The ecclesiastical province of Rupert’s Land elected Gregory Kerr-Wilson, 53, bishop of the diocese of Calgary, its new metropolitan on June 18, the first day of its synod at Manitou Springs, Watrous, Sask.
Installed as metropolitan at an outdoor service yesterday, Kerr-Wilson said he is optimistic about the direction the province is headed in.
“I think that the strongest energy moving in the province was demonstrated in our synod, which just ended, and the focus was pretty much entirely on issues of mission-mission for all aspects of the church: rural, urban, First Nations, non-Indigenous,” he told the Anglican Journal. “The main energy in the room was not around the political issues that have been around for a little while, but basically around issues of mission and cooperation and unity in the church.”
Asked what he would bring to his new position, Kerr-Wilson said his experience serving as bishop in both the predominantly urban diocese of Calgary and the predominantly rural diocese of Qu’Appelle has given him a sense for the diversity of the province and for the importance of strengthening relationships between dioceses.
“One of the things I work on very much in my ministry is a ministry of reconciliation and bridge building and having people grow closer to one another, working together and collaborating,” he said. “So I’m hopeful that that will be a mark of what we’re able to accomplish within the province, and bring a higher level of sense of cooperation and sharing of resources across dioceses and sharing of ideas.”
Kerr-Wilson was elected on the second ballot, receiving eight out of the 13 votes from the house of bishops and 44 of the 79 votes from the house of clergy and laity. Bishop Jane Alexander, of the diocese of Edmonton, came second with three votes from the house of bishops and 22 from clergy and laity. Also on the ballot were Bishop Fraser Lawton of the diocese of Athabasca and Bishop Robert Hardwick of the diocese of Qu’Appelle.
Consecrated bishop in Regina on May 23, 2006, Kerr-Wilson served as bishop of Qu’Appelle until 2012, when he succeeded Derek Hoskin as bishop of Calgary. Ordained deacon in 1989 and priested in 1990, he previously served as incumbent at the Church of the Holy Family in Brampton, Ont., and dean of All Saints’ Cathedral in Edmonton.
Kerr-Wilson holds a bachelor of applied sciences in engineering from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and a master of divinity from Nashotah House Theological Seminary in Nashotah, Wisconsin, and the Faculty of Divinity, Trinity College, Toronto.