The Council of General Synod (CoGS) will send to General Synod a proposal that the primate’s term of office be limited to nine years with the possibility of a three-year extension.
A task force examining the primacy did not feel “unanimous enthusiasm” for a fixed term, but felt it should be discussed, said Bishop Ann Tottenham of Toronto, a member of the group.
CoGS members said the most recent primate, Archbishop Michael Peers, served the church extremely well through an 18-year term and the task force report said a fixed term might mean “losing a good primate at a critical time because the term has ended.”
Reasons in favor of a limited term were: allowing for shifts in emphasis in a rapidly changing world, aligning more with the Lutheran church system and avoiding burnout.
Bishop Tottenham said the group also considered that a fixed term might penalize older candidates who couldn’t fulfill the length of the term or influence the election in favour of an older bishop to avoid employment uncertainty at the end of the term.