Jane Alexander, rector of All Saints Cathedral and dean of Edmonton, was elected on March 8 bishop of the diocese. Chosen on the third ballot, she received 52 clergy votes and 89 lay votes.
A relative newcomer to holy orders, she was ordained to the priesthood in 2001, served several parishes in the diocese and has served as dean since 2006. She began her professional life in 1981 as a music teacher in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. However, her interest in church life was apparent as her B.A. in music from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, earned in 1980, analyzed English liturgical music from 1370 to 1430.
She earned a master’s degree in education in 1993 and a Ph.D. in educational psychology in 1996, both from the University of Alberta. She earned a master’s degree in theological studies in 2001 from Newman Theological College.
In the 1980s, she worked as a special education teacher in England, then pursued research in educational psychology in Alberta.
In her written material supporting her application, Bishop-elect Alexander said she was brought up in a household where religion was discouraged, “although music was not” and that she heard “the first whisperings of God” in hymns and oratorios.
In a response to a question asked by the Edmonton search committee about the 2007 General Synod’s decision that blessing same-sex unions is not a matter of core doctrine, Bishop-elect Alexander wrote: “one of the most important things to come from this (General Synod) was that we are committed to walking together and to … having conversations and not hiding from topics such as human sexuality.”
She added that Canadian Anglicans need to ask, “What do we understand at an individual and parish level as the ‘core doctrines of the church’?”
Bishop-elect Alexander and her husband, Tim, have four children. She will be installed as bishop on May 11. She succeeds Bishop Victoria Matthews, who resigned last year.
(Editor’s Note: This story, first published on March 8, has been revised.)