Resolution Number: A070

Subject: The Primacy - Term of Office

Moved By: Archdeacon Pat Johnston from the Diocese of Ottawa

Seconded By:

Note: The mover and the seconder must be members of the General Synod and be present in the House when the resolution is before the synod for debate.


That section 3 of Canon III - The Primacy - be repealed and the following substituted therefor:

3. Term of Office

a) The term of office of the Primate shall commence upon election to the office.

b) The Primate shall, as soon as practicable and not more than 90 days after being elected, resign from the episcopal or metropolitical offices held at the time of election.

c) The Primate shall cease to hold office

 i) when he or she has held office for nine years or, if the term has been extended under section 3 d), when he or she has held office for 12 years,

 ii) when he or she attains the age of 70 years,

 iii) on the effective date of a resignation submitted and accepted under section 7, or

 iv) when a resolution is adopted under section 8 d) declaring the Primacy vacant,

 whichever first occurs.

  d) The Primate may, no earlier than 18 months before and no later than 12 months before the ninth anniversary of the Primate’s election, submit to the Council of the General Synod and to the Order of Bishops a request for an extension of his or her term of office to the twelfth anniversary of that election. If both the Council of the General Synod and the Order of Bishops accede to the Primate's request within six months, the Primate's term of office shall be extended as requested; otherwise it shall expire on the ninth anniversary of the Primate's election.


In November 2002 the Council of the General Synod appointed a Task Force to review Part One of Canon III. The Task Force tested parts of the Canon with a questionnaire to a wider constituency and met formally on two occasions. The Task Force agreed that it is time to seek the mind of the Church whether a term for the office of Primate would serve the Church well. After considering the perceived advantages and disadvantages of a term the Task Force proposed a term of nine years with the possibility of renewal for a further three years, upon application of the Primate one year before the expiry of the term. The Council of the General Synod agreed to forward the proposal to the General Synod.


Source: Council of General Synod
  (name of committee, diocese, etc.)
Submitted by: The General Secretary