Canon Geoffrey Jackson, senior development officer for the Anglican Church of Canada, died suddenly due to heart failure on Jan. 5.
Canon Jackson, 69, had worked for General Synod since 2005, splitting his time between the Toronto offices and a home office in Waterloo, Ont. He was director of the national church’s Letting Down the Nets development initiative, travelling across Canada, assisting churches and dioceses in strategic planning, annual appeals, congregational development and stewardship. He also worked to cultivate major gifts for parishes, dioceses and the national church.
“Geoff Jackson displayed that rare combination of professional accomplishment and profound humanity,” said Holland Hendrix, executive director of the department of philanthropy. “He was at the peak of a distinguished career in administration, financial management and fundraising. And yet he always made the time to offer advice and counsel to his colleagues on both professional and personal matters. He will be sorely missed, though the impact of his contributions will be felt for decades to come.”
Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, observed that Canon Jackson died on the eve of the Epiphany, the feast that commemorates the magi presenting gifts to the infant Jesus. “In his life Geoff gave generously of his time, talent and treasure to Christ, and in is ministry as senior development officer for the Anglican Church of Canada he encouraged and enabled others to do the same. With diligence and graciousness he went about his work. We give thanks for the many gifts the Church has received through the ministry of this faithful servant of Christ.”
Prior to his work for the national church, Canon Jackson spent 11 years working as executive officer for the diocese of Ontario. He was the first lay person to be hired for the position, which had previously only been open to clergy. Up until that time, his career had been mostly in banking and had brought him and his wife and three boys from England in 1973. He worked for the Bank of Montreal and the Midland Bank. Later he became vice-president of finance and administration at a telecommunications company. Privately, however, he had been a long-time volunteer in the church at the diocesan and national levels. He was co-founder of the Ontario Stewardship Network.
Canon Jackson had also served as volunteer chairman of the board of directors of Grenville Christian College in Brockville, Ont., which closed in 2007.
Colleagues gathered to remember and pray for Canon Jackson and his family in the chapel at General Synod offices in Toronto on Jan. 6. Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, spoke of Canon Jackson’s deep faith, service and devotion to the church.
He is mourned by his wife, Elizabeth, and three sons, daughter-in-laws, and four grandchildren. A funeral will be held at All Saints Anglican Church in Waterloo on Jan. 12 at 1 p.m. Condolences and donations can be arranged by contacting the Erb & Good Family Funeral Home: (519) 745-8445.