Ronald C. Ferris

Bishop Ronald C. Ferris
Bishop of Algoma

Ronald C. Ferris
Bishop of Algoma

Current Office and Location

Bishop of Algoma
Anglican Synod Office
619 Wellington Street East
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario P6A 2M6

List of Ecclesiastical Offices Held

Name of Parish Or Employer Position Held Dates
Diocese of Algoma Bishop 1995 to present
Diocese of Yukon Bishop 1981 to 1995
St. Stephen's Church
London, Ontario
Rector 1973 to 1980
St. Luke's Mission
Old Crow, Yukon
Incumbent 1970 to 1972

Ordination Dates

Deacon: May 17, 1970
Priest:  June 21, 1971
Bishop: March 1, 1981

Other Accomplishments which the Nominee May Wish to Share

Fostered internships and student ministries to develop vocations (Algoma)
Appointed Program Associates to expand program activities in each of five deaneries (Algoma)
Established annual deanery festivals in each of five deaneries (Algoma)
Served as interim Rector for extended periods during vacancies in Whitehorse and Porter Creek (Yukon)
Pilot of the Diocesan Cessna Aircraft (Yukon)
Established the Bishop's School for Native Ministry (1985-1995) (Yukon)
Served as Rural Dean and on the Spiritual Development Task Force (Huron)
Diocesan Spiritual Director for the C.O.R. Movement for Youth (Huron)
Diocesan Spiritual Director for the Cursillo Movement (Huron)
Anglican Chaplain to the John Dearness Home for Senior Citizens (Huron)
Supervised theological students for parish field education (Huron)

Board of Trustees, Thorneloe University, Sudbury (1995-Present)
Chairman, Provincial Committee on Ministry (1982-1983) (B.C. & Yukon)
Regular participant in Anglican/RC Bishops' Dialogue (B.C. & Yukon)
Secretary to the House of Bishops (1982-1995) (B.C. & Yukon)
A member of Provincial Synod, Provincial Council: B.C. and Yukon (1981-1995),
Ontario (1995 - Present)
Board of Governors, Vancouver School of Theology (1992-1995)

Chair, Agenda Committee, National House of Bishops (1998-2001)
Chair, the Council of the North (1986-1989)
Council of the North Member (1981-1995)
Continuing Education Committee of the National House of Bishops Member (1983-1986)
Nominating Committee of General Synod Member (1983, 1986)
National Executive Council Member (1982-1986) (1992-1995)
General Synod Member (1983, 1986, 1989, 1992, 1995, 1998, 2001)
Ecclesiastical Visitor, Canada, Worker Sisters of the Holy Spirit

Participant in The Future of Anglicanism Conference (Oxford June 28 - July 5, 2002)
Participant in the Lambeth Conference (1988 - Mission and Ministry Section, 1998 - Called to Full Humanity Section)
Participant in Conference of Canadian and ECUSA Bishops, Niagara-on-the-Lake (1993)
Participant in various consultations and joint projects with the Diocese of Alaska
Visitor two times to Diocese of Algoma's former Companion Diocese of the Windward Islands, West Indies

Personal Information

As a child, I grew up to know and love God in a Christian home.  My mother was widowed when I was six years of age.  After a few years away from the Church in my early teens, I became involved with the young people's group.  Through attending Evening Prayer, I became awakened to God in a deeper way.  I became excited by the truth of Christ as I heard the Epistles preached at these services.  I committed my life to Christ and that commitment grew through taking an active part in the Anglican Young People's Association.  It was there that I met my wife, Jan, and together we worked through our growing faith.  I was only 15 years of age when I felt clearly called to the ordained ministry.  Some people are called to ministry at a very young age.  Because of that, Youth Ministry has always been important to me.

