Hutchison embraces church’s diverse cultures

Published May 1, 2004

Andrew Hutchison

Archbishop of Montreal

and Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada

Age: 65 Fluently bilingual in French and English, with a smattering of German, Archbishop Andrew Hutchison said the “requirements of the primate’s job will vary as the contexts vary.” With a great interest in the theological theme of reconciliation, he notes that it will be a “very important aspect of the (next) primacy.” Canada has “very diverse cultures within this church,” he said. Consecrated a bishop in 1990, he went to Montreal “to take up a ministry of reconciliation between French and English” and he adds that he sees himself as having a sensitivity to the politics of a particular situation.

He has also worked toward Christian-Jewish dialogue and in 1999 was awarded the Jerusalem Prize by the Canadian Zionist Federation for his opposition to the use of the Good Friday collect. It is seen as offensive because of its reference to Jews as “lost sheep.” He also was given the Alan Rose Award for human rights by the Canadian Jewish Congress.

Nomination for the primacy is “nothing I’ve been looking for” and since he is just five years from the mandatory retirement age, his primacy would be short-term. In five years, a number of things may be resolved, he said. “There may be some clarity about adequate episcopal oversight. Also, this General Synod will have set the agenda (for the next three years) based upon a new framework,” he noted. The national church’s framework, or strategic plan, also contains a fundraising plan that would provide such “much needed” services as stewardship and development to parishes and dioceses, he said.

Archbishop Hutchison grew up in Toronto and counts as an ancestor Lancelot Andrews, a translator of the King James Bible. His ancestors emigrated to Canada from Britain in the 1830s and a family residence, Hutchison House, is a historic site in Peterborough, Ont.

He earned a licentiate in theology from Trinity College, University of Toronto, in 1969 and has received honorary degrees from Montreal Diocesan College, Trinity College and Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, Que.

His ministry has been completely within urban settings. Ordained in 1970, he served four parishes in Toronto over 14 years. He was named dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Montreal in 1984. In 1995, he was named Bishop Ordinary to the Canadian Forces, supervising military chaplains. It is an area in which he takes great interest and has recently recommended that the bishop ordinary be a full-time salaried position.

He is a member of the Anglican Journal board and has served on such national church committees as National Executive Council, stewardship and financial development and Council of General Synod.

A move to Toronto would not be easy, since he and his wife, Lois, have lived in Montreal for 20 years, but Toronto is “where my roots are.” They have a son, David, who teaches in Vancouver.


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