New bishop elected to ‘can-do’ diocese of Athabasca

Published September 23, 2009

Bishop-elect Fraser Lawton

Canon Fraser Lawton, 41, rector of St. Thomas’ Anglican church in Fort McMurray, Alta., is the new bishop-elect of the diocese of Athabasca.

“Northern Alberta is an exciting place where people have a can-do attitude,” said Bishop-elect Lawton in a telephone interview.

Elected during a synod held Sept. 19 at the Cathedral Church of St. James, in Peace River, Alta., one of Bishop Lawton’s first priorities will be “to learn how to be a bishop,” he said. “It’s very much an honour and I’m excited. It’s a new phase of ministry and life.”

Bishop-elect Lawson was ordained a deacon in 1993, and a priest in 1994. He is a master of divinity graduate from the College of Emmanuel and St. Chad, Saskatoon. He and his wife, Veronica, have four children.

The diocese of Athabasca was created in 1874 and is a member of the Council of the North. It encompasses an area of more than 317,000 square kilometers that includes 18 parishes, 33 congregations and has more than 3,500 people on its parish rolls.


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