I entered teachers' college as a way of gaining valuable experience and establishing myself in a career that could finance my university training.  I completed teacher training, and after we were married, Jan and I volunteered for the Yukon Frontier Service Team being organized by General Synod.  We moved to Yukon to serve in our own professions: myself as a principal- teacher in an elementary school, and Jan as a nurse.  There I served as a Lay Reader and Sunday School superintendent in the village church.  After two years of teaching in the Yukon, I had completed enough of my Arts credits by correspondence and summer school that I was ready to study theology.  Following two years of theological study at Huron College in London, Ontario, I began my ordained ministry by being immersed in the native community of Old Crow, above the Arctic Circle.  I was awakened in a new way by the Christian vitality and the rich traditions.  Jan and I became part of a rich history and network of lay leaders and native clergy, and the unique culture of that beautiful corner of the world.  In 1973 it was time to return to Huron College and conclude my degree.

After completing my degree at Huron College, I became rector of St. Stephen's Church in a growing suburban area of London, Ontario.  God gave me a unique opportunity to develop and support lay ministry.  New groups to deepen Christian growth flourished.  In partnership with many of these parish leaders, we were able to spearhead the development of Cursillo, and a similar movement for teens.

In 1981 I was elected Bishop of Yukon.  We returned to the Yukon for the third time and spent the next fourteen years there, enjoying diocesan life and raising our family.  Highlights of our ministry there were the development of a school for native ministry and the resulting ordinations, strengthened congregations and a remarkably gifted team of workers.  In 1994 I was elected Bishop of Algoma, and we started a wonderful new chapter of our life together.  A very important part of my spiritual journey has been my wife Jan and our family.  Our six children are now grown.  We have three children and two grandchildren in Whitehorse, two children and one grandchild in British Columbia, and one child in Ontario.

Jan and I are deeply thankful for our exciting life of ministry and adventure.  We have been deeply moved by our experiences in meeting bishops and spouses from around the world at two Lambeth Conferences, and are enthusiasts for the global Anglican Communion.

Statement of Vision of the Role of Primate

The Primate is first and foremost an Ambassador of Christ.  The Primacy is a sign of God's love to our Canadian churches, interfaith and ecumenical partners, the world, and the global Christian community.  The Primate occupies an important intersection where all of these dimensions converge.  It is both a deep privilege and an awesome responsibility.

The laying on of hands in confirmation, ordination, and in the sacraments of healing symbolize that closeness of touch.  Along with Baptism and Eucharist, these sacraments mark and enable our connectedness in Christ. The Primate is first and foremost an agent of that connectedness and part of Christ's gathering work.  The Primate, together with the other bishops and the whole Church, share in the work that Christ gave us to gather, proclaim, heal, and serve.

It is the work of the Primate to inspire and tend our national structures, along with the General Secretary, and all those who undertake ministry on behalf of our nationwide sisterhood of churches.  The Primate upholds our frontline work in the parishes and neighbourhoods, helping us to better understand and appreciate one another.

The Primate is the first amongst true equals with the other bishops.  The Primate knows them, cares for them, and helps them exercise their corporate leadership responsibilities, within the Anglican Church of Canada.

The Primate has a presidential responsibility for the General Synod.  While many people see the General Synod as primarily about church governance, Anglicans in the pews need to catch a vision of our common mission.  Much of the Primate's speaking, visiting, and writing serves to excite Canadian Anglicans about that shared adventure and task.  The travels and the visits are anchored with a steady presence at Church House to support and encourage our national staff and structures, and to strengthen the morale of our community.  The time at Church House enables creative exploration of our relationships with our interfaith and ecumenical partners, and indeed of the complementary roles being undertaken by our four ecclesiastical provinces. It is important for the Primate to be aware of the pain in many communities over such things as poverty, family breakdown, addictions, suicide, violence, spiritual poverty, consumerism, and societal fragmentation, and to help the churches find their role in national renewal and social advocacy.

There are many Anglican movements, organizations, and agencies that have a national character, such as our ecumenical coalitions, Anglican Church Women, Alpha, Cursillo, and Church Army, who need to be honoured, upheld and encouraged.  The Primate works to harmonize and safeguard the roles and responsibilities of the officers, structures, and agencies of our national life.

In summary, the Primate undertakes the tending of our connectedness in Christ.