Bishop Donald Harvey of the diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador has announced he will retire at the end of November.
“It’s a combination of things but mostly, I’m just feeling tired,” said Bishop Harvey, who will be 65 by then. He also said that, “the many challenges ahead require a leader with a fresh approach.” Bishop Harvey said that his retirement “has no connection” with ongoing debates within the church over the issue of same-sex unions, which will be one of the issues to be tackled during the meeting of General Synod which begins in late May.
“I haven’t written off the General Synod. I’m still hoping that a successful resolution (on the issue) will still come,” he told the Anglican Journal. After the diocese of New Westminster approved the blessing of same-sex unions in 2002, Bishop Harvey had been quoted as saying that he “will not be able to live in a church that makes (same-sex blessings) part of its policy.”
Bishop Harvey said he intends to live in the diocese but is unsure what he wants to do next. He said that while he might have stayed on until he was 70, the mandatory retirement age for bishops, he just felt that the time to leave had come. “Ever since I reached pensionable age the idea of leaving had always crossed my mind,” he said.
The diocese will hold an electoral synod for a coadjutor bishop on June 12, 2004, and the consecration will be held in September.
A coadjutor bishop is an elected bishop who has the right to succeed the diocesan bishop when he or she retires.