Meet the metropolitans

Published November 1, 2009

Colin Johnson was elected metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of Ontario at the provincial synod in Cochrane, Ont. on Oct. 15.

He was later installed at a service at Holy Trinity Church there.He succeeds Archbishop Caleb Lawrence, who announced plans to retire as the diocesan bishop of Moosonee in January.  “I feel very honoured and…challenged by the position and [am] looking forward to serving,” Archbishop Johnson told the Journal.

As metropolitan, he becomes the senior bishop of the province, although he will continue to serve as diocesan bishop and chief pastor in the diocese of Toronto as he has since 2004. The ecclesiastical province includes the dioceses of Moosonee, Algoma, Ontario, Ottawa, Toronto, Niagara and Huron.

In his new role, Archbishop Johnson will continue to focus on advocacy, calling on the provincial government to reduce poverty and to attend to the needs of those who are marginalized. The diocese of Toronto has been doing “good and effective work with that so far,” said Archbishop Johnson.

This includes placing an ad in the Toronto Star that called on Anglicans to continue to give generously and for government to improve social policies. The ecclesiastical province also has a role to play in shaping theological education to serve the needs of the church as it moves into the 21st century, said Archbishop Johnson.

A third priority will be to strengthen the network that supports co-operative and shared work between the dioceses, he said. Claude Miller, bishop of the diocese of Fredericton, was elected the metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of Canada, during a Sept. provincial synod held in Gander, Nfld.


Archbishop Miller succeeds Archbishop Bruce Stavert. In 2006, he walked 500 kilometers to help raise $50,000 for HIV/AIDS. His passion is youth ministry, and the place of youth in the collective vision of the Anglican Church. “They are, I believe, a tremendous gift and asset,” said Archbishop Miller. Youth bring “a tremendous enthusiasm and energy, and they do care for the environment, for creation, for one another, and for God’s people…”Archbishop Miller said his priority will be to “build relationships with other bishops.” To overcome the challenge of vast distances between dioceses, bishops will forge partnerships through a pulpit exchange, said Archbishop Miller, who has partnered with the bishop of the diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador, Cy Pitman. The hope is that such partnerships will strengthen relationships and help everyone share resources and material for youth, theological and Christian formation programs.The ecclesiastical province of Canada includes the dioceses of Montreal, Quebec, Fredericton, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, Western Newfoundland, Central Newfoundland and Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador.John Privett is the new metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of British Columbia and Yukon. “To take St. Paul out of context, ‘I am the least of the apostles,'” he told the clergy and laity that elected him during a Sept. provincial synod. Born in Saskatoon but raised in Whitehorse, Archbishop Privett recalls that his home parish of Christ Church formed his earliest sense of faith and community. His father, Archdeacon Arthur Privett, served in Christ Church for 50 years, and was 92 when he retired.  Archdeacon Privett died last May at the age of 94. “My father was a humble man who was deeply committed to Christ, to parish life and who had a great sensitivity to the needs and the strengths of the average person,” says Archbishop Privett. “He was proud of my election as a bishop, but quick to warn me to care for the clergy and the needs of all people. I suspect he would have said something similar to me after this election.” Archbishop Privett believes that the role of the metropolitan is “changing and evolving.” He believes the metropolitan has to  help “strengthen the unity of the church and help represent the breadth of the church both within and beyond the province.” The metropolitan should show leadership in helping the church to evaluate mission and ministry with limited resources. The needs in the province of B.C. and Yukon “vary immensely,” Archbishop Privett says. While some areas have to address the needs of new Canadians, others struggle with a rapidly aging or declining population.
The economic recession has affected many parishes and people. Overall population growth is coming from immigration.


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