Following is the text of a letter to the Church from Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada:
My brothers and sisters in Christ
On Sunday evening at the House of Bishops, I made an announcement, which I now wish to share with you.
With General Synod 2007 planning now well underway, it is important for the Planning Committee to know whether or not to include the election of a new primate in its planning.
In September this year, I turn 68. The canons therefore require that I retire in 2008. That would leave two more years before General Synod meets in 2010 to elect my successor. After a great deal of prayerful consideration, I have decided, for reasons chiefly personal and family related, that I should retire in 2007 following General Synod and the election of a successor.
At the time of my election in St. Catharines, I announced that this would be a one-triennium primacy. Since then, there have been discussions about the wisdom of trying to extend that time. Despite a good deal of urging for me to do so, I believe the best answer is for me to stick with my original statement.
These are years of tremendous challenge for us all. I am profoundly grateful for the prayers that have attended me, and for the welcome you have extended as I visited the Church in so many situations from coast to coast to coast. I am thankful for the spirit that generally prevails in our discussion of very difficult issues. As we seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit we must remember that the fruit of the Spirit is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” May these be the signs that the Spirit is at work in our discussions as we prepare for General Synod.
Between now and General Synod, I shall continue to give my best efforts to our continuing mission, supported in my ministry by all of you and by the best staff in the Anglican Communion.
The Most Rev. Andrew S. Hutchison
Archbishop and Primate
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