

For more information, please contact:  Vianney (Sam) Carriere, Director of Communications, 416-924-9199 ext. 306; 416-540-3653 (Cell); [email protected]  OR Michael Thompson, Principal Secretary to the Primate, 416-924-9199 ext. 277, [email protected]


Interested in keeping up-to-date on news, opinion, events and resources from the Anglican Church of Canada? Sign up for our email alerts .