After serving for five years as head of the Anglican diocese of Calgary, Bishop Derek Hoskin, has announced his retirement effective Dec. 31 this year.
Bishop Hoskin was elected in 2006 as the 8th bishop of the diocese of Calgary, which includes about 20,000 Anglicans in 92 congregations in the southern part of Alberta.
In a pastoral letter issued Oct. 1 to members of his diocese, Bishop Hoskin said he decided to retire because 2012 marks the 40th year of his ministry in the Anglican Church of Canada and he will be turning 69.
Bishop Hoskin’s resignation has been accepted by the Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical province of Rupert’s Land, Archbishop David Ashdown. The diocese’s executive committee will meet on Dec. 6 to determine the process for electing Bishop Hoskin’s successor.
“I would like to express my thanks to you for your faithfulness in walking day by day with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,” said Bishop Hoskins in his letter. “Thank you for your perseverance in following the way of the Anglican Church of Canada in expressing worship and theology.”
Bishop Hoskin told the Anglican Journal that highlights of his episcopy include services of confirmation “in churches big and small, and classes large and few.” He also found the opportunity “to listen to young people talk about their faith” through music and stories “quite exciting.”
Another highlight was the approval of the diocese’s new canons and constitutions at its last synod Sept. 30 to Oct. 1. “It recognizes how things have evolved in the life of the parishes over the last 10 to 15 years,” he said. Among others, the new canons and constitutions grants more autonomy for parishes to deal with new projects.
One of the more challenging aspects of his ministry has been dealing with at least seven parish closures, triggered by diminishing attendance and dwindling finances, said Bishop Hoskin. “We continue to search for answers so that congregations can exist and continue in smaller communities.”
Bishop Hoskin describes the diocese of Calgary as one that represents “a cross section of Anglican life” and of urban and rural life. Parishioners include farmers, oil industry workers, professionals and homemakers. They also come from a variety of cultures-European, First Nations, Caribbean and African.
As for retirement, Bishop Hoskin is looking forward to being able to say “yes” to more activities with his wife, Pauline, who is a public health nurse.
Ordained a priest in 1973, Bishop-elect Hoskin received a licentiate in theology from Wycliffe College in 1972; he also pursued theological studies at Lincoln Theological College, England, from 1972-1973. Bishop Hoskin’s early ministry included serving parishes in Lethbridge, Fort Macleod, and Brocket, Alta.