The diocese of Fredericton’s synod, held in mid-November, voted to call an electoral synod for March 15, 2003 in order to elect a successor to Bishop William Hockin, 64, who plans to retire on Oct. 31, 2003. Bishop Hockin, who will have served as bishop for just three and a half years by next fall, announced his decision to leave at a meeting of the diocesan council in Fredericton on Oct. 3. “Although these years as bishop have been exhilarating, they have also been somewhat exhausting and I find myself quite tired,” he said.
Bishop Hockin was elected co-adjutor bishop (or bishop with a right to succession) in March 1998; he succeeded Bishop George Lemmon in 1999. Fredericton’s synod also rejected the recommendation of a diocesan committee that the diocese change its name to the diocese of New Brunswick. Bishop Hockin, who had supported the name change as being more inclusive, said some delegates expressed “an emotional investment” in the name Fredericton and wanted to retain it out of respect for the diocese’s heritage.