Archdeacon Michael Thompson, 55, rector of St. Jude’s Anglican Church in Oakville, Ont., has been appointed general secretary of the Anglican Church of Canada.
Thompson succeeds Archdeacon Michael Pollesel as chief operating officer for General Synod on Nov. 1. The Council of General Synod (CoGS) ratified Thompson’s appointment by an e-mail vote on Sept. 2.
“Michael brings a lot of gifts to the ministry,” said Archbishop Fred Hiltz when he announced the appointment to Church House staff in Toronto on Sept. 6. The primate of the Anglican Church of Canada then went on to describe Thompson as a gifted communicator and noted his contribution as the principal author of Vision 2019, the church’s strategic plan. In tandem with the primate, the General Secretary “represents the heart and the voice of the church,” Archbishop Hiltz told the Anglican Journal.
For Thompson, the journey begins with helping the church embrace its future. “We need to learn how General Synod can make new things possible in the life of the church at every level,” he told the Journal. To do this, he added, “we need to learn how to do new things in addition to what we already know. I see this role as a place where those two conversations meet.”
Building relationships will be a priority. “It’s about bringing together all the ways in which the spirit of God is moving in the lives of people and communities,” said Thompson, who also will supervise the day-to-day operations of the national office and its staff of about 60.
From 2001 to 2004, Thompson served as principal secretary to Archbishop Michael Peers, who was then primate. He has served on many General Synod committees, including Communications and Information Resources (chair). From 1978 to 1980, he was a national coordinator for the Anglican Youth Movement.
Thompson completed his master of divinity and doctor of divinity degrees at Trinity College, University of Toronto, and served parishes in Edmonton, Westaskiwin, Alta. and Toronto.
Thompson is married to Deborah Tregunno, professor of nursing at York University. They have three grown children: Ian, Rachel, and Daniel.