Niagara Falls, Ont.
The election of a new suffragan bishop for the Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior (APCI) will take place in June. Archbishop Terence Buckle, Metropolitan (senior bishop) of the ecclesiastical province of British Columbia and Yukon, made the announcement at the house of bishops meeting here. He had earlier announced that the election would take place in September.
Archbishop Buckle said that the decision was in response to a request made by APCI clergy and laity during a meeting they had with him April 18 in Kamloops, B.C.
Archbishop Buckle, who is also the diocesan bishop of Yukon, made the stopover in Kamloops en route to the house of bishops meeting to meet with APCI members who were stunned and upset when the provincial house of bishops and the electoral college of the provincial synod announced March 27 that the election had been deferred to September.
The nominating assembly of APCI elected Rev. Barbara Andrews on March 7 as its nominee for suffragan bishop to the metropolitan with responsibilities for APCI. Since APCI is not a diocese but is administered from Archbishop Buckle’s office in Whitehorse, it cannot elect a bishop outright, and Ms. Andrews’ name was submitted to the electoral college of the province for confirmation.
Archbishop Buckle said that during his meeting with APCI “people were very honest” in expressing how they felt, but that “it was done decently and with respect.” APCI members stated that, since they are “still in a visioning process,” the bishops’ request for a timeline for the reactivation of the diocese of Cariboo could not be given, he said. “They said that at this point, they’re uncertain about whether they will be a diocese again or whether they will continue to govern as they do now,” said Archbishop Buckle. “But if they were to become a diocese again, it would take a six to ten year period for it to happen.”
Archbishop Buckle said he was “satisfied” with the members’ explanation regarding the length of the term of service of the suffragan bishop, as well as the electoral process by which APCI recommends a nominee to the position. He said that during the dialogue he explained that, “as tough as the decision had been” to postpone the election, “we felt it was for the best.”
Archbishop Buckle said APCI asked that the election be moved forward “because of the heavy administrative load (that the absence of a suffragan bishop has had) on the dean” of the cathedral, and because too much time would have passed for APCI “to carry on without a resident episcopal oversight.”
Archbishop Buckle said that, after consulting with the provincial house of bishops, he informed APCI that “it’s my intention to call an electoral college in June, at a yet undecided date.”