Dio Toronto elects three bishops suffragan

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logoAfter a series of ballots at an electing synod, the Diocese of Toronto in the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario of the Anglican Church of Canada has today elected three new bishops suffragan to serve in the diocese. In the diocese of Toronto bishops suffragan serve in a different capacity than in other Anglican dioceses around the world. They are similar to bishops suffragan in the Church of England in that they serve episcopal areas within the diocese. Dio Toronto is made up of four episcopal areas.

From the diocesan website;

Area bishops in our diocese function somewhat differently from those in other dioceses that use the same title. The role of the area bishop is an organizational one created to help the diocese operate more effectively.

In creating the role of the area bishop, the diocesan bishop granted certain episcopal duties and authorities upon the area bishops that normally reside in the role and person of the diocesan bishop. Therefore, an area bishop is a different type of bishop, not with respect to order, but with respect to jurisdiction.

Also, the creation of the area bishop role shifted the primary working relationship of the clergy from the diocesan bishop to the area bishop. In that respect, an area bishop’s role is distinctly different from that of the suffragan bishop in most other dioceses.

The suffragan bishops elected today are the Rev. Riscylla Walsh Shaw, the Rev. Canon Kevin Robertson and the Rev. Canon Jenny Andison. By following the link for each of their names you may read their CV and watch a short video as the candidates answered questions for the membership of the diocese to better know each of them.

This news was announced today on the diocesan website.

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Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Each of the three bishops elect, the two grads from Wycliffe and the one from Trinity, appear to have an excellent C.V.

My soul the world keeps getting younger every day. ( :

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Paul Woodrum
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Proud to see Shaw, a part-Metis (indigenous stock) woman, elected and Robertson, who is gay, out, and partnered.

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JC Fisher
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JC Fisher

This being Canada, can we not just say Robertson is "gay, out, and has a husband"?

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James Pratt
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James Pratt

JCF, actually, they are partners for now, though they have been together for many years and have children. They have been waiting to be able to marry in the church.

The three bishops-elect bring a wealth of diversity and energy, both to the diocese's episcopal team (which also includes Canada's only black bishop, Peter Fenty) and to the wider church. With their consecrations, 10% of the House of Bishops will be under age 50.

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Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

@ James Pratt, "With their consecrations, 10% of the House of Bishops will be under age 50."

Which means that about 4 or 5 Canadian bishops out the (about?) forty five member house of bishops are under 50. The flip side is that with normal retirement age for bishops being 70 (rather than the 65 for other clergy) and with the tendency of clergy in general to stay longer as of late, these folks could be on the job for twenty to twenty five years.

The last stats I have for Canada's General Synod pension plan (2012) showed the average age of all active clergy in Canada to be between 52 and 55 depending on diocese. This is a high average when compared to the secular work force. The number of older postulants ( e.g. above 50) seems to be increasing, at least locally.

All that said, these three bishops elect appear to have good educations and in each case " a particular set of skills" ( my apologies to Liam Neeson). An educated clergy is important, increasingly so, going forward.

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Prof Christopher Seitz
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Prof Christopher Seitz

Proud to see two Wycliffe grads elected.

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Ann Fontaine
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Ann Fontaine

More than 6000 electronic ballots cast - paper ballots were used when there were 11 candidates.

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