Fred Hiltz installed as 13th Primate

“I, Fred, chosen to be Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, commit myself to this new trust and responsibility, and promise, with God’s help, to be a faithful shepherd and pastor among you.”

With these words spoken in St. Matthew’s Anglican Church in downtown Winnipeg, Frederick James Hiltz, 14th Bishop of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, formally assumed the position he was elected to three days ago and became 13th Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada.

He succeeds Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, elected in St. Catharines, Ont., at the previous General Synod in 2004, who is retiring.

Hours before, Archbishop Hutchison prorogued or adjourned the 38th General Synod of the Anglican church held during the past seven days in a downtown Winnipeg hotel. This brought to a conclusion the gathering of more than 300 Anglicans representing the church’s 30 dioceses across the country.

General Synod is held every three years and the next one is scheduled for 2010 in Halifax, until now Archbishop Hiltz’s place of residence.

St. Matthew’s was packed for the gala ritual by most members of the General Synod and its staff, by the members of the Canadian House of Bishops, as well as visiting dignitaries, partners from the Anglican Communion including Canon Kenneth Kearon, the General Secretary of the Communion and by ecumenical partners from other faiths.

Also at the installation was Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church in the United States.

The sermon was delivered by the Most Rev. and Rt. Hon. Dr. John Sentamu, Archbishop of York and Primate of England, who spoke on the theme “Changed from glory to glory: transfigured to serve.”

Archbishop Sentamu, at the outset of his sermon, said the following which might have been advice to Archbishop Hiltz:

“As one of those who was installed as Primate of England only 18 months ago, please allow me to share with you what the service of inauguration of my ministry in York did to me. I realized there and then that the whole church was affirming who and what I was. God is glad and rejoiced in the fact that he created you as you are, and has and is redeeming you, from glory to glory to become Christ-like. So be yourself.

Vianney (Sam) Carriere is director of communications for the Anglican Church of Canada.

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