John Ligertwood, longtime treasurer at General Synod, dead at 96

Ligertwood was General Synod treasurer from 1955 to 1993. photo: General Synod Archives
Published February 28, 2024

The Anglican Church of Canada’s general treasurer for nearly four decades, John Ligertwood, died Nov. 16 after sustaining a head injury during a fall. He was 96 years old.

Ligertwood served as  General Synod treasurer from 1955 to 1993. His tenure coincided with numerous major developments at General Synod, from the establishment of the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund to the restructuring of General Synod committees and the national office.

A recipient of the Anglican Award of Merit, the Anglican Church of Canada’s highest honour for lay people at the national level, Ligertwood built many close relationships during his time at Church House. Upon his retirement, the  church’s National Executive Council—predecessor to Council of General Synod—passed a resolution expressing its “deep gratitude to John Ligertwood for the extraordinary ministry which he has performed” in his 38 years as General Synod treasurer.

Former general secretary Archdeacon Jim Boyles worked with Ligertwood at Church House in two eras: the first in the early 1970s when Boyles was appointed assistant to the general secretary and worked with Ligertwood on finances and organization of General Synod; the second in 1993 after Boyles became general secretary himself.

“I always found him comfortable to work with,” Boyles says. “He knew his stuff and I certainly appreciated that.

“He was well-known throughout the church and well-respected, particularly among his peers in the dioceses … the treasurers of the diocese and the financial people, and also the bishops,” Boyles adds. “He knew the bishops well and they knew him well when it comes to matters of money in the church.”

Born in Calgary in 1927, Ligertwood was an only child whose father died when he was nine years old. Ligertwood graduated from Trinity College School in Port Hope, Ont. and then attended the University of Manitoba, where he graduated as a chartered accountant. He later moved to Toronto to serve as General Synod treasurer. Ligertwood’s obituary notes that he was known for his dry sense of humour and love of reading.

Ligertwood is survived by his wife of more than 60 years, Emmy, as well as three adult children, nine grandchildren, and four greatgrandchildren. A celebration of life will take place in spring.


  • Matthew Puddister

    Matthew Puddister (aka Matt Gardner) is a staff writer for the Anglican Journal. Most recently, Puddister worked as corporate communicator for the Anglican Church of Canada, a position he held since Dec. 1, 2014. He previously served as a city reporter for the Prince Albert Daily Herald. A former resident of Kingston, Ont., Puddister has a degree in English literature from Queen’s University and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario. He also supports General Synod's corporate communications.

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