Daily Report 2

An unofficial digest of the proceedings of the 37 th Session of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada
Sunday and Monday, May 30-31, 2004


Sunday May 30, 2004

1. Worship and Study

During the morning, members of General Synod worshipped in small groups at 33 churches in the Diocese of Niagara, host diocese of 37 th Session. During the afternoon, members attended two sessions of information dialogues where they learned about the work of national committees.

2. Deputy prolocutor nominations

Synod received five nominations for the position of deputy prolocutor: Peter Clarke, Diocese of Athabasca; Judith Darling, Diocese of Ottawa; Peter Irish, Diocese of Fredericton; Canon Geoffrey Jackson, Diocese of Ontario; Betty Livingston, Diocese of Huron.

3. Farewell to Archbishop Peers

Members attended a farewell banquet for the recently retired Primate, Archbishop Michael Peers, in Niagara Falls.

In a collection of reminiscences and retirement wishes prepared by Anglican Video, Archbishop Desmond Tutu recommended Archbishop Peers “throw away the diary and just contemplate your navel for a while.”

Bishop Telmor Sartison, retired national bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, thanked Archbishop Peers for his work in bringing the Anglican Church of Canada and the ELCIC into full communion.

Archdeacon Jim Boyles, General Secretary, recalled how Archbishop Peers brought distinction to the church as he led it with conviction through controversies such as the residential schools issue.

Archbishop David Crawley, the Acting Primate, lauded Archbishop Peers’ prodigious memory and said that, of all the former primate’s admirable traits, he would remember most his ability to be a friend.

The musical group, the Three Cantors, provided comic relief by serenading Dorothy Peers with the Hoagy Carmichael song, The Nearness of You, and by singing I Am an Anglican to the tune of God Bless America.

Archbishop Peers recalled special moments from the 15 general synods he has attended, his mother’s warning that “you’ll never go anywhere in the church,” and the fact that, over his 45 years of ordained priesthood, he had seen many changes in the church. “Some things that were radical in those [early] days are central now and some that were formerly central have moved to the margins,” he said.

He concluded by noting that whatever the controversy of the day might be, “we are in this for the long haul.”

Monday’s proceedings begin on page two.

 

Monday May 31, 2004

1. Primatial election

After a celebration of holy communion in the O’Sullivan Theatre, the Order of Bishops withdrew while Dorothy Davies-Flindall, the Prolocutor, convened a sitting of the members of Synod who were in the Order of Laity and the Order of Clergy, to elect a new primate. There were 144 lay and 117 clergy members present.

The nominees were: the Rt. Rev. Ronald C. Ferris, Bishop of Algoma, the Most Rev. Andrew S Hutchison, Bishop of Montreal, and the Rt. Rev. Caleb Lawrence, Bishop of Algoma.

First ballot results

Name

Clergy votes

Lay votes

     

Ferris

36

31

Hutchison

48

72

Lawrence

25

38

     

Spoiled

1

 

Blank

7

3

Total

117

144

Since no candidate had received a majority in both orders as required by Canon III, the Prolocutor called for a second ballot.

Second ballot results

Name

Clergy votes

Lay votes

     

Ferris

39

34

Hutchison

55

78

Lawrence

20

28

     

Spoiled

1

 

Blank

2

4

Total

117

144

Since no candidate had received a majority in both orders as required by Canon III, the Prolocutor called for a third ballot.

Canon III requires that after the second ballot, the name of the candidate with the lowest total number of votes be removed from the ballot. The name of Bishop Lawrence was removed.

Members of the Order of Clergy moved to call for further nominations from the Order of Bishops for the office of primate. The motion carried and the Prolocutor ordered a recess while the request was conveyed to the Order of Bishops.

The Secretary of the Order of Bishops brought to the orders of Clergy and Laity the nomination of the Rt. Rev. D. Ralph Spence, Bishop of Niagara. The Prolocutor read biographical information about Bishop Spence to the members.

Third ballot results

Name

Clergy votes

Lay votes

     

Ferris

38

33

Hutchison

53

70

Spence

25

40

     

Spoiled

   

Blank

1

1

Total

117

144

Since no candidate had received a majority in both orders as required by Canon III, the Prolocutor called for a fourth ballot. The name of Bishop Spence was removed.

A motion from the Order of Clergy to call for further nominations from the Order of Bishops for the office of primate was defeated.

A motion from the Order of Laity to call for further nominations from the Order of Bishops for the office of primate was defeated.

Fourth ballot results

Name

Clergy votes

Lay votes

     

Ferris

44

41

Hutchison

68

97

     

Spoiled

 

1

Blank

5

5

Total

117

144

2. Presentation of the Primate Elect

The Order of Bishops returned to the O’Sullivan Theatre where they received a standing ovation.

“I present to you the Most Rev. Andrew Hutchison, Primate Elect,” said Archbishop David Crawley, the Acting Primate, in officially announcing that Archbishop Hutchison will become the 12th Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada when he is installed on Friday, June 4.

“It’s not going to be a long haul but it is going to be an interesting one,” said Archbishop Hutchison, referring to the fact that he is 65 and that the mandatory retirement age for primates is 70.

He thanked his fellow nominees for standing for office and announced that they were sending flowers to the Rt. Rev. Victoria Matthews, Bishop of Edmonton, who had to withdraw because of ill health. He offered special thanks to the Most Rev. Terence Finlay, Bishop of Toronto, for introducing a motion to delay his taking up the position of Primate until he is installed on the closing day of Synod.

While he promised he would have more to say later on the topic, he spoke briefly about the direction his ministry will take. “One of the great challenges before the church during the next triennium is its unity,” Archbishop Hutchison said. “Not just unity for its own sake but so that the world may believe. More energy needs to be directed not at who we are, or who is in and who is out, or how we are structured, but outward at the world…. I promise that I will bring honour to you and to our Lord Jesus, whom we serve.”

A video of Archbishop Hutchison’s remarks is available on the General Synod website.

3. Discussion of the proposed strategic plan

Members of Synod discussed the proposed new strategic plan, Serving God’s World, Strengthening the Church and the new proposed fundraising plan, Letting Down the Nets, in both table groups and committee of the whole.

4. Resolutions

Second reading of the following resolutions was passed by a two-thirds vote of the three orders of laity, clergy and bishops, voting separately:

A074 Place of marriage

To permit priests to conduct marriages outside churches;

A075 Admission to holy communion

To eliminate the need for divorced persons to apply to a bishop to receive holy communion.

5. Election of the deputy prolocutor

First ballot results

Name

Votes

   

Clarke

18

Darling

70

Irish

117

Jackson

28

Livingston

51

Total

284

Second ballot results

Name

Votes

   

Darling

69

Irish

166

Jackson

12

Livingston

40

Total

287

Peter Irish was elected on the second ballot.