Archbishop Lynne McNaughton is the 13th metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of British Columbia and Yukon.
Selected on the first ballot of an election held online March 6, McNaughton—bishop of the diocese of Kootenay—takes over the role from former metropolitan Archbishop Melissa Skelton, bishop of the diocese of New Westminster until her retirement at the end of February.
McNaughton says building community between the six dioceses of the province, as well as with the national church and worldwide Anglican Communion, will be one of her top priorities as metropolitan. She also plans to draw upon her current work as a member of Council of General Synod (CoGS) to focus on strategic planning.
“We’re at a crucial time in the church … The kind of strategic planning that the national church is underway with, we also need to be looking at in the province,” McNaughton says.
“My sense of strategic planning or goal-setting at this point in time is that it needs to be a listening process,” she adds. “As we’re doing in CoGS, it’s asking the questions of who are we now as a church, and who’s my neighbour? What’s our mission? … All our baptismal vows and the Anglican Marks of Mission and serving the world that God loves—how do we do it in this time?”
Other priorities include theological education for clergy and laity and sharing resources on ecology and the environment.
Before her consecration and installation as bishop of Kootenay in May 2019, McNaughton served as a priest in the diocese of New Westminster, regional archdeacon, clergy delegate to General Synod, and professor at the Vancouver School of Theology.
In building community among the dioceses of B.C. and Yukon, McNaughton says she has the advantage of “a great provincial house of bishops” and “a very competent provincial executive”. She also notes the comparatively recent election of all six bishops in the province.
“Part of the reality of having six brand-new bishops is that there’s not going to be more elections for a while,” McNaughton says. “There’s going to be some stability with the house of bishops. It’s a good team of bishops in this province. Collegiality is already very good. And if I may say so, that’s a shift from the past.
“Especially in the past around sexuality issues, there have been controversies. The tone of collegiality is very good now. So I’m very confident that we can work together really well as a province, and I’m glad I bring the national sensibilities to it as well, because that is a crucial relationship—between province and national church.”