Niagara Falls, Ont.
Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, the primate, or national archbishop, of the Anglican Church of Canada, will step down at the 2007 General Synod governing convention because, he says, there are times he is “absolutely exhausted.”[pullquote]Speaking at the spring meeting of the Canadian church’s bishops, Archbishop Hutchison said that when he was elected at the 2004 General Synod, he said then that he would be a “one-triennium (three-year) primate.” Since then, he said, some had urged him to stay through the 2008 Lambeth Conference of the world’s Anglican bishops, a year in which he would reach the mandatory retirement age of 70.”Your prayers and God’s grace have given me energy and strength, but when I get home (from travelling), I am absolutely exhausted. My wife is rattling around alone for a week or two in a big house and when I get home, I crash,” he said. Looking toward 2007, he said that he will preside at the General Synod but that there will be a primatial election. According to church canons, or laws, the house of bishops will choose candidates, likely at their spring meeting in 2007, and the full convention will elect the next primate.He said he will not be a lame duck, but “will continue to give this my very best between now and the General Synod.” In an interview after his announcement, he said he had pondered his decision over Holy Week, then consulted with his family. Archbishop Hutchison and his wife, Lois, have a married son who lives on Vancouver Island, where the Hutchisons recently bought a house. He said that when he was elected, he was aware that the position would be taxing, with a great deal of travel, but really came to feel it physically. Now that it was announced, he said, he felt “a sense of relief,” but emphasized that the decision was purely for personal reasons, adding, “I love the job.”