The Very Rev. Louise Peters

New executive director appointed at Sorrento Centre

Currently the rector of St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral in Kamloops, B.C., the Very Rev. Louise Peters will be stepping into a new role this spring as she takes on the position of executive director at the Sorrento Retreat and Conference Centre.

The Ven. Andrew Pike, board chair and a member of the search committee, announced the appointment of Peters on Jan. 19.

“She seemed to have all the things we were looking for, which was management of the centre, staff—a very good overall handle on what we were about to do,” Pike said.

“She knows the centre and she lives nearby,” he added. “It’s fascinating that we searched all over North America, had applicants from all over North America, and came back to appoint somebody from our doorstep.”

Peters, who also serves as dean of the Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior, will officially begin work at Sorrento on April 24.

The new executive director expressed enthusiasm about the prospect.

“I’m very excited about this new opportunity,” Peters said. “I feel very strongly about the ministry that the centre is providing to the church and to the world.

“It’s a unique place and it’s a unique community, and I believe in how it has affected people’s lives for a deepening of their understanding of the Holy One and in their faith formation.”

Located on the shores of Shuswap Lake, B.C., Sorrento is an Anglican spiritual retreat, conference centre and holiday destination that offers year-round workshops, lectures, performances and youth leadership training. The location boasts a sabbatical centre as well as a small community farm that has become a model for sustainable farming in the area.

For years, Peters has been a regular visitor to Sorrento as both a participant and teacher in programs. Her involvement dates back approximately 15 years, when she and her family moved west from the Diocese of Huron and stayed at the centre for two weeks.

“We felt very welcomed as a family, and ever since then have returned to the centre every summer in one way, shape or form—either as participants in courses or going for rest and relaxation as a family, or helping with leadership in worship or course teaching,” Peters said.

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, is a long-time supporter of the Sorrento Centre. Having known Peters for years through General Synod work, Archbishop Hiltz praised her selection as a “great appointment.”

“She certainly brings extensive knowledge and experience of the church, and she’s a great theologian in her own right and she’s a great liturgist,” the Primate said of Peters.

“She’s imaginative; she’s creative; she’s practical. I think she’ll really help the centre to move forward with its new vision…I think they’ve made an excellent choice and I think Sorrento will be extremely well-served by her leadership. She’s an incredibly gifted woman.”

As Peters prepares to wrap up 11 years of parish ministry at the cathedral to start her new job, Pike and associate director Melissa Green will continue managing the centre during the interim.

“Staff and guests are excited about this appointment and about her joining us,” Green said. “She is a familiar face at Sorrento Centre and is very familiar with Sorrento Centre, and…is bringing with her some energy and a huge passion for this place and the ministry and the community that’s taking place here.”

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