Bishop Gregory Kerr-Wilson of the diocese of Qu’Appelle has been elected the new bishop for the diocese of Calgary. He replaces Bishop Derek Hoskin, who has retired.
The election took place at the diocesan synod held Jun. 16 at St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Calgary.
In all, five candidates vied for the position. After the first electronic ballot, however, it came down to a very close race between Bishop Kerr-Wilson and the Ven. Ansley Tucker, the archdeacon of Bow Valley. To avoid a deadlock after six more ballots, the percentage of votes from both the clergy and lay houses were tallied.
Bishop Kerr-Wilson describes himself as an “evangelical, charismatic Catholic with liberal and conservative tendencies.” He is focused on moving forward constructively and building local leadership “…rather than simply thinking about survival,” he says. “The church’s capital is its people and their faith.”
Youth ministry is part of that mission, and Bishop Kerr-Wilson noted that while the older population in the church still seems to prefer receiving information in print, engaging with 20 and 30-somethings requires communications in their preferred methods of tweeting, blogging and Facebooking.
Bishop Kerr-Wilson’s children are of that generation. While he and his wife Vicki, and their youngest daughter Kyla, 17, will be moving to Calgary, his daughter Asha, 20, may choose to finish her degree at the University of Regina. His son Jeremy, 22, lives in Edmonton.
The Calgary election means the diocese of Qu’Appelle will begin searching for a new bishop. “It’s always a sad thing to leave when you’ve built relationships,” says Bishop Kerr Wilson, who has been bishop there since 2006. “We’ve really enjoyed the people and the work.”
Bishop Kerr-Wilson will be installed as the new bishop of Calgary on Sept. 29 at Calgary’s Cathedral Church of the Redeemer.
With files from Tim Christison