Bishop Jim Cruickshank of the diocese of Cariboo has officially announced his resignation by year’s end, a few weeks after confirming that the diocesean office will close by Dec. 31.
Bishop Cruickshank announced his resignation in a letter addressed to Archbishop David Crawley, metropolitan of the ecclesiastical (church) province of British Columbia and Yukon. Archbishop Crawley, who also heads the diocese of Kootenay, will now oversee parishes in the soon-to-be “former diocese of Cariboo.”
With slightly more than 4,700 Anglicans, the mostly rural diocese of Cariboo in the interior of British Columbia is one of Canada’s smallest.
The diocese plans to end operations due to legal costs surrounding litigation concerning native residential schools. A 1999 court ruling found the diocese jointly liable (with the national church) for 60 per cent of an undisclosed award to a man abused at a Lytton, B.C., residential school.
The Lytton ruling is being appealed, Bishop Cruickshank noted in a pastoral letter to the diocese, and the diocese will remain a legal entity for that reason.
Consecrated bishop of Cariboo in 1992, Bishop Cruickshank, who turned 65 this year, was ordained in 1963 and began his ministry as vicar of Cariboo’s Upper Fraser Mission. In 1965, he became the first director of the Sorrento Lay Training Centre in Sorrento, B.C.
He later served for 10 years as professor of pastoral theology at the Vancouver School of Theology. He was dean and rector of Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver, in the diocese of New Westminster from 1983 until his election as bishop.
In 1993, he offered his personal and the diocese’s apologies to native people for harm done them by the church